Jacob Lets Benjamin Go to Egypt
1 The famine was very bad in that country.
2 The people ate all the grain they had brought from Egypt. When that grain was gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go to Egypt and buy some more grain for us to eat.”
3 But Judah said to Jacob, “But the governor of that country warned us. He said, ‘If you don’t bring your brother back to me, I will refuse to talk to you.’
4 If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy grain.
5 But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The man warned us to not come back without him.”
6 Israel said, “Why did you tell him you had another brother? Why did you do such a bad thing to me?”
7 The brothers answered, “He asked lots of questions. He wanted to know all about us and about our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother at home?’ We only answered his questions. We didn’t know he would ask us to bring our brother to him!”
8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Let Benjamin go with me. I will take care of him. We have to go to Egypt to get food. If we don’t go, we will all die—including our children.
9 I will make sure he is safe. I will be responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me forever.
10 If you had let us go before, we could have already made two trips for food.”
11 Then their father Israel said, “If it is really true, take Benjamin with you. But take some gifts to the governor. Take some of the things we have been able to gather in our land. Take him some honey, pistachio nuts, almonds, spices, and myrrh.
12 Take twice as much money with you this time. Take the money that was given back to you after you paid last time. Maybe the governor made a mistake.
13 Take Benjamin, and go back to the man.
14 I pray that God All-Powerful will help you when you stand before the governor. I pray that he will let Benjamin, and also Simeon, come back safely. If not, I will again be sad from losing my children.”
15 So the brothers took the gifts to give to the governor. And the brothers took twice as much money with them as they took the first time. This time Benjamin went with the brothers to Egypt.
The Brothers at Joseph’s House
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his servant, “Bring these men into my house. Kill an animal and cook it. They will eat with me at noon today.”
17 The servant did as he was told. He brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18 The brothers were afraid when they were taken to Joseph’s house and said, “We have been brought here because of the money that was put back in our sacks the last time. They will use this as proof against us and steal our donkeys and make us slaves.”
19 So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house.
20 They said, “Sir, I promise this is the truth. The last time we came, we came to buy food.
21-22 On the way home, we opened our sacks and found our money in every sack. We don’t know how it got there, but we brought that money with us to give it back to you. And we have brought more money to pay for the food that we want to buy this time.”
23 But the servant answered, “Don’t be afraid; believe me. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sack as a gift. I remember that you paid me for the grain the last time.”
Then the servant brought Simeon out of the prison.
24 The servant led the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he fed their donkeys.
25 The brothers heard that they were going to eat with Joseph, so they worked until noon preparing their gifts for him.
26 When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gifts they had brought with them. Then they bowed down to the ground in front of him.
27 Joseph asked them how they were doing. He said, “How is your elderly father you told me about. Is he still alive and well?”
28 The brothers answered, “Yes, sir, our father is still alive.” And they again bowed before Joseph.
29 Then Joseph saw his brother Benjamin. (Benjamin and Joseph had the same mother.) Joseph said, “Is this your youngest brother that you told me about?” Then Joseph said to Benjamin, “God bless you, my son!”
30 Joseph felt a strong desire to show his brother Benjamin that he loved him. He was about to cry and didn’t want his brothers to see him, so he ran into his private room and cried there.
31 Then Joseph washed his face and came out. He regained control of himself and said, “Now it is time to eat.”
32 The servants seated Joseph at a table by himself. His brothers were at another table by themselves, and the Egyptians were at a table by themselves. The Egyptians believed that it was wrong for them to eat with Hebrews.
33 Joseph’s brothers were seated at a table facing him. The brothers were looking at each other because, to their surprise, they had been seated in order, from the oldest to the youngest.
34 Servants were taking food from Joseph’s table and bringing it to them. But the servants gave Benjamin five times more than the others. The brothers continued to eat and drink with Joseph until they were drunk.