Daily Torah Reading
With that, Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome with feeling toward his brother and was on the verge of tears; he went into a room and wept there. Then he washed his face, reappeared, and--now in control of himself--gave the order, "Serve the meal."
They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; for the Egyptians could not dine with the Hebrews, since that would be abhorrent to the Egyptians. As they were seated by his direction, from the oldest in the order of his seniority to the youngest in the order of his youth, the men looked at one another in astonishment. Portions were served them from his table; but Benjamin's portion was several times that of anyone else. And they drank their fill with him.
Then he instructed his house steward as follows, "Fill the men's bags with food, as much as they can carry, and put each one's money in the mouth of his bag. Put my silver goblet in the mouth of the bag of the youngest one, together with his money for the rations." And he did as Joseph told him.
With the first light of morning, the men were sent off with their pack animals. They had just left the city and had not gone far, when Joseph said to his steward, "Up, go after the men! And when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why did you repay good with evil? It is the very one from which my master drinks and which he uses for divination. It was a wicked thing for you to do!'"
He overtook them and spoke those words to them, and they said to him, "Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything of the kind! Here we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the mouths of our bags. How then could we have stolen any silver or gold from your master's house! Whichever of your servants it is found with shall die; the rest of us, moreover, shall become slaves to my lord." He replied, "Although what you are proposing is right, only the one with whom it is found shall be my slave; but the rest of you shall go free."
So each one hastened to lower his bag to the ground, and each one opened his bag. He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the goblet turned up in Benjamin's bag. At this they rent their clothes. Each reloaded his pack animal, and they returned to the city.
When Judah and his brothers reentered the house of Joseph, who was still there, they threw themselves on the ground before him. Joseph said to them, "What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me practices divination?" Judah replied, "What can we say to my lord? How can we plead, how can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered the crime of your servants. Here we are, then, slaves of my lord, the rest of us as much as he in whose possession the goblet was found." But he replied, "Far be it from me to act thus! Only he in whose possession the goblet was found shall be my slave; the rest of you go back in peace to your father."
From Parshat VaYigash. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.
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