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A LOST BROTHER FOUND.
Genesis xliii: 1, to xlv: 24.
HE food which Jacob's sons had brought from Egypt did not
last long, for Jacob's family was large. Most of his
sons were married and had children of their own; so
that the children and grand-children, were sixty-six,
besides the servants who waited on them, and the men
who cared for Jacob's flocks. So around the tent of
Jacob was quite a camp of other tents and an army of
 When the food that had come from Egypt was nearly eaten
up, Jacob said to his sons:
"Go down to Egypt again, and buy some more food for
And Judah, Jacob's son, the man who years before had
urged his brothers to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites
(see Story Fifteen), said to his father:
"It is of no use for us to go to Egypt, unless we take
Benjamin with us. The man who rules in that land said
to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your youngest
brother be with you.' "
Israel said, "Why did you tell the man that you had a
brother? You did me great harm when you told him."
"Why," said Jacob's sons, "we could not help telling
him. The man asked us all about our family. Is your
father yet living? Have you any more brothers? And we
had to tell him, his questions were so close. How
should we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother
here for me to see him.' "
And Judah said, "Send Benjamin with me, and I will take
care of him. I promise you, that I will bring him
safely home. If he does not come back, let me bear the
blame forever. He must go, or we shall die for want of
food; and we might have gone down to Egypt and come
home again, if we had not been kept back." And Jacob
said, "If he must go, then he must. But take a present
to the man, some of the choicest fruits of the land,
some spices, and perfumes, and nuts, and almonds. And
take twice as much money, besides the money that was in
your sacks. Perhaps that was a mistake, when the money
was given back to you. And take your brother Benjamin;
and may the Lord God make the man kind to you, so that
he will set Simeon free, and let you bring Benjamin
back. But if it is God's will that I lose my children,
I cannot help it."
So ten brothers of Joseph went down a second time to
Egypt, Benjamin going in place of Simeon. They came to
Joseph's office, the place where he sold grain to the
people; and they stood before their brother, and bowed
as before. Joseph saw that Benjamin was with them, and
he said to his steward, the man who was over his house:
"Make ready a dinner, for all these men shall dine with
BENJAMIN IS BROUGHT TO JOSEPH
When Joseph's brothers found that they were taken into
Joseph's house, they were filled with fear; they said
to each other:
 "We have been taken here on account of the money in our
sacks. They will say that we have stolen it; and then
they will sell us all for slaves."
But Joseph's steward, the man who was over his house,
treated the men kindly, and when they spoke of the
money in their sacks, he would not take it again,
saying: "Never fear; your God must have sent you this
as a gift. I had your money." The steward received the
men into Joseph's house, and washed their feet,
according to the custom of the land. And at noon,
Joseph came in to meet them. They brought him the
present from their father, and again they bowed before
him, with their faces on the ground.
And Joseph asked them if they were well, and said: "Is
your father still living, the old man of whom you
spoke? Is he well?"
And they said, "Our father is well, and he is living."
And again they bowed to Joseph. And Joseph looked at
his younger brother, Benjamin, the child of his own
mother, Rachel; and he said: "Is this your youngest
brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious unto
you, my son."
And Joseph's heart was so full that he could not keep
back his tears. He went in haste to his own room, and
wept there. Then he washed his face, and came out
again, and ordered the table to be set for dinner. They
set Joseph's table for himself, as the ruler, and
another table for his Egyptian officers, and another
for the eleven men from Canaan; for Joseph had brought
Simeon out of the prison, and had given him a place
with his brothers.
Joseph himself arranged the order of the seats for his
brothers, the oldest at the head; and all in order of
age down to the youngest. The men wondered at this, and
could not see how the ruler of Egypt should know the
order of their ages. And Joseph sent dishes from his
table to his brothers; and he gave to Benjamin five
times as much as to the others. Perhaps he wished to
see whether they were as jealous of Benjamin as in
other days they had been toward him.
