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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 43

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1The famine was still severe in the land. 2When the grain they had brought from Egypt was all used up, their father said to them, ‘Go again and buy some more grain for us to eat.’ 3Judah replied, ‘But the man warned us that we must not go into his presence unless our brother was with us. 4If you let our brother go with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5But if you will not let him, we cannot go, for the man declared, “You shall not come into my presence unless your brother is with you.”’ 6Israel said, ‘Why have you treated me so badly by telling the man that you had another brother?’ 7They answered, ‘The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family: “Is your father still alive?” he asked, “Have you a brother?” and we answered his questions. How were we to know he would tell us to bring our brother down?’ 8Judah said to Israel his father, ‘Send the boy with me; then we can start at once, and save everyone's life, ours, yours, and those of our children. 9I shall go surety for him, and you may hold me responsible. If I do not bring him back and restore him to you, you can blame me for it all my life. 10If we had not wasted all this time, we could have made the journey twice by now.’

11Their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be so, then do this: in your baggage take, as a gift for the man, some of the produce for which our country is famous: a little balm and honey, with gum tragacanth, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take double the amount of silver with you and give back what was returned to you in your packs; perhaps there was some mistake. 13Take your brother with you and go straight back to the man. 14May God Almighty make him kindly disposed to you, and may he send back the one a 43:14 the one: so Samar.; Heb. the other. whom you left behind, and Benjamin too. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.’ 15So they took the gift and double the amount of silver, and accompanied by Benjamin they started at once for Egypt, where they presented themselves to Joseph.

16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his steward, ‘Bring these men indoors; then kill a beast and prepare a meal, for they are to eat with me at midday.’ 17He brought the men into Joseph's house as he had been ordered. 18They were afraid because they had been brought there; they thought, ‘We have been brought in here because of that affair of the silver which was replaced in our packs the first time. He means to make some charge against us, to inflict punishment on us, seize our donkeys, and make us his slaves.’ 19So they approached Joseph's steward and spoke to him at the door of the house. 20‘Please listen, my lord,’ they said. ‘After our first visit to buy food, 21when we reached the place where we were to spend the night, we opened our packs and each of us found his silver, the full amount of it, at the top of his pack. We have brought it back with us, 22and we have more silver to buy food. We do not know who put the silver in our packs.’ 23He answered, ‘Calm yourselves; do not be afraid. It must have been your God, the God of your father b 43:23 father: or, with Samar., fathers. , who hid treasure for you in your packs. I did receive the silver.’ Then he brought Simeon out to them.

24The steward conducted them into Joseph's house and gave them water to bathe their feet, and provided feed for their donkeys. 25They had their gifts ready against Joseph's arrival at midday, for they had heard that they were to eat there. 26When he came into the house, they presented him with the gifts which they had brought, bowing to the ground before him. 27He asked them how they were and said, ‘Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?’ 28‘Yes, my lord, our father is still alive and well,’ they answered, bowing low in obeisance. 29When Joseph looked around he saw his own mother's son, his brother Benjamin, and asked, ‘Is this your youngest brother, of whom you told me?’ and to Benjamin he said, ‘May God be gracious to you, my son!’ 30Joseph, suddenly overcome by his feelings for his brother, was almost in tears, and he went into the inner room and wept. 31Then, having bathed his face, he came out and, with his feelings now under control, he ordered the meal to be served. 32He was served by himself, and the brothers by themselves; the Egyptians who were at the meal were also served separately, for to Egyptians it is abhorrent to eat with Hebrews. 33When at his direction the brothers were seated, the eldest first and so on down to the youngest, they looked at one another in astonishment. 34Joseph sent them each a portion from what was before him, but Benjamin's portion was five times larger than any of the others. So they feasted and drank with him.

Notes:

a 43:14 the one: so Samar.; Heb. the other.

b 43:23 father: or, with Samar., fathers.

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