The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Genesis
Joseph could contain himself no longer, and there were many standing by. So he gave orders that all these should leave his presence; there must be no strangers to see it, when he made himself known.
But when he spoke, he burst into such a fit of weeping that these Egyptians, and all Pharao’s household, could not but hear it.
I am Joseph, said he to his brethren; is my father yet alive? But his brethren were so overcome with fear that they could not answer him,
and he must needs use gentleness; Come closer, he said, and then, when they had drawn close to him, I am Joseph, that brother of yours whom you sent away to be sold as a slave in Egypt.
And now, do not take it to heart; waste no regrets over the bargain that brought me here; if I came to Egypt first, it was on God’s errand, to be your protector.
It is two years now since famine came to these parts, and there will be no ploughing, no reaping harvests, for five years more;
so God would have me here in readiness to preserve your race, by giving you food to live on.
It was not your design, then, it was God’s will that sent me here; he it is that has put Pharao himself under my tutelage, made me regent of all his domains, with the whole of Egypt under my care.
Make haste, go back to my father and give him this message from his son Joseph: God has made me ruler of all Egypt; make thy way here with all speed.
Thou shalt have the land of Gessen for thy dwelling-place, so that thou canst live close to me, with thy children and thy grandchildren, thy sheep and cattle and all that is thine.
And there, since there are still five years of famine to come, I will maintain thee and keep thee from starving, with that household of thine and all thou hast.
You and my brother Benjamin here can assure him from the witness of your own eyes, that it was Joseph who spoke to you.
Tell my father of all these honours I enjoy, and of all you saw in Egypt, and bring him back to me here with all speed.
With that, he threw his arms round Benjamin’s neck, in tears; Benjamin, too, wept as he clung to him.
Then Joseph kissed all his brethren in turn, and wept over them, till at last they found courage to speak to him.
And now the news was in everybody’s mouth, and all Pharao’s court heard that Joseph’s brethren were there. Pharao rejoiced heartily over it, and all his courtiers with him;
and these were the orders he would have Joseph give to his brethren, Pack your beasts, and go back to Chanaan,
bring your father here, and all your family, to share the blessings of Egypt with me, and live on the best the land can give.
And they might borrow waggons from Egypt, to carry their wives and children back. Take your father with you (he was to tell them) and make haste over your return;
and leave none of your farm stock behind you;✻ all the wealth of Egypt awaits you here.
The sons of Israel did as they were bidden; Joseph providing them with waggons at Pharao’s command, and with food for the journey.
He also had two new garments brought out for each, and gave Benjamin three hundred silver pieces and five new garments of the choicest sort;
sending his father a like gift in both kinds, as well as ten asses laden with the best merchandise of Egypt, and ten she-asses with corn and bread to last him over his travels.
Thus he sent his brethren home, and his last word, as they set out, was Be sure there is no quarrelling on the way.
So they left Egypt, and when they reached their father Jacob in Chanaan,
they gave him their news, Thy son Joseph is still alive, and it is he that rules the whole land of Egypt. Jacob heard it, with the look of one just awoken from a heavy sleep, but at first he would not believe them,
and they must tell him the whole story from first to last. Then, when he had seen for himself the waggons and all the gifts, he could breathe again.
If my son Joseph, he said, is still alive, that is all I ask; I will go with you, and have sight of him again before I die.
The Holy Bible