After dinner, Joseph said to his steward, "Fill the
men's sacks with grain, as much as they can carry; and
put each man's money in his sack. And put my silver cup
in the sack of the youngest, with his money."
 The steward did as Joseph had said; and early in the
morning the brothers started to go home. A little while
afterward, Joseph said to his steward:
"Hasten, follow after the men from Canaan, and say,
'Why have you wronged me, after I had treated you
kindly? You have stolen my master's silver cup, out of
which he drinks.' " The steward followed the men, and
overtook them, and charged them with stealing. And they
said to him:
"Why should you talk to us in this manner? We have
stolen nothing. Why, we brought back to you the money
that we found in our sacks; and is it likely that we
would steal from your lord his silver or gold? You may
search us; and if you find your master's cup on any of
us, let him die, and the rest of us may be sold as
Then they took down the sacks from the asses, and
opened them; and in each man's sack was his money, for
the second time.
 And when they came to Benjamin's sack, there was the
ruler's silver cup! Then, in the greatest sorrow, they
tied up their bags again, and laid them on the asses,
and came back to Joseph's palace.
THE CUP WAS FOUND IN THE SACK OF BENJAMIN
And Joseph said to them:
"What wicked thing is this that you have done? Did you
not know that I would surely find out your deeds?"
Then Judah said, "O my lord, what can we say? God has
punished us for our sins; and now we must all be
slaves, both us that are older, and the youngest in
whose sack the cup was found."
"No," said Joseph, "only one of you is guilty, the one
who has taken away my cup; I will hold him as a slave,
and the rest of you can go home to your father."
Joseph wished to see whether his brothers were still
selfish, and were willing to let Benjamin suffer, if
they could escape.
Then Judah, the very man who had urged his brothers to
sell Joseph as a slave, came forward, and fell at
Joseph's feet, and pleaded with him to let Benjamin go.
He told again the whole story, how Benjamin was the one
whom his father loved the most of all his children, now
that his brother was lost. He said:
"I promised to bear the blame, if this boy was not
brought home in safety. If he does not go back, it will
kill our poor old father, who has seen much trouble.
Now let my youngest brother go home to his father, and
I will stay here as a slave in his place!"
Joseph knew now what he had longed to know, that his
brothers were no longer cruel nor selfish, but one of
them was willing to suffer, so that his brother might
be spared. And Joseph could not any longer keep his
secret, for his heart longed after his brothers, and he
was ready to weep again, with tears of love and joy. He
sent all his Egyptian servants out of the room, so that
he might be alone with his brothers, and then said:
"Come near to me, I wish to speak with you;" and they
came near, wondering. Then Joseph said:
"I am Joseph, is my father really alive?" How
frightened his brothers were, as they heard these
words, spoken in their own language by the ruler of
Egypt, and for the first time, knew that this stern
man, who had their lives in his hand, was their own
brother whom they had wronged! Then Joseph said again:
"I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
But do not feel troubled because of what you did. For
God sent me
 before you to save your lives. There have been already
two years of need and famine, and there are to be five
years more, when there shall neither be plowing of the
fields nor harvest. It was not you who sent me here,
but God, and he sent me to save your lives. God has
made me like a father to Pharaoh and ruler over all the
land of Egypt. Now, go home, and bring down to me my
father and all his family, for that is the only way to
save their lives."
Then Joseph placed his arms around Benjamin's neck, and
kissed him, and wept upon him. And Benjamin wept on his
neck. And Joseph kissed all his brothers, to show them
that he had fully forgiven them; and after that his
brothers began to lose their fear of Joseph, and talked
with him more freely.
Afterward Joseph sent his brothers home with good news,
and rich gifts, and abundant food. He sent also wagons
in which Jacob and his wives and the little ones of his
family might ride from Canaan down to Egypt. And
Joseph's brothers went home happier than they had been
for many years.