At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended the flocks with his brothers, as a helper to the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought bad reports of them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him an ornamented tunic. 4And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him so that they could not speak a friendly word to him.
5Once Joseph had a dream which he told to his brothers; and they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Hear this dream which I have dreamed- 7There we were binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf stood up and remained upright; then your sheaves gathered around and bowed low to my sheaf.” 8His brothers answered, “Do you mean to reign over us? Do you mean to rule over us?” And they hated him even more for his talk about his dreams.
9He dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream- And this time, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10And when he told it to his father and brothers, his father berated him. “What,” he said to him, “is this dream you have dreamed? Are we to come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow low to you to the ground? 11So his brothers were wrought up at him, and his father kept the matter in mind.
12One time, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem, 13Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing at Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “I am ready.” 14And he said to him, “Go and see how your brothers are and how the flocks are faring, and bring me back word.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.
When he reached Shechem, 15a man came upon him wandering in the fields. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16He answered, “I am looking for my brothers. Could you tell me where they are pasturing?” 17The man said, “They have gone from here, for I heard them say- Let us go to Dothan.” So Joseph followed his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18They saw him from afar, and before he came close to them they conspired to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Here comes that dreamer! 20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we can say, ‘A savage beast devoured him.’ We shall see what comes of his dreams!” 21But when Reuben heard it, he tried to save him from them. He said, “Let us not take his life.” 22And Reuben went on, “Shed no blood! Cast him into that pit out in the wilderness, but do not touch him yourselves”—intending to save him from them and restore him to his father. 23When Joseph came up to his brothers, they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the ornamented tunic that he was wearing, 24and took him and cast him into the pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25Then they sat down to a meal. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels bearing gum, balm, and ladanum to be taken to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 28When Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph up out of the pit. They sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who brought Joseph to Egypt.
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he rent his clothes. 30Returning to his brothers, he said, “The boy is gone! Now, what am I to do?” 31Then they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a kid, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32They had the ornamented tunic taken to their father, and they said, “We found this. Please examine it; is it your son’s tunic or not?” 33He recognized it, and said, “My son’s tunic! A savage beast devoured him! Joseph was torn by a beast!” 34Jacob rent his clothes, put sackcloth on his loins, and observed mourning for his son many days. 35All his sons and daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, saying, “No, I will go down mourning to my son in Sheol.” Thus his father bewailed him.
36The Midianites, meanwhile, sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh and his chief steward.
38About that time Judah left his brothers and camped near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her and cohabited with her. 3She conceived and bore a son, and he named him Er. 4She conceived again and bore a son, and named him Onan. 5Once again she bore a son, and named him Shelah; he was at Chezib when she bore him.
6Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah’s first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and the Lord took his life. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Join with your brother’s wife and do your duty by her as a brother-in-law, and provide offspring for your brother.” 9But Onan, knowing that the seed would not count as his, let it go to waste whenever he joined with his brother’s wife, so as not to provide offspring for his brother. 10What he did was displeasing to the Lord, and He took his life also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Stay as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”—for he thought, “He too might die like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.
12A long time afterward, Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died. When his period of mourning was over, Judah went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, together with his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13And Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is coming up to Timnah for the sheepshearing.” 14So she took off her widow’s garb, covered her face with a veil, and, wrapping herself up, sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him as wife. 15When Judah saw her, he took her for a harlot; for she had covered her face. 16So he turned aside to her by the road and said, “Here, let me sleep with you”—for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. “What,” she asked, “will you pay for sleeping with me?” 17He replied, “I will send a kid from my flock.” But she said, “You must leave a pledge until you have sent it.” 18And he said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your seal and cord, and the staff which you carry.” So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she conceived by him. 19Then she went on her way. She took off her veil and again put on her widow’s garb.
20Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to redeem the pledge from the woman; but he could not find her. 21He inquired of the people of that town, “Where is the cult prostitute, the one at Enaim, by the road?” But they said, “There has been no prostitute here.” 22So he returned to Judah and said, “I could not find her; moreover, the townspeople said- There has been no prostitute here.” 23Judah said, “Let her keep them, lest we become a laughingstock. I did send her this kid, but you did not find her.”
24About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot; in fact, she is with child by harlotry.” “Bring her out,” said Judah, “and let her be burned.” 25As she was being brought out, she sent this message to her father-in-law, “I am with child by the man to whom these belong.” And she added, “Examine these- whose seal and cord and staff are these?” 26Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more in the right than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he was not intimate with her again.
27When the time came for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb! 28While she was in labor, one of them put out his hand, and the midwife tied a crimson thread on that hand, to signify- This one came out first. 29But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez. 30Afterward his brother came out, on whose hand was the crimson thread; he was named Zerah.
