The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 44:1–17

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And he commanded the steward of his house, saying: 'Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.

Then Joseph instructed the steward of his house, saying: “Fill their sacks with grain, as much as they are able to hold. And place each one’s money at the top of the sack.

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And put my goblet, the silver goblet, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money.' And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.

But place my silver bowl, and the price that he gave for the wheat, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest.” And so it was done.

And take my cup, the silver cup, and put it in the sack's mouth of the youngest, with his money for the wheat. And the servant did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.

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As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.

The morning dawned, and the men were sent away, they and their asses.

And when morning arose, they were sent away with their donkeys.

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And when they were gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward: 'Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them: Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?

And now they had departed from the city and had set out a short distance. Then Joseph, sending for the steward of his house, said: “Rise up and pursue the men. And when you have overtaken them, say: ‘Why have you returned evil for good?

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Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he indeed divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.'

Why have ye stolen my silver cup? is it not this out of which my lord drinks? and he divines augury with it; ye have accomplished evil in that which ye have done.

The cup that you have stolen, it is that from which my lord drinks, and in which he is accustomed to discern signs. You have done a very sinful thing.’ ”

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And he overtook them, and he spoke unto them these words.

He did as he had been ordered. And having overtaken them, he spoke to them according to the order.

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And they said unto him: 'Wherefore speaketh my lord such words as these? Far be it from thy servants that they should do such a thing.

And they responded: “Why does our lord speak in this way, as though your servants had committed such a shameful act?

They said to him, Let not our lord speak such words. Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing;

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Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought back unto thee out of the land of Canaan; how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold?

If we brought back to thee out of the land of Chanaan the money which we found in our sacks, how should we steal silver or gold out of the house of thy lord?

The money, which we found at the top of our sacks, we carried back to you from the land of Canaan. So in what way does it follow that we would steal, from the house of your lord, gold or silver?

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With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen.'

Whichever of your servants will be found to have what you seek, may he die, and we shall be the servants of my lord.”

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10  And he said: 'Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my bondman; and ye shall be blameless.'

10  And he said, Now then it shall be as ye say; with whomsoever the cup shall be found, he shall be my servant, and ye shall be clear.

10  And he said to them: “Let it be according to your verdict. With whomever it will be found, let him be my servant, but you will be unharmed.”

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11  Then they hastened, and took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack.

11  And so, they quickly placed their sacks down to the ground, and each one was opened.

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12  And he searched, beginning at the eldest, and leaving off at the youngest; and the goblet was found in Benjamin's sack.

12  And when he had searched, beginning with the oldest, all the way to the youngest, he found the cup in Benjamin’s sack.

12  And they searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.

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13  And they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.

13  But they, tearing their garments and burdening their donkeys again, returned to the town.

14  And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house, and he was yet there; and they fell before him on the ground.

14  And Judah, first among his brothers, entered to Joseph (for he had not yet departed from the place) and together they all fell down before him to the ground.

15  And Joseph said unto them: 'What deed is this that ye have done? know ye not that such a man as I will indeed divine?'

15  And he said to them: “Why would you choose to act in this way? Could you be ignorant that there is no one like me in the knowledge of discerning signs?”

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16  And Judah said: 'What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants; behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found.'

16  And Judas said, What shall we answer to our lord, or what shall we say, or wherein should we be justified? whereas God has discovered the unrighteousness of thy servants; behold, we are slaves to our lord, both we and he with whom the cup has been found.

16  And Judah said to him, “What could we answer to my lord? And what would we be able to say, or to justly claim? God has discovered the iniquity of your servants. See, we have all become servants to my lord, both we, and he with whom the cup was found.”

17  And he said: 'Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the goblet is found, he shall be my bondman; but as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.'

17  And Joseph said, Far be it from me to do this thing; the man with whom the cup has been found, he shall be my servant; but do ye go up with safety to your father.

17  Joseph responded: “Far be it from me that I should act in this way. He who stole the cup, he will be my servant. But you may go away free to your father.”