So the brothers packed Yisharal’s gifts and double the money and headed off with Benjamin. They finally arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. And when Joseph saw his brother Benjamin with them, he declared to the manager of his household, “These men will have lunch with me today. 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 his palace. The brothers were completely 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 set us up as thieves. Then he’ll seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.”
The brothers approached the Manager of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the palace. “We came to Egypt once before to buy food. But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each man’s money was still in the top of his sack! But we’ve brought it back with us. We also have additional money to buy more food. We have no idea who put the money back in our sacks.”
”Relax. Don’t worry,” the Household Manager told them. “The Alahim of your father must have put this treasure into your sacks. I know I received your payment.”
Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them. And the manager then led the men into Joseph’s palace and gave them water to wash their feet and provided food for their donkeys. The brothers were told they would be eating there, so they prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon.
When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then the 11 of them bowed down low to the ground before him. And after greeting them, he asked, “How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?”(it had been many months)
“Yes,” they replied. “Our father, your servant, is alive and well.” And they bowed low again.
Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother Rachel. “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Joseph asked. “May Alahim show you favour my son.”
Then Joseph rushed out of the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother and went into his private room, where he broke down and wept. And after washing his face, he came back out, composing himself. Then he ordered, “Bring out the food!”
The waiters served Joseph at his own table, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians who ate with Joseph sat at their own table, because the Egyptians despised the Hebrews, not only because of the current dynasty that ruled over them but because the Egyptians were `cattle people’ (ONE OF THEIR MAIN DEITIES ISIS WAS A BULL AND HIGHLY REVERED) and Hebrews (like most shemite groups) were traditionally ‘sheep people’, so their very presence was an offense and under no circumstances would they lower themselves to eat with ‘these uncouth shepherds!’ Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them according to age (from oldest to youngest).
And Joseph filled their plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others (THIS WAS THE STANDARD TREATMENT FOR ROYALTY) to test his brother’s behaviour towards Benjamin (would they become bitter and jealous of Benjamin as they were with him years before? Were they really changed men after all these years?) So they feasted and drank freely with him and Joseph watched them, feeling love and compassion for them, but he knew he needed to test their behaviour more before he made himself known.
When his brothers were ready to leave, Joseph told his palace manager, “Fill each of their sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man’s money back into his sack, then take my personal silver bowl(A GIFT FROM THE PHARAOH TO JOSEPH FOR BEING A DIVINER/INTERPRETER OF DREAMS) and put it at the top of the youngest brother’s sack, along with the money for his grain.”
So the manager did as Joseph instructed him. And the next morning the brothers loaded their donkeys and left Egypt, but when they had only gone a short distance (barely out of the city), Joseph said to his palace manager, “Chase after them and stop them and when you catch up with them, ask them, ‘Why have you done this despicable evil to my master after he’s been so kind and generous to you? Why have you stolen my master’s silver bowl, which he uses to interpret dreams and predict the future?"
(THE PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS THE SILVER BOWL OF DIVINATION THAT GAVE HIM HIS POWER, BUT JOSEPH (OF COURSE) DIDN’T NEED IT FOR IT WAS YAHUAH WHO DID THE INTERPRETING).
And when the palace manager came thundering up behind Joseph’s brothers, he spoke loudly and violently to them, everything he’d been told.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” The brothers were freaking out. They’d finally gotten free of Egypt and were breathing a sigh of relief, and now this! “We are your humble servants and would never do such a wicked thing! Didn’t we return all the money we found in our sacks? We came all the way from the land of Canaan just to return it! Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? If you find his silver diviners bowl with any one of us, let that man die and all the rest of us, will be your slaves.”
“That’s fair,” the manager replied. “But only the one who stole the cup will become our slave. The rest of you may go free.”
They all quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and hurriedly opened them up so the palace manager could search their sacks, from the oldest to the youngest. And the silver bowl was found in Benjamin’s sack! And when the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in absolute panic and despair. And in sheer terror 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 SEE THE FUTURE?”
And Judah (to Joseph’s surprise and delight) took responsibility for his brothers, answering, “Oh, my Master, we are speechless? We can’t explain this? What can we do to prove our innocence? Our Alahim is punishing us for our wickedness, it must be. We have all returned to be your slaves, all of us, not just our brother who had your bowl 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.”
But Judah pleaded, “Please, my Master, let your servant say just one thing to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as the Pharaoh himself........but remember you asked us whether we had a father or a brother?’ And we told you about our father who is a very old man, and this boy Benjamin is the only son he has left from his favourite wife who died giving birth to him. He is indeed very special and our father loves him very very much.
And you asked us to bring him here so you can see him with your own eyes, otherwise we’d never see your face again or get our brother Simeon out of prison. But we told you that the boy can’t leave our father, for if anything ever happened to him our father would surely die of sadness. But we had run out of food and our father told us to come back here.
But before he let us take his youngest son, our father reminded us of Joseph, his only other son from his favourite wife, and how he went out and never returned for he was torn to pieces by a wild animal. Our father has never been the same since Joseph died, and he told us if anything should ever happen to this boy Benjamin we would be responsible for sending him to his grave in grief. And now, my Master, I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our father’s life depends on it. If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We, his brothers will be responsible for sending that grieving, white-haired man to his grave.
Please my Master, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.’ So please let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father after everything he’s lost!”