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Genesis Chapter 44
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Joseph's Vindication
44:1 Joseph gave his overseer special instructions. 'Fill the men's packs with as much food as they can carry,' he said. 'Place each man's money at the top of his pack.
44:2 And my chalice - the silver chalice - place it on top of the youngest one's pack - along with the money for his food.' [The overseer] did exactly as Joseph instructed him.
44:3 With the first morning light, the brothers took their donkeys and were sent on their way.
44:4 They had just left the city and had not gone far, when Joseph said to his overseer, 'Set out and pursue those men. Catch up with them and say to them, 'Why did you repay good with evil?
44:5 It's [the cup] from which my master drinks, and he uses it for divination. You did a terrible thing.''
44:6 [The overseer] caught up with them, and repeated exactly those words to them.
44:7 They said to him, 'Why do you say such things? Heaven forbid that we should do such a thing!
44:8 After all, we brought you back the money we found at the top of our packs - all the way from Canaan. How could we steal silver or gold from your master's house?
44:9 If any of us has it in his possession, he shall die. You can take the rest of us for slaves.'
44:10 'It should be as you declare,' he replied. 'But only the one with whom it is found will be my slave. The rest will be able to go free.'
44:11 Each one quickly lowered his pack to the ground, and they all opened their packs.
44:12 [The overseer] inspected each one, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. The chalice was found in Benjamin's pack.
44:13 [The brothers] tore their clothes in grief. Each one reloaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
44:14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's palace, he was still there. They threw themselves on the ground before him.
44:15 Joseph said to them, 'What did you think you were doing? Don't you realize that a person like me can determine the truth by divination?'
44:16 'What can we say to my lord?' replied Judah. 'How can we speak? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered our old guilt. Let us be your slaves - we and the one in whose possession the chalice was found.'
44:17 'Heaven forbid that I do that!' said [Joseph] 'The one in whose possession the chalice was found shall be my slave. [The rest of] you can go in peace to your father.'

Joseph Reveals Himself to his Brothers
44:18 Judah walked up to [Joseph] and said, 'Please, your highness, let me say something to you personally. Do not be angry with me, even though you are just like Pharaoh.
44:19 'You asked if we still had a father or another brother.
44:20 We told you, 'We have a father who is very old, and the youngest [brother] is a child of his old age. He had a brother who died, and thus, he is the only one of his mother's children still alive. His father loves him.'
44:21 'You said to us, 'Bring him to me, so that I may set my eyes on him.'
44:22 We told you, 'The lad cannot leave his father. If he left him, his father would die.'
44:23 You replied, 'If your youngest brother does not come with you, you shall not see my face again.'
44:24 'We went to your servant our father and told him what you said.
44:25 When our father told us to go back and get some food,
44:26 we replied, 'We cannot go. We can go only if our youngest brother is with us. If he is not with us, we cannot even see the man [in charge].'
44:27 'Your servant our father said, 'You know that my wife [Rachel] bore me two sons.
44:28 One has already left me, and I assume that he was torn to pieces by wild animals. I have seen nothing of him until now.
44:29 Now you want to take this one from me too! If something were to happen to him, you will have brought my white head down to the grave in evil misery.'
44:30 'And now, when I come to your servant our father, the lad will not be with us. His soul is bound up with [the lad's] soul!
44:31 When he sees that the lad is not there, he will die! I will have brought your servant our father's white head down to the grave in misery.
44:32 Besides, I offered myself to my father as a guarantee for the lad, and I said, 'If I do not bring him back to you, I will have sinned to my father for all time.'
44:33 'So now let me remain as your slave in place of the lad. Let the lad go back with his brothers!
44:34 For how can I go back to my father if the lad is not with me? I cannot bear to see the evil misery that my father would suffer!'



Commentary:

the city
  This was Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt. It was also the city where Joseph lived with Potiphar (cf. Tzava'ath Yosef 4:6). It was on the west bank of the Nile, some 12 miles south of the present Cairo, and some 25 miles south of On (Genesis 41:45). In Hebrew, Memphis is known as Moph (Hosea 9:6) or Noph (Isaiah 19:13, Jeremiah 2:16, Ezekiel 30:13, etc.). However, if this was during the time of the Hyksos, the capital might have been Tanis.

let me say...
  Literally, 'Let me speak a word in my lord's ear.' The usual expressions here are 'your servant' and 'my lord' in place of 'I' and 'you,' representing the old court language, that was even used in Europe. Since it is confusing to the modern reader, here it is replaced with 'I' and 'you.'





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