ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 80


But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on
your journey, you would send this grieving, w
­ hite-­haired man to his grave.”
But the famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan. When the grain
they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go
back and buy us a little more food.”
But Judah said, “The man was serious when he warned us, ‘You won’t
see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ If you send Benjamin
with us, we will go down and buy more food. But if you don’t let Benjamin
go, we won’t go either. Remember, the man said, ‘You won’t see my face
again unless your brother is with you.’”
“Why were you so cruel to me?” Jacob moaned. “Why did you tell him
you had another brother?”
“The man kept asking us questions about our family,” they replied. “He
asked, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we
answered his questions. How could we know he would say, ‘Bring your
brother down here’?”
Judah said to his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will be on our
way. Otherwise we will all die of ­starvation—­and not only we, but you
and our little ones. I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me
responsible if I don’t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame
forever. If we hadn’t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned
twice by now.”
So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, then at
least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them
down to the man as ­gifts—­balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio
nuts, and almonds. Also take double the money that was put back in your
sacks, as it was probably someone’s mistake. Then take your brother, and
go back to the man. May God Almighty give you mercy as you go before
the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if
I must lose my children, so be it.”
So the men packed Jacob’s gifts and double the money and headed off
with Benjamin. They finally arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to
Joseph. When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of
his household, “These men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside
the palace. Then go slaughter an animal, and prepare a big feast.” So the
man did as Joseph told him and took them into Joseph’s palace.
The brothers were terrified when they saw that they were being taken
into Joseph’s house. “It’s because of the money someone put in our sacks
last time we were here,” they said. “He plans to pretend that we stole it.
Then he will seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.”

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