The Return to Egypt

Now the famine was severe in the land. So it came about, when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “The man sternly warned [a]us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, [b]by telling the man whether you still had another brother?” But they said, “The man specifically asked about us and our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we [c]answered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” So Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will arise and go, so that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. I myself will take responsibility for him! You may demand him back from [d]me. If I do not bring him back to you and present him to you, then [e]you can let me take the blame forever. 10 For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your [f]bags, and carry down to the man as a gift, a little balsam and a little honey, labdanum resin and [g]myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 And take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the opening of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14 and may [h]God Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my sons, I am bereaved!” 15 So the men took this gift, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they set out and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

Joseph Sees Benjamin

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make preparations; for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 So the man did as Joseph said, and [i]brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, so that he may [j]attack us and [k]overpower us, and take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19 So they approached Joseph’s house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21 and it happened when we came to the campsite, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the opening of his sack, our money in [l]full. So we have brought it back in our hand. 22 We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 But he said, “Peace be to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; your [m]money was in my possession.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25 So they prepared the gift [n]for Joseph’s arrival at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat [o]a meal there.

26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the gift which was in their hand, and they bowed down to the ground before him. 27 Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” Then they bowed down again [p]in homage. 29 And as he raised his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Joseph then hurried out, for [q]he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he looked for a place to weep; so he entered his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, “[r]Serve the meal.” 32 Then they served him by himself, and [s]Joseph’s brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 Now they [t]were seated before him, from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34 Then he took portions to them from [u]his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank freely with him.


  1. Genesis 43:3 Lit us, saying
  2. Genesis 43:6 Lit to tell
  3. Genesis 43:7 Lit told him according to these words
  4. Genesis 43:9 Lit my hand
  5. Genesis 43:9 Lit I will be culpable before you all the days
  6. Genesis 43:11 Or vessels
  7. Genesis 43:11 Or resinous bark
  8. Genesis 43:14 Heb El Shaddai
  9. Genesis 43:17 Lit the man brought
  10. Genesis 43:18 Lit roll himself upon us
  11. Genesis 43:18 Lit fall upon
  12. Genesis 43:21 Lit its weight
  13. Genesis 43:23 Lit your money had come to me
  14. Genesis 43:25 Lit until
  15. Genesis 43:25 Lit bread
  16. Genesis 43:28 I.e., great respect and honor to a superior
  17. Genesis 43:30 Lit his compassion grew warm
  18. Genesis 43:31 Lit Set on bread
  19. Genesis 43:32 Lit them
  20. Genesis 43:33 Lit sat
  21. Genesis 43:34 Lit his face