39When Joseph was taken down to Egypt, a certain Egyptian, Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh and his chief steward, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 2The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he stayed in the house of his Egyptian master. 3And when his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord lent success to everything he undertook, 4he took a liking to Joseph. He made him his personal attendant and put him in charge of his household, placing in his hands all that he owned. 5And from the time that the Egyptian put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed his house for Joseph’s sake, so that the blessing of the Lord was upon everything that he owned, in the house and outside. 6He left all that he had in Joseph’s hands and, with him there, he paid attention to nothing save the food that he ate. Now Joseph was well built and handsome.
7After a time, his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” 8But he refused. He said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master gives no thought to anything in this house, and all that he owns he has placed in my hands. 9He wields no more authority in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except yourself, since you are his wife. How then could I do this most wicked thing, and sin before God?” 10And much as she coaxed Joseph day after day, he did not yield to her request to lie beside her, to be with her.
11One such day, he came into the house to do his work. None of the household being there inside, 12she caught hold of him by his garment and said, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand and got away and fled outside. 13When she saw that he had left it in her hand and had fled outside, 14she called out to her servants and said to them, “Look, he had to bring us a Hebrew to dally with us! This one came to lie with me; but I screamed loud. 15And when he heard me screaming at the top of my voice, he left his garment with me and got away and fled outside.” 16She kept his garment beside her, until his master came home. 17Then she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew slave whom you brought into our house came to me to dally with me; 18but when I screamed at the top of my voice, he left his garment with me and fled outside.”
19When his master heard the story that his wife told him, namely, “Thus and so your slave did to me,” he was furious. 20So Joseph’s master had him put in prison, where the king’s prisoners were confined. But even while he was there in prison, 21the Lord was with Joseph- He extended kindness to him and disposed the chief jailer favorably toward him. 22The chief jailer put in Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in that prison, and he was the one to carry out everything that was done there. 23The chief jailer did not supervise anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him, and whatever he did the Lord made successful.
40Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt gave offense to their lord the king of Egypt. 2Pharaoh was angry with his two courtiers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3and put them in custody, in the house of the chief steward, in the same prison house where Joseph was confined. 4The chief steward assigned Joseph to them, and he attended them.
When they had been in custody for some time, 5both of them—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—dreamed in the same night, each his own dream and each dream with its own meaning. 6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were distraught. 7He asked Pharaoh’s courtiers, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, saying, “Why do you appear downcast today?” 8And they said to him, “We had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” So Joseph said to them, “Surely God can interpret! Tell me [your dreams].”
9Then the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph. He said to him, “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 10On the vine were three branches. It had barely budded, when out came its blossoms and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 12Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation- The three branches are three days. 13In three days Pharaoh will pardon you and restore you to your post; you will place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, as was your custom formerly when you were his cupbearer. 14But think of me when all is well with you again, and do me the kindness of mentioning me to Pharaoh, so as to free me from this place. 15For in truth, I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews; nor have I done anything here that they should have put me in the dungeon.”
16When the chief baker saw how favorably he had interpreted, he said to Joseph, “In my dream, similarly, there were three openwork baskets on my head. 17In the uppermost basket were all kinds of food for Pharaoh that a baker prepares; and the birds were eating it out of the basket above my head.” 18Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation- The three baskets are three days. 19In three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale you upon a pole; and the birds will pick off your flesh.”
20On the third day—his birthday—Pharaoh made a banquet for all his officials, and he singled out his chief cupbearer and his chief baker from among his officials. 21He restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand; 22but the chief baker he impaled—just as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23Yet the chief cupbearer did not think of Joseph; he forgot him.
41After two years’ time, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, 2when out of the Nile there came up seven cows, handsome and sturdy, and they grazed in the reed grass. 3But presently, seven other cows came up from the Nile close behind them, ugly and gaunt, and stood beside the cows on the bank of the Nile; 4and the ugly gaunt cows ate up the seven handsome sturdy cows. And Pharaoh awoke.
5He fell asleep and dreamed a second time- Seven ears of grain, solid and healthy, grew on a single stalk. 6But close behind them sprouted seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind. 7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven solid and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke- it was a dream!
8Next morning, his spirit was agitated, and he sent for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men; and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but none could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9The chief cupbearer then spoke up and said to Pharaoh, “I must make mention today of my offenses. 10Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and placed me in custody in the house of the chief steward, together with the chief baker. 11We had dreams the same night, he and I, each of us a dream with a meaning of its own. 12A Hebrew youth was there with us, a servant of the chief steward; and when we told him our dreams, he interpreted them for us, telling each of the meaning of his dream. 13And as he interpreted for us, so it came to pass- I was restored to my post, and the other was impaled.”
