The Children's Bible
Joseph Forgives His Brothers
hen Judah and his brothers came back to Joseph's house, Joseph was still there; and they threw themselves before him on the ground. Joseph said to them, "What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me can always tell where things are?" Judah replied, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants. See, both we and he also with whom the cup was found are my lord's slaves." But Joseph said, "Far be it from me that I should do so! The man with whom the cup was found shall be my slave; but you yourselves go up in peace to your father."
Then Judah came close to him and said, "Oh, my lord, let your servant, I beg of you, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not your anger be aroused against your servant, for you are even as Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants, saying, 'Have you a father or a brother?' And we said to my lord, 'We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one. As his brother is dead, he is the only son of his mother who is left; and his father loves him.' You said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me, that I may see him.' But we said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father; for if he should leave his father, his father would die.' Then you said to your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see me again.'
"When we went up to your servant, my father, we told him the words of my lord; and our father said, 'Go again, buy us a little food.' But we said, 'We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go; for we cannot see the man again unless our youngest brother is with us.' Your servant, my father, said to us, 'You know that my wife had two sons; and one went from me,' and I said, 'Surely he is torn in pieces; and I have not seen him since. If you take this one also from me, and harm come to him, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.' Now if I return to your servant, my father, and Benjamin with whose life his heart is bound up is not with us, and he sees that there is no boy, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For your servant became responsible for the boy to my father, when I said, 'If I do not bring him to you, then I will bear the blame before my father forever.' Now, therefore, let me, instead of the boy, remain as a slave to my lord, I beg of you; but let the boy go back with his brothers. For how can I go back to my father, if the boy is not with me, lest I should see the sorrow that would come upon my father?"
Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who were standing by him; so he cried out, "Let every man leave me." So no Egyptian was present while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. But he wept so loudly that the Egyptians and Pharaoh's court heard.
And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were too ashamed to look him in the face. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, I beg of you." So they came near. He said, "I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. Do not be troubled nor angry with yourselves that you sold me here, for God sent me before you to save your lives. For the famine has already been two years in the land, and there are still five years in which there shall be neither ploughing nor harvest. God sent me before you to save your lives through a great deliverance and thus give you children on the earth. So now it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me like a father to Pharaoh and master of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
"Go up quickly to my father and say to him, 'Your son Joseph says: God has made me master of all Egypt. Come down to me without delay. You shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me with your children and your grandchildren, with your flocks and your herds and all that you have, so that you, with your household and all that you have, may never want. There I will provide for you, for there will be five more years of famine.' Now you and my brother Benjamin see that it is I who am speaking to you. Tell my father all about my honor in Egypt and what you have seen; and you must quickly bring him down here."
Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. He also kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.