ContextThe Return to Egypt
1Now the famine was severe in the land. 2So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, Go back, buy us a little food. 3Judah spoke to him, however, saying, The man solemnly warned us, You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you. 4If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, You will not see my face unless your brother is with you. 6Then Israel said, Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother? 7But they said, The man questioned particularly about us and our relatives, saying, Is your father still alive? Have you another brother? So we answered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, Bring your brother down? 8Judah said to his father Israel, Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. 9I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever. 10For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.
11Then their father Israel said to them, If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man as a present, a little balm and a little honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12Take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14and may God Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. 15So the men took this present, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon. 17So the man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Josephs house. 18Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Josephs house; and they said, It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys. 19So they came near to Josephs house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20and said, Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21and it came about when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each mans money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full. So we have brought it back in our hand. 22We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks. 23He said, Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money. Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24Then the man brought the men into Josephs house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder. 25So they prepared the present for Josephs coming at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.
26When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and bowed to the ground before him. 27Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive? 28They said, Your servant our father is well; he is still alive. They bowed down in homage. 29As he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mothers son, he said, Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? And he said, May God be gracious to you, my son. 30Joseph hurried out for he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, Serve the meal. 32So they served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is loathsome to the Egyptians. 33Now they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34He took portions to them from his own table, but Benjamins portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
Parallel VersesAmerican Standard Version
And the famine was sore in the land.
In the mean time the famine was heavy upon all the land.
Darby Bible Translation
And the famine was grievous in the land.
English Revised Version
And the famine was sore in the land.
Webster's Bible Translation
And the famine was severe in the land.
World English Bible
The famine was severe in the land.
Young's Literal Translation
And the famine is severe in the land;
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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