Genesis 44

Joseph tests his brothers

1 Joseph told his servant, ‘Fill the men's bags. Give them as much food as their animals can carry. And put each man's silver in the top of the bag. 2 Then take my silver cup. And put it in the top of the youngest man's bag. Put it with the silver that he brought to pay for his food.’ And the servant did as Joseph said. 3 Morning came, and the men went on their journey with their donkeys. 4 They had not gone very far away from the city. Then Joseph said to his servant, ‘Go after those men. Go now. And when you find them, say to them. “Why have you done bad things? We did only good things for you. 5 You have taken my master's own cup. It is the cup that he drinks from. And he uses it to know what will happen. What you did is wrong.” ’

6 So Joseph's servant went after the men. He found them. And he said the words that Joseph had told him. 7 But the men said to him, ‘Why do you say these things my lord? Your servants would not do a thing like that! 8 We even gave back the silver that we found in our bags. We found it when we returned to Canaan. But we gave it back. So why would we take silver or gold from your master's house? 9 If any one of us has this cup, they will die. And the rest of us will become my lord's slaves.’ 10 The servant said, ‘Very well. It will be as you say. Whoever has the cup, will become my slave. The rest of you will go free.’ 11 Each man quickly put his bag on the ground and opened it. 12 Then the servant began to look in the bags. He began with the oldest man's bag. And he finished with the youngest man's bag. And he found the cup in Benjamin's bag. 13 When this happened they tore their clothes. They tore them because they were very upset. Then they put their bags back on their donkeys. And they returned to the city.

14 Joseph was still in his house. And Judah and his brothers arrived. And they threw themselves on the ground in front of Joseph. 15 Joseph said, ‘What have you done? Do you not know about a man like me? I can find out what people do.’ 16 Judah said, ‘I do not know what to say to you, my lord. There is nothing that we can do. We cannot show you that we did not do this. God knows that we have done wrong. We are your slaves. We are all your slaves. One man owns the bag where you found your cup. He is your slave too.’ 17 But Joseph said, ‘I would not do a thing like that! Only the man whose bag contained the cup will be my slave. The rest of you can return to your father. You may go as friends.’

18 Then Judah went up to Joseph. He said, ‘Please my lord. Let me speak to you. You are like Pharaoh, but please do not be angry with me. 19 My lord asked us “Do you have a father? Or a brother?” 20 And we replied, “We have a father. He is old. And he has a young son. This son was born when our father was old. His brother is dead. And he is the only remaining son of his mother. And his father loves him.” 21 Then you said, “Bring him to me so that I can see him.” 22 And we said, “The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves him, his father will die.” 23 But you said to us “Your youngest brother must come with you. If he does not come, you will not see my face again.” 24 We returned to our father. And we told him what you said. 25 Some time passed. And our father said, “Go back and buy some more food.” 26 But we said, “We cannot go. We can only go if our youngest brother comes with us. Unless our youngest brother is with us, we cannot see the man's face again.” 27 My father said to us, “My wife gave birth to 2 sons. 28 One of them went away from me. And I said, ‘He has been eaten by a wild animal.’ And I have not seen him after that. 29 If you take my youngest son from me, something bad may happen to him. Then I will die, because I will be so sad.” ’ 30 Judah said, ‘I could go back to my father. But my father lives because of this boy. And if the boy is not with us, then my father will die. He will die because he is so sad. He will die because we did not bring the boy back. 31 He will see that the boy is not with us. And he will die. Because we did not bring the boy back to him, he will be so sad. 32 I promised my father that I would keep the boy safe. I said, “I will bring the boy back. If I do not, then you can say that it was because of me. You can say this for the rest of my life!” 33 Please let me stay here. Let me stay as your slave instead of the boy. And let the boy return with his brothers. 34 I cannot go back to my father. Not if the boy is not with me. No! Do not let me see how sad my father will be.’

44:34In chapter 44, Joseph wants to know if his brothers have changed. He wants to know this. Will they let Benjamin stay in Egypt, so that they can return to Canaan? Judah shows that he has changed. He says that he will stay in Egypt, as a slave. He will stay so that Benjamin can go home to his father.
44:34In verse 34, Judah remembers when Jacob thought that Joseph was dead. He remembers how sad Jacob was.