14Thereupon Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was rushed from the dungeon. He had his hair cut and changed his clothes, and he appeared before Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it. Now I have heard it said of you that for you to hear a dream is to tell its meaning.” 16Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “Not I! God will see to Pharaoh’s welfare.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when out of the Nile came up seven sturdy and well-formed cows and grazed in the reed grass. 19Presently there followed them seven other cows, scrawny, ill-formed, and emaciated—never had I seen their likes for ugliness in all the land of Egypt! 20And the seven lean and ugly cows ate up the first seven cows, the sturdy ones; 21but when they had consumed them, one could not tell that they had consumed them, for they looked just as bad as before. And I awoke. 22In my other dream, I saw seven ears of grain, full and healthy, growing on a single stalk; 23but right behind them sprouted seven ears, shriveled, thin, and scorched by the east wind. 24And the thin ears swallowed the seven healthy ears. I have told my magicians, but none has an explanation for me.”
25And Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same- God has told Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26The seven healthy cows are seven years, and the seven healthy ears are seven years; it is the same dream. 27The seven lean and ugly cows that followed are seven years, as are also the seven empty ears scorched by the east wind; they are seven years of famine. 28It is just as I have told Pharaoh- God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Immediately ahead are seven years of great abundance in all the land of Egypt. 30After them will come seven years of famine, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. As the land is ravaged by famine, 31no trace of the abundance will be left in the land because of the famine thereafter, for it will be very severe. 32As for Pharaoh having had the same dream twice, it means that the matter has been determined by God, and that God will soon carry it out.
33“Accordingly, let Pharaoh find a man of discernment and wisdom, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34And let Pharaoh take steps to appoint overseers over the land, and organize the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty. 35Let all the food of these good years that are coming be gathered, and let the grain be collected under Pharaoh’s authority as food to be stored in the cities. 36Let that food be a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will come upon the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish in the famine.”
37The plan pleased Pharaoh and all his courtiers. 38And Pharaoh said to his courtiers, “Could we find another like him, a man in whom is the spirit of God?” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is none so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my court, and by your command shall all my people be directed; only with respect to the throne shall I be superior to you.” 41Pharaoh further said to Joseph, “See, I put you in charge of all the land of Egypt.” 42And removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; and he had him dressed in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. 43He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they cried before him, “Abrek!” Thus he placed him over all the land of Egypt.
44Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh; yet without you, no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh then gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him for a wife Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. Thus Joseph emerged in charge of the land of Egypt.—46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt.—Leaving Pharaoh’s presence, Joseph traveled through all the land of Egypt.
47During the seven years of plenty, the land produced in abundance. 48And he gathered all the grain of the seven years that the land of Egypt was enjoying, and stored the grain in the cities; he put in each city the grain of the fields around it. 49So Joseph collected produce in very large quantity, like the sands of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.
50Before the years of famine came, Joseph became the father of two sons, whom Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On, bore to him. 51Joseph named the first-born Manasseh, meaning, “God has made me forget completely my hardship and my parental home.” 52And the second he named Ephraim, meaning, “God has made me fertile in the land of my affliction.”
53The seven years of abundance that the land of Egypt enjoyed came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine set in, just as Joseph had foretold. There was famine in all lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was bread. 55And when all the land of Egypt felt the hunger, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he tells you, you shall do.”—56Accordingly, when the famine became severe in the land of Egypt, Joseph laid open all that was within, and rationed out grain to the Egyptians. The famine, however, spread over the whole world. 57So all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to procure rations, for the famine had become severe throughout the world.
42When Jacob saw that there were food rations to be had in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at one another? 2Now I hear,” he went on, “that there are rations to be had in Egypt. Go down and procure rations for us there, that we may live and not die.” 3So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to get grain rations in Egypt; 4for Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, since he feared that he might meet with disaster. 5Thus the sons of Israel were among those who came to procure rations, for the famine extended to the land of Canaan.
