ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 82


barely out of the city, Joseph said to his palace manager, “Chase after them
and stop them. When you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you
repaid my kindness with such evil? Why have you stolen my master’s silver
cup, which he uses to predict the future? What a wicked thing you have
When the palace manager caught up with the men, he spoke to them as
he had been instructed.
“What are you talking about?” the brothers responded. “We are your
servants and would never do such a thing! Didn’t we return the money
we found in our sacks? We brought it back all the way from the land of
Canaan. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? If
you find his cup with any one of us, let that man die. And all the rest of us,
my lord, will be your slaves.”
“That’s fair,” the man replied. “But only the one who stole the cup will
be my slave. The rest of you may go free.”
They all quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and
opened them. The palace manager searched the brothers’ sacks, from the
oldest to the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! When
the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in despair. Then they loaded
their donkeys again and returned to the city.
Joseph was still in his palace when Judah and his brothers arrived, and
they fell to the ground before him. “What have you done?” Joseph demanded. “Don’t you know that a man like me can predict the future?”
Judah answered, “Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we
explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for
our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your s­ laves—­all of us, not just
our brother who had your cup in his sack.”
“No,” Joseph said. “I would never do such a thing! Only the man who
stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father
in peace.”
Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant
say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though
you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.
“My lord, previously you asked us, your servants, ‘Do you have a father
or a brother?’ And we responded, ‘Yes, my lord, we have a father who is
an old man, and his youngest son is a child of his old age. His full brother
is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves
him very much.’
“And you said to us, ‘Bring him here so I can see him with my own eyes.’
But we said to you, ‘My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father
would die.’ But you told us, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you,
you will never see my face again.’

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