The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Genesis
But still the land was famine-stricken
and all the food they had brought with them from Egypt was used up. Go back, said Jacob to his sons, and bring us all a mouthful of food.
Why, answered Juda, this man we told thee of warned us with a solemn oath he would not give us audience, unless our youngest brother came back with us.
If thou wilt send him in our company, we will all go together, and buy what thou needest;
not otherwise. How often must we tell thee that the man gave us solemn warning, You shall have no audience without this youngest brother of yours?
This was great unkindness you did me, Israel said, to tell him you had a brother at all.
Why, they answered, the man asked news of all our family in turn, whether our father was still alive, and whether we had any brother besides; we told him no more than he asked, and how were we to know he would demand to have our brother brought into his presence?
Let the boy go with me, Juda said to his father; let us go and find something to support life with, or we shall all die, and our children with us.
I take the boy under my charge, and make myself answerable for his safety; never forgive me if I do not bring him back and restore him to thee.
If there had not been this delay, we might have gone to Egypt and been back again by now.
And their father Israel said to them, Since it must be so, have your way. Only, take gifts with you in your packs, the most precious this land yields, a little balm, and honey, and storax, and myrrh, and mastic, and almonds.
Take a double amount of money with you, and restore what you found in your sacks; it may have been an oversight.
And so go back to the man, taking your brother with you.
May the almighty God I serve secure you his favour, so that he will send back that brother of yours who is now his hostage, and Benjamin as well. Meanwhile, I shall be like a man bereft of children.
With such gifts, and a double amount of money, they took Benjamin down into Egypt, and presented themselves before Joseph.
As soon as he saw them, and Benjamin in their company, he said to his steward, Take these men home, and kill victims, and make a feast; they will eat with me at noon.
The steward did as he was bidden, taking them all to Joseph’s house,
where they stood dismayed; We have been brought in here because of the money, they said to one another, the money we took home in our sacks. He means to trump a charge against us, and to hold us here in pawn, and our beasts along with us.
So, in the very doorway of the house, they approached the steward,
Pray, sir, listen, they said. We came here some while since, to buy food,
and buy it we did; but when we reached our halting-place we found the money lying in the mouths of our sacks. And now we have brought back the same amount,
over and above the sum that is to defray our fresh needs; we cannot guess who it was put the money back in our purses.
Set your mind at rest, he said; you have nothing to fear. Your own God, the God your father serves, must have enriched those sacks of yours; I have the money you paid me accounted for. Then he fetched Simeon out to meet them,
and took them into the house, where he brought water for them to wash their feet; he also gave their beasts fodder.
There then they waited, with the gifts ready, till Joseph should come home at noon; they had been told that they would be his guests.
And as soon as Joseph entered his house, they offered him the gifts they carried, and bowed down to earth.
And he, returning their greeting with courtesy, asked how their father was, the old man of whom they had spoken to him. Was he still living?
Yes, my lord, they said, our father still lives. And they bent to do him reverence.
Then Joseph looked round, and saw Benjamin there, his own mother’s son; Is this, he asked, the younger brother you told me of? And he added, God be merciful to thee, my son.
After this he could wait no more; his heart went out to this, his own brother, and the tears began to come. He withdrew into his private room, and there wept;
then washed his face and came out again, master of himself; Serve the meal, he said.
So food was brought, with separate portions for Joseph, for his brethren, and for the Egyptians who kept them company; the Egyptians are not allowed to eat with men of Hebrew blood, and would think it foul disgrace to share a meal with them.
There they sat in his presence, ranged in order from the eldest, with his birthright, to the youngest in age. And they were not a little surprised
when they received the portions he sent them, for the greatest share of all came to Benjamin, six times as large as the others. So they drank and made merry with him.
The Holy Bible