Genesis 44

1Then Joseph instructed the steward of his house, saying: “Fill their sacks with grain, as much as they are able to hold. And place each one’s money at the top of the sack. 2But place my silver bowl, and the price that he gave for the wheat, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest.” And so it was done. 3And when morning arose, they were sent away with their donkeys. 4And now they had departed from the city and had set out a short distance. Then Joseph, sending for the steward of his house, said: “Rise up and pursue the men. And when you have overtaken them, say: ‘Why have you returned evil for good? 5The cup that you have stolen, it is that from which my lord drinks, and in which he is accustomed to discern signs. You have done a very sinful thing.’ ” 6He did as he had been ordered. And having overtaken them, he spoke to them according to the order. 7And they responded: “Why does our lord speak in this way, as though your servants had committed such a shameful act? 8The money, which we found at the top of our sacks, we carried back to you from the land of Canaan. So in what way does it follow that we would steal, from the house of your lord, gold or silver? 9Whichever of your servants will be found to have what you seek, may he die, and we shall be the servants of my lord.” 10And he said to them: “Let it be according to your verdict. With whomever it will be found, let him be my servant, but you will be unharmed.” 11And so, they quickly placed their sacks down to the ground, and each one was opened. 12And when he had searched, beginning with the oldest, all the way to the youngest, he found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. 13But they, tearing their garments and burdening their donkeys again, returned to the town. 14And Judah, first among his brothers, entered to Joseph (for he had not yet departed from the place) and together they all fell down before him to the ground. 15And he said to them: “Why would you choose to act in this way? Could you be ignorant that there is no one like me in the knowledge of discerning signs?” 16And Judah said to him, “What could we answer to my lord? And what would we be able to say, or to justly claim? God has discovered the iniquity of your servants. See, we have all become servants to my lord, both we, and he with whom the cup was found.” 17Joseph responded: “Far be it from me that I should act in this way. He who stole the cup, he will be my servant. But you may go away free to your father.” 18Then Judah, approaching closer, said confidently: “I beg you, my lord, let your servant speak a word in your ears, and do not be angry with your servant. For you are next to Pharaoh. 19My lord, you questioned your servants before: ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20And we answered you, my lord: ‘There is our father, an old man, and a young boy, who was born in his old age. His brother of the same womb has died, and he alone is left to his mother and father, who truly love him tenderly.’ 21And you said to your servants, ‘Bring him to me, and I will set my eyes on him.’ 22We suggested to my lord: ‘The boy is not able to leave his father. For if he sends him away, he will die.’ 23And you said to your servants: ‘Unless your youngest brother arrives with you, you will not see my face any more.’ 24Therefore, when we had gone up to your servant our father, we explained to him all that my lord had spoken. 25And our father said: ‘Return and buy us a little wheat.’ 26And we said to him: ‘We cannot go. If our youngest brother descends with us, we will set out together. Otherwise, in his absence, we do not dare to see the face of the man.’ 27To which he responded: ‘You know that my wife conceived twice by me. 28One went out, and you said, “A beast devoured him.” And since then, he has not appeared. 29If you take this one also, and anything happens to him on the way, you will lead my grey hairs down with grief to the grave.’ 30Therefore, if I would have gone to your servant, our father, with the boy not present, (though his life depends upon the life of him) 31and if he were to see that he is not with us, he would die, and your servants will lead his grey hairs down with sorrow to the grave. 32Let me be your very own servant, for I accepted this one into my trust, and I promised, saying: ‘Unless I lead him back, I will be guilty of a sin against my father for all time.’ 33And so I, your servant, will remain in place of the boy, in ministry to my lord, and then let the boy go up with his brothers. 34For I cannot return to my father without the boy, lest I appear as a witness to the calamity that will oppress my father.”
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