Passage: Genesis 44, 45, 46 (RSV)

Genesis 44

1Then he commanded the steward of his house, "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack,
2and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain." And he did as Joseph told him.
3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their asses.
4When they had gone but a short distance from the city, Joseph said to his steward, "Up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, `Why have you returned evil for good? Why have you stolen my silver cup?
5Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he divines? You have done wrong in so doing.'"
6When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words.
7They said to him, "Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing!
8Behold, the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan; how then should we steal silver or gold from your lord's house?
9With whomever of your servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's slaves."
10He said, "Let it be as you say: he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and the rest of you shall be blameless."
11Then every man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and every man opened his sack.
12And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
13Then they rent their clothes, and every man loaded his ass, and they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, he was still there; and they fell before him to the ground.
15Joseph said to them, "What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that such a man as I can indeed divine?"
16And Judah said, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord's slaves, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found."
17But he said, "Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father."
18Then Judah went up to him and said, "O my lord, let your servant, I pray you, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant; for you are like Pharaoh himself.
19My lord asked his servants, saying, `Have you a father, or a brother?'
20And we said to my lord, `We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother's children; and his father loves him.'
21Then you said to your servants, `Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes upon him.'
22We said to my lord, `The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.'
23Then you said to your servants, `Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.'
24When we went back to your servant my father we told him the words of my lord.
25And when our father said, `Go again, buy us a little food,'
26we said, `We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down; for we cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.'
27Then your servant my father said to us, `You know that my wife bore me two sons;
28one left me, and I said, Surely he has been torn to pieces; and I have never seen him since.
29If you take this one also from me, and harm befalls him, you will bring down my gray hairs in sorrow to Sheol.'
30Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the lad's life,
31when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.
32For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, `If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame in the sight of my father all my life.'
33Now therefore, let your servant, I pray you, remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord; and let the lad go back with his brothers.
34For how can I go back to my father if the lad is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would come upon my father."

Genesis 45

1Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him; and he cried, "Make every one go out from me." So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
2And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.
3And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
4So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, I pray you." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
7And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
9Make haste and go up to my father and say to him, `Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry;
10you shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have;
11and there I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come; lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty.'
12And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you.
13You must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Make haste and bring my father down here."
14Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
16When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, "Joseph's brothers have come," it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well.
17And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Say to your brothers, `Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan;
18and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.'
19Command them also, `Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
20Give no thought to your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'"
21The sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey.
22To each and all of them he gave festal garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five festal garments.
23To his father he sent as follows: ten asses loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey.
24Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, "Do not quarrel on the way."
25So they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob.
26And they told him, "Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt." And his heart fainted, for he did not believe them.
27But when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived;
28and Israel said, "It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive; I will go and see him before I die."

Genesis 46

1So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here am I."
3Then he said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation.
4I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes."
5Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6They also took their cattle and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him,
7his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
8Now these are the names of the descendants of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons. Reuben, Jacob's first-born,
9and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
10The sons of Simeon: Jemu'el, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanitish woman.
11The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merar'i.
12The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13The sons of Is'sachar: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron.
14The sons of Zeb'ulun: Sered, Elon, and Jah'leel
15(these are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; altogether his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three).
16The sons of Gad: Ziph'ion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Aro'di, and Are'li.
17The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beri'ah, with Serah their sister. And the sons of Beri'ah: Heber and Mal'chi-el
18(these are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacob -- sixteen persons).
19The sons of Rachel, Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benjamin.
20And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manas'seh and E'phraim, whom As'enath, the daughter of Poti'phera the priest of On, bore to him.
21And the sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Na'aman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard
22(these are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob -- fourteen persons in all).
23The sons of Dan: Hushim.
24The sons of Naph'tali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem
25(these are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and these she bore to Jacob -- seven persons in all).
26All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own offspring, not including Jacob's sons' wives, were sixty-six persons in all;
27and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, that came into Egypt, were seventy.
28He sent Judah before him to Joseph, to appear before him in Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
29Then Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
30Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive."
31Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, `My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me;
32and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.'
33When Pharaoh calls you, and says, `What is your occupation?'
34you shall say, `Your servants have been keepers of cattle from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,' in order that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians."

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