Genesis 43 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
The Brothers Go Back to Egypt
43 Still no food grew in the land of Canaan. 2 Jacob’s family had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt. So Jacob said to them, “Go to Egypt again. Buy a little more grain for us to eat.”
3 But Judah said to Jacob, “The governor of that country strongly warned us. He said, ‘Bring your brother back with you. If you don’t, you will not be allowed to see me.’ 4 If you will send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5 But if you refuse to send Benjamin, we will not go. The governor of that country warned us. He said we would not see him if we didn’t bring Benjamin with us.”
6 Jacob, also called Israel, said, “Why did you tell the man you had another brother? You have caused me a lot of trouble.”
7 The brothers answered, “He questioned us carefully about ourselves and our family. He asked us, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ We just answered his questions. How could we know he would ask us to bring our other brother to him?”
8 Then Judah said to his father Jacob, “Send Benjamin with me. Then we will go at once. Do this so that we, you and our children may live and not die. 9 I will guarantee you that he will be safe. I will be personally responsible for him. If I don’t bring him back to you, you can blame me all my life. 10 If we had not wasted all this time, we could have already made two trips.”
11 Then their father Jacob said to them, “If it has to be that way, then do this: Take some of the best foods in our land in your packs. Give them to the man as a gift: some balm, some honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take twice as much money with you this time. Take back the money that was returned to you in your sacks last time. Maybe it was a mistake. 13 And take Benjamin with you. Now leave and go to the man. 14 I pray that God All-Powerful will cause the governor to be merciful to you. I pray that he will allow Simeon and Benjamin to come back with you. If I am robbed of my children, then I am robbed of them!”
15 So the brothers took the gifts. They also took twice as much money as they had taken the first time. And they took Benjamin. They hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16 In Egypt Joseph saw Benjamin with them. Joseph said to the servant in charge of his house, “Bring those men into my house. Kill an animal and prepare a meal. Those men will eat with me today at noon.” 17 The servant did as Joseph told him. He brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18 The brothers were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the money that was put in our sacks on the first trip. He wants to attack us, make us slaves and take our donkeys.” 19 So the brothers went to the servant in charge of Joseph’s house. They spoke to him at the door of the house. 20 They said, “Sir, we came here once before to buy food. 21 While we were going home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Each of us found all his money in his sack. We brought that money with us to give it back to you. 22 And we have brought more money. It is to pay for the food we want to buy this time. We don’t know who put that money in our sacks.”
23 But the servant answered, “It’s all right. Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, must have put the money in your sacks. I got the money you paid me for the grain last time.” Then the servant brought Simeon out to them.
24 The servant led the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave their donkeys food to eat. 25 The men prepared their gift to give to Joseph when he arrived at noon. They had heard they were going to eat with him there.
26 When Joseph came home, the brothers gave him the gift they had brought into the house. Then they bowed down to the ground to him. 27 Joseph asked them how they were doing. He said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28 The brothers answered, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” And they bowed low before Joseph to show him respect.
29 Then Joseph saw his brother Benjamin, who had the same mother as he. Joseph asked, “Is this your youngest brother you told me about?” Then Joseph said to Benjamin, “God be good to you, my son!” 30 Then Joseph hurried off. He had to hold back the tears when he saw his brother Benjamin. So Joseph went into his room and cried there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out. He controlled himself and said, “Serve the meal.”
32 So they served Joseph at one table. They served his brothers at another table. And they served the Egyptians who ate with him at another table. This was because Egyptians did not like Hebrews and never ate with them. 33 Joseph’s brothers were seated in front of him. They were in order of their ages, from oldest to youngest. And they looked at each other because they were so amazed. 34 Food from Joseph’s table was taken to them. But Benjamin was given five times more food than the others. Joseph’s brothers drank with him until they were very drunk.
Genesis 43 New International Version (NIV)
The Second Journey to Egypt
43 Now the famine was still severe in the land. 2 So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”
3 But Judah said to him, “The man warned us solemnly, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”
6 Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?”
7 They replied, “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. ‘Is your father still living?’ he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’ We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. 9 I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 10 As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. 14 And may God Almighty[a] grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15 So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon.”
17 The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.”
19 So they went up to Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 “We beg your pardon, our lord,” they said, “we came down here the first time to buy food. 21 But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver—the exact weight—in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us. 22 We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23 “It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
26 When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27 He asked them how they were, and then he said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?”
28 They replied, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.
29 As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.
31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, “Serve the food.”
32 They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. 33 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him.