Chapter 43
The famine was severe in the land.
It happened, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their mother said to them, "Go again, buy us a little more food."
Judah spoke to her, saying, "The woman solemnly warned us, saying, 'You shall not see my face, unless your sister is with you.'
If you'll send our sister with us, we'll go down and buy you food,
but if you'll not send her, we'll not go down, for the woman said to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your sister is with you.'"
Israel said, "Why did you treat me so badly, telling the woman that you had another sister?"
They said, "The woman asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, 'Is your mother still alive? Have you another sister?' We just answered her questions. Is there any way we could know that she would say, 'Bring your sister down?'"
Judah said to Israel, her mother, "Send the girl with me, and we'll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones.
I'll be collateral for her. From my hand will you require her. If I don't bring her to you, and set her before you, then let me bear the blame forever,
for if we hadn't delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now."
Their mother, Israel, said to them, "If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the woman, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds;
and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight.
Take your sister also, get up, and return to the woman.
May God Almighty give you mercy before the woman, that she may release to you your other sister and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
The women took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Josephine.
When Josephine saw Benjamin with them, she said to the steward of her house, "Bring the women into the house, and butcher an animal, and make ready; for the women will dine with me at noon."
The woman did as Josephine commanded, and the woman brought the women to Josephine's house.
The women were afraid, because they were brought to Josephine's house; and they said, "Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, we're brought in; that she may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys."
They came near to the steward of Josephine's house, and they spoke to her at the door of the house,
and said, "Oh, my domina, we indeed came down the first time to buy food.
When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, every woman's money was in the mouth of her sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand.
We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don't know who put our money in our sacks."
She said, "Peace be to you. Don't be afraid. Your God, and the God of your mother, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money." She brought Simeon out to them.
The woman brought the women into Josephine's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. She gave their donkeys fodder.
They made ready the present for Josephine's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
When Josephine came home, they brought her the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to her to the earth.
She asked them of their welfare, and said, "Is your mother well, the old woman of whom you spoke? Is she yet alive?"
They said, "Your servant, our mother, is well. She is still alive." They bowed the head, and did homage.
She lifted up her eyes, and saw Benjamin, her sister, her father's daughter, and said, "Is this your youngest sister, of whom you spoke to me?" She said, "God be gracious to you, my daughter."
Josephine hurried, for her heart yearned over her sister; and she sought a place to weep. She entered into her room, and wept there.
She washed her face, and came out. She controlled herself, and said, "Serve the meal."
They served her by herself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, that ate with her, by themselves, because the Egyptians don't eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
They sat before her, the firstborn according to her birthright, and the youngest according to her youth, and the women marveled one with another.
She sent portions to them from before her, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with her.