The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Genesis
And Joseph gave orders to his steward; Fill their sacks with corn, as full as they can hold, and enclose in each man’s sack the money he has paid.
And when it comes to the youngest, enclose in his sack not only the money he paid for his corn, but my silver cup as well. His command was obeyed;
and now morning came, and they were given leave to depart, with their asses.
They had left the city and passed on a little further, when Joseph summoned his steward; Bestir thyself, he said, and go in pursuit of these men. When thou overtakest them, say, This is a poor return to make for the kindness you have received;
you have stolen my master’s cup, the one from which he drinks, and takes omens; you have done him a great wrong.
The steward obeyed, and as soon as he overtook them, delivered his message by rote.
What a charge is this, my lord, they answered, to bring against thy servants! That we should have been guilty of such a shameful deed!
When we found our money enclosed in the mouths of our sacks, we brought it back to thee all the way from Chanaan; is it likely we would rob thy master’s house of gold or silver?
If the cup that is missing should be found in possession of any of us, let him pay for it with his life; and we, too, will be slaves in our lord’s service.
I accept this test of yours, said he; the man in whose possession it is found, shall be my slave, and the rest of you go clear.
So, with all haste, they lowered their sacks to the ground, and began opening them one by one.
And he began with the eldest, and examined each in turn, till at last he found the cup in Benjamin’s sack.
And now they tore their garments about them, loaded their asses again, and went back to the city.
Joseph was awaiting them there, and Juda led his brethren into Joseph’s presence, where they all bowed face to the earth before him.
What moved you, said he, to do this? Surely you must know that I have powers of divining such as no other man has?
My lord, said Juda, what answer can we make? What plea can we offer in our defence? We are guilty men, and God would not let it pass unnoticed; and now all of us, not only he in whose possession the cup was found, will be thy slaves.
God forbid I should ask that, answered Joseph; no, the thief who stole the cup shall be my slave; the rest of you may go back to your father as free men.
At this, Juda made bold to draw nearer him; My lord, he said, let thy servant speak a word for thy own hearing, without earning thy displeasure, Pharao’s viceroy though thou art, and my sovereign lord.
When thou didst ask us whether we had a father or a brother living,
our answer was, My lord, we have a father well advanced in years, and one of his sons is still with him, the youngest, who was born to him in his old age. There was another son by the same mother, but he is dead, and now only this one recalls his mother’s memory, so that his father loves him dearly.
Upon this, thou didst bid us bring the boy to thee and let thee have sight of him.
My lord, we urged, our father cannot do without the boy; the parting would kill him.
But thou didst warn thy servants, You shall never have audience of me again, unless you bring your youngest brother with you.
Then we went back to our father, and told him of the warning which thou, his master and ours, hadst given us.
And when our father bade us come here again and buy a little bread,
we told him we could not, unless our youngest brother was allowed to come down with us. In his company, we said, we will go willingly enough, but we dare not face the man we told thee of without him.
You know, he answered, that my own wife only bore me two sons;
I let one of them go out of my sight, and your news was, that some beast had made a prey of him; he was never seen again.
If you take this one too, and any harm befalls him on the way, you will send an old man sorrowing to the grave.
My lord, shall I present myself before my father, and the boy not with me? His life is bound up with his son’s,
and if he finds we have not brought him with us, it will be the death of him; must we bring an old man to the grave in sorrow?
Enslave me instead; with full justice, I made myself answerable for him. If I do not bring him back, I said, I will never claim my own father’s forgiveness.
I, therefore, my lord, would be left here as thy servant, to wait upon thee in his stead; let the boy go home with his brethren.
Should I go back to my father without him, and witness the blow that strikes my father down?
The Holy Bible