1 The famine was extremely bad in the land.
2 When they finished eating the grain they brought from Egypt, Israel said to his sons: »Go back and buy us a little more food.«
3 Judah said to him: »The man gave us strict warning! He said: You will not be allowed to see me again unless your brother is with you.
4 »If you let our brother go with us, we will go and buy food for you.
5 »If you will not let him go, we will not go. The man said to us: You will not be allowed to see me again unless your brother is with you.«
6 Israel asked: »Why have you made trouble for me by telling the man you had another brother?«
7 They answered: »The man kept asking about our family and us. He asked, Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother? We simply answered his questions. How could we possibly know he would say, Bring your brother here?«
8 Then Judah said to his father Israel: »Send the boy along with me. Let us get going so that we will not starve to death.
9 »I guarantee that he will come back. You can hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and place him here in front of you, you can blame me the rest of my life.
10 »If we had not waited so long, we could have made this trip twice by now.«
11 Their father Israel said: »If that is the way it has to be, then take the man a gift. Put some of the best products of the land in your bags. Take a little balm, a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.
12 »Take twice as much money with you, because you must take back the money that was returned in the top of your sacks. Maybe it was a mistake.
13 »Take your brother and return at once.
14 »May God Almighty cause the man to have pity on you, so that he will give Benjamin and your other brother back to you. As for me, if I must lose my children, I must lose them.«
15 So the brothers took the gifts and twice as much money, and set out for Egypt with Benjamin. There they presented themselves to Joseph.
16 He saw Benjamin and told the servant in charge of his house: »Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and cook it, so they can eat with me at noon.«
17 The servant did as he was told. He took the brothers to Josephs house.
18 On the way they were worried and started talking: »We are being taken there because of the money that was put back in our sacks last time. He will arrest us and take our donkeys. He will make us his slaves!«
19 When they arrived at Josephs house, they said to the servant in charge:
20 »We came to Egypt once before to buy grain.
21 »When we stopped for the night, we each found in our grain sacks the exact amount we had paid. We have brought that money back.
22 »We brought enough money to buy more grain. We do not know who put the money in our sacks.«
23 »It is all right,« the servant replied. »Do not worry. The God you and your father worship must have put the money there, because your money came first to me.« Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 The servant took them into Josephs house. He gave them water to wash their feet. He also tended their donkeys.
25 The brothers prepared their gifts so they could give them to Joseph at noon. For they had heard they were going to eat there.
26 Joseph came home and they gave him the gifts they had brought. They bowed down to him.
27 Joseph asked how they were. He said: »What about your elderly father? Is he still alive?«
28 They answered: »Your servant our father is still alive and well.« Again they bowed down to Joseph.
29 Joseph looked around and saw his brother Benjamin. He said: »This must be the youngest brother you told me about. God bless you, my son.«
30 Right away he rushed off to his room and cried because of his love for Benjamin.
31 After washing his face and returning, he was able to control himself. He said: »Serve the meal!«
32 Joseph was served at a table by himself. His brothers were served at another. The Egyptians sat at yet another table. This is because Egyptians felt it was disgusting to eat with Hebrews.
33 To the surprise of Josephs brothers, they were seated in front of him according to their ages, from the oldest to the youngest.
34 They were served food from Josephs table. And Benjamin was given five times as much as each of the others. So Josephs brothers drank with him and had a good time.