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Genesis Chapter 44 | Parsha: Mikkets Va-yiggash

1Then he instructed his house steward as follows, “Fill the men’s bags with food, as much as they can carry, and put each one’s money in the mouth of his bag. 2Put my silver goblet in the mouth of the bag of the youngest one, together with his money for the rations.” And he did as Joseph told him.

3With the first light of morning, the men were sent off with their pack animals. 4They had just left the city and had not gone far, when Joseph said to his steward, “Up, go after the men! And when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why did you repay good with evil? 5It is the very one from which my master drinks and which he uses for divination. It was a wicked thing for you to do!’”

6He overtook them and spoke those words to them. 7And they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything of the kind! 8Here we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the mouths of our bags. How then could we have stolen any silver or gold from your master’s house! 9Whichever of your servants it is found with shall die; the rest of us, moreover, shall become slaves to my lord.” 10He replied, “Although what you are proposing is right, only the one with whom it is found shall be my slave; but the rest of you shall go free.”

11So each one hastened to lower his bag to the ground, and each one opened his bag. 12He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the goblet turned up in Benjamin’s bag. 13At this they rent their clothes. Each reloaded his pack animal, and they returned to the city.

14When Judah and his brothers reentered the house of Joseph, who was still there, they threw themselves on the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me practices divination?” 16Judah replied, “What can we say to my lord? How can we plead, how can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered the crime of your servants. Here we are, then, slaves of my lord, the rest of us as much as he in whose possession the goblet was found.” 17But he replied, “Far be it from me to act thus! Only he in whose possession the goblet was found shall be my slave; the rest of you go back in peace to your father.”

18Then Judah went up to him and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant appeal to my lord, and do not be impatient with your servant, you who are the equal of Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, ‘Have you a father or another brother?’ 20We told my lord, ‘We have an old father, and there is a child of his old age, the youngest; his full brother is dead, so that he alone is left of his mother, and his father dotes on him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set eyes on him.’ 22We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he were to leave him, his father would die.’ 23But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, do not let me see your faces.’ 24When we came back to your servant my father, we reported my lord’s words to him.

25“Later our father said, ‘Go back and procure some food for us.’ 26We answered, ‘We cannot go down; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go down, for we may not show our faces to the man unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Your servant my father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons. 28But one is gone from me, and I said: Alas, he was torn by a beast! And I have not seen him since. 29If you take this one from me, too, and he meets with disaster, you will send my white head down to Sheol in sorrow.’

30“Now, if I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with us—since his own life is so bound up with his— 31when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will send the white head of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief. 32Now your servant has pledged himself for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I shall stand guilty before my father forever.’ 33Therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34For how can I go back to my father unless the boy is with me? Let me not be witness to the woe that would overtake my father!”

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