Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Genesis 43-44
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
The Second Journey to Egypt
1. Now the famine was severe in the land.
2. When they finished eating the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Return, buy us a little more food.”
3. But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’
4. If you send our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy food for you.
5. But if you will not send him, we won’t go down there because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
6. Israel said, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had one more brother?”
7. They replied, “The man questioned us thoroughly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered him in this way. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8. Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately. Then we will live and not die – we and you and our little ones.
9. I myself pledge security for him; you may hold me liable. If I do not bring him back to you and place him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life.
10. But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back twice by now!”
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 bags, and take a gift down to the man – a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds.
12. Take double the money with you; you must take back the money that was returned in the mouths of your sacks – perhaps it was an oversight.
13. Take your brother too, and go right away to the man.
14. May the sovereign God grant you mercy before the man so that he may release your other brother and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.”
15. So the men took these gifts, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16. When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant who was over his household, “Bring the men to the house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for the men will eat with me at noon.”
17. The man did just as Joseph said; he brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18. But the men were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They said, “We are being brought in because of the money that was returned in our sacks last time. He wants to capture us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys!”
19. So they approached the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the house.
20. They said, “My lord, we did indeed come down the first time to buy food.
21. But when we came to the place where we spent the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found his money – the full amount – in the mouth of his sack. So we have returned it.
22. We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks!”
23. “Everything is fine,” the man in charge of Joseph’s household told them. “Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24. The servant in charge brought the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave food to their donkeys.
25. They got their gifts ready for Joseph’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were to have a meal there.
26. When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, and they bowed down to the ground before him.
27. He asked them how they were doing. Then he said, “Is your aging father well, the one you spoke about? Is he still alive?”
28. “Your servant our father is well,” they replied. “He is still alive.” They bowed down in humility.
29. When Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, whom you told me about?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”
30. Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome by affection for his brother and was at the point of tears. So he went to his room and wept there.
31. Then he washed his face and came out. With composure he said, “Set out the food.”
32. They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers, and another for the Egyptians who were eating with him. (The Egyptians are not able to eat with Hebrews, for the Egyptians think it is disgusting to do so.)
33. They sat before him, arranged by order of birth, beginning with the firstborn and ending with the youngest. The men looked at each other in astonishment.
34. He gave them portions of the food set before him, but the portion for Benjamin was five times greater than the portions for any of the others. They drank with Joseph until they all became drunk.
The Final Test
1. He instructed the servant who was over his household, “Fill the sacks of the men with as much food as they can carry and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack.
2. Then put my cup – the silver cup – in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” He did as Joseph instructed.
3. When morning came, the men and their donkeys were sent off.
4. They had not gone very far from the city when Joseph said to the servant who was over his household, “Pursue the men at once! When you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil?
5. Doesn’t my master drink from this cup and use it for divination? You have done wrong!’”
6. When the man overtook them, he spoke these words to them.
7. They answered him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing!
8. Look, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Why then would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house?
9. If one of us has it, he will die, and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves!”
10. He replied, “You have suggested your own punishment! The one who has it will become my slave, but the rest of you will go free.”
11. So each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it.
12. Then the man searched. He began with the oldest and finished with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack!
13. They all tore their clothes! Then each man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
14. So Judah and his brothers came back to Joseph’s house. He was still there, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.
15. Joseph said to them, “What did you think you were doing? Don’t you know that a man like me can find out things like this by divination?”
16. Judah replied, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? God has exposed the sin of your servants! We are now my lord’s slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.”
17. But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do this! The man in whose hand the cup was found will become my slave, but the rest of you may go back to your father in peace.”
18. Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, please allow your servant to speak a word with you. Please do not get angry with your servant, for you are just like Pharaoh.
19. My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’
20. We said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young boy who was born when our father was old. The boy’s brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21. “Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him.’
22. We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves his father, his father will die.’
23. But you said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not see my face again.’
24. When we returned to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
25. “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’
26. But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go, for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’
27. “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave me two sons.
28. The first disappeared and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” I have not seen him since.
29. If you take this one from me too and an accident happens to him, then you will bring down my gray hair in tragedy to the grave.’
30. “So now, when I return to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us – his very life is bound up in his son’s life.
31. When he sees the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father in sorrow to the grave.
32. Indeed, your servant pledged security for the boy with my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame before my father all my life.’
33. “So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave instead of the boy. As for the boy, let him go back with his brothers.
34. For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father’s pain.”