Amplified Bible

Genesis 44

The Brothers Are Brought Back

1And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s [grain] money in the mouth of the sack. Put my [personal] cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his grain money.” And the steward did as Joseph had told him. As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. When they had left the city, and were not yet far away, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil [to us] for good [paid to you]? Is this not my lord’s drinking cup and the one which he uses for divination? You have done [a great and unforgivable] wrong in doing this.’”

So the steward overtook them and he said these words to them. They said to him, “Why does my lord speak these things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! Please remember, the money which we found in the mouths of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Is it likely then that we would steal silver or gold from your master’s house? With whomever of your servants your master’s cup is found, let him die, and the rest of us will be my lord’s slaves.” 10 And the steward said, “Now let it be as you say; he with whom the cup is found will be my slave, but the rest of you shall be blameless.” 11 Then every man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and each man opened his sack [confident the cup would not be found among them]. 12 The steward searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they tore their clothes [in grief]; and after each man had loaded his donkey again, they returned to the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there; and they fell to the ground before him. 15 Joseph spoke harshly to them, “What is this thing that you have done? Do you not realize that such a man as I can indeed practice divination and foretell [everything you do without outside knowledge of it]?” 16 So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we reply? Or how can we clear ourselves, since God has exposed the sin and guilt of your servants? Behold, we are my lord’s slaves, the rest of us as well as he with whom the cup is found.” 17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me that I should do that; but the man in whose hand the cup has been found, he will be my servant; and as for [the rest of] you, get up and go in peace to your father.”

18 Then Judah approached him, and said, “O my lord, please let your servant say a word to you in private, and do not let your anger blaze against your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh [so I speak as if directly to him]. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20 We said to my lord, ‘We have an old father and a young [brother, Benjamin, the] child of his old age. Now his brother [Joseph] is dead, and he alone is left of [the two sons born of] his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I may actually see him.’ 22 But we said to my lord, ‘The [a]young man cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you shall not see my face again.’ 24 So when we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said. 25 Our father said, ‘Go back [to Egypt], and buy us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down [to Egypt]. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down [there]; for we [were sternly told that we] cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife [Rachel] bore me [only] two sons. 28 And one [son] went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm or an accident happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.’ 30 Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the young man is not with us, since [b]his life is bound up in the young man’s life, 31 when he sees that the young man is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in [great] sorrow. 32 For your servant became security for the young man to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33 Now, therefore, please let your servant (Judah) remain here instead of the youth [to be] a slave to my lord, and let the young man go home with his brothers. 34 How can I go up to my father if the young man is not with me—for fear that I would see the tragedy that would overtake my [elderly] father [if Benjamin does not return]?”

  1. Genesis 44:22 The Hebrew word for “young man” does not indicate extreme youth. Benjamin was about thirty-three years old at this time.
  2. Genesis 44:30 Lit his soul is knit with the young man’s soul.