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Veiled at one another: and he sent to each of them food from the dishes before him ; but to Benjamin he sent five times more than to the others.
Having finished their repast, Joseph directed that their sacks should be filled with grain, that their money should be put into their sacks, and that his own silver cup should be put into Benjamin's sack. They, without being aware of what was done, arose early in the morning, and departed for their own country.
Having proceeded a little distance beyond the city, they were surprised to find themselves pursued by Joseph's steward, who instantly ordered them to return, as his master had lost a silver cup, and he was sure it would be found in some one of their sacks ; and wherefore, said he, " have ye rewarded evil for good? it is the cup in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he divineth ; ye are guilty of the greatest crimes." They, not feeling conscious of the crime thus imputed to them, replied, "Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing. Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of my lord's house silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen."
On which the steward said, "According to your words, let it he; he with whom it shall be found shall be my servant."
The brethren now took down their sacks, and having begun with the eldest, they searched, and foundthe cup in Benjamin's sack. The sorrow and bewailing of the brethren were now indescribable, and they returned to the city in the deepest despair. Strange as these sad reverses must have appeared to the brethren, similarly are all men situated in their pilgrimage and sojournment in this vale of trouble: in the midst of our seeming happiness, how often are we visited with the most unexpected misfortune!
Judah and his brethren having reached Joseph's house, (for he was yet there,) fell before him on the ground. On which Joseph addressing them, said, "What deed is this that ye have done ? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?" Judah was the first to reply, doubtless after some hesitation, "What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants. Behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found." Joseph interrupted Judah in his appeal; in refusing to accede to any terms, he added, "God forbid that I should do so : but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father." Judah, venturing to approach nearer, in manly and supplicating terms urged, in the following sublime yet simple language: " O my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ear, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one ; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him. And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father : for if he should leave his father, his father would die. And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. And it came to pass, when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food. And we said, We cannot go down : if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down : for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us. And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons: and the one vent out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces ; and I saw him not since: and if ye take this also from me, and mischief hefall him, ye shall hring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. Now therefore, when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever. Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me ? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father."
Joseph could refrain himself no longer before all them that stood by him; he cried, " Cause every man to go out from me." His commands being obeyed by the retiring of his attendants, he made himself known unto his brethren, and wept aloud. The Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh soon heard the perturbation in which he was. As soon as his grief had in a measure subsided, and his feelings obtained utterance," I am Joseph, he exclaimed : doth my father yet live?" And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. Come to me, my brethren, " Come near me, I pray you." On their approaching near, he again repeated, " I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land : and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler through all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egpyt: come down unto me, tarry not: and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: and there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine: lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. And behold, your