6Now Joseph was the vizier of the land; it was he who dispensed rations to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed low to him, with their faces to the ground. 7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them; but he acted like a stranger toward them and spoke harshly to them. He asked them, “Where do you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to procure food.” 8For though Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9Recalling the dreams that he had dreamed about them, Joseph said to them, “You are spies, you have come to see the land in its nakedness.” 10But they said to him, “No, my lord! Truly, your servants have come to procure food. 11We are all of us sons of the same man; we are honest men; your servants have never been spies!” 12And he said to them, “No, you have come to see the land in its nakedness!” 13And they replied, “We your servants were twelve brothers, sons of a certain man in the land of Canaan; the youngest, however, is now with our father, and one is no more.” 14But Joseph said to them, “It is just as I have told you- You are spies! 15By this you shall be put to the test- unless your youngest brother comes here, by Pharaoh, you shall not depart from this place! 16Let one of you go and bring your brother, while the rest of you remain confined, that your words may be put to the test whether there is truth in you. Else, by Pharaoh, you are nothing but spies!” 17And he confined them in the guardhouse for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you shall live, for I am a God-fearing man. 19If you are honest men, let one of you brothers be held in your place of detention, while the rest of you go and take home rations for your starving households; 20but you must bring me your youngest brother, that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” And they did accordingly. 21They said to one another, “Alas, we are being punished on account of our brother, because we looked on at his anguish, yet paid no heed as he pleaded with us. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22Then Reuben spoke up and said to them, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do no wrong to the boy’? But you paid no heed. Now comes the reckoning for his blood.” 23They did not know that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between him and them. 24He turned away from them and wept. But he came back to them and spoke to them; and he took Simeon from among them and had him bound before their eyes. 25Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, return each one’s money to his sack, and give them provisions for the journey; and this was done for them. 26So they loaded their asses with the rations and departed from there.
27As one of them was opening his sack to give feed to his ass at the night encampment, he saw his money right there at the mouth of his bag. 28And he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned! It is here in my bag!” Their hearts sank; and, trembling, they turned to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had befallen them, saying, 30“The man who is lord of the land spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying on the land. 31We said to him, ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies! 32There were twelve of us brothers, sons by the same father; but one is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33But the man who is lord of the land said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men- leave one of your brothers with me, and take something for your starving households and be off. 34And bring your youngest brother to me, that I may know that you are not spies but honest men. I will then restore your brother to you, and you shall be free to move about in the land.’”
35As they were emptying their sacks, there, in each one’s sack, was his money-bag! When they and their father saw their money-bags, they were dismayed. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “It is always me that you bereave- Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you would take away Benjamin. These things always happen to me!” 37Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care, and I will return him to you.” 38But he said, “My son must not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If he meets with disaster on the journey you are taking, you will send my white head down to Sheol in grief.”
43But the famine in the land was severe. 2And when they had eaten up the rations which they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again and procure some food for us.” 3But Judah said to him, “The man warned us, ‘Do not let me see your faces unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will let our brother go with us, we will go down and procure food for you; 5but if you will not let him go, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘Do not let me see your faces unless your brother is with you.’” 6And Israel said, “Why did you serve me so ill as to tell the man that you had another brother?” 7They replied, “But the man kept asking about us and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still living? Have you another brother?’ And we answered him accordingly. How were we to know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy in my care, and let us be on our way, that we may live and not die—you and we and our children. 9I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible- if I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, I shall stand guilty before you forever. 10For we could have been there and back twice if we had not dawdled.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, do this- take some of the choice products of the land in your baggage, and carry them down as a gift for the man—some balm and some honey, gum, ladanum, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12And take with you double the money, carrying back with you the money that was replaced in the mouths of your bags; perhaps it was a mistake. 13Take your brother too; and go back at once to the man. 14And may El Shaddai dispose the man to mercy toward you, that he may release to you your other brother, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to be bereaved, I shall be bereaved.”
15So the men took that gift, and they took with them double the money, as well as Benjamin. They made their way down to Egypt, where they presented themselves to Joseph. 16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Take the men into the house; slaughter and prepare an animal, for the men will dine with me at noon.” 17The man did as Joseph said, and he brought the men into Joseph’s house. 18But the men were frightened at being brought into Joseph’s house. “It must be,” they thought, “because of the money replaced in our bags the first time that we have been brought inside, as a pretext to attack us and seize us as slaves, with our pack animals.” 19So they went up to Joseph’s house steward and spoke to him at the entrance of the house. 20“If you please, my lord,” they said, “we came down once before to procure food. 21But when we arrived at the night encampment and opened our bags, there was each one’s money in the mouth of his bag, our money in full. So we have brought it back with us. 22And we have brought down with us other money to procure food. We do not know who put the money in our bags.” 23He replied, “All is well with you; do not be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, must have put treasure in your bags for you. I got your payment.” And he brought out Simeon to them.
24Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house; he gave them water to bathe their feet, and he provided feed for their asses. 25They laid out their gifts to await Joseph’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were to dine there.
26When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts that they had brought with them into the house, bowing low before him to the ground. 27He greeted them, and he said, “How is your aged father of whom you spoke? Is he still in good health?” 28They replied, “It is well with your servant our father; he is still in good health.” And they bowed and made obeisance.
29Looking about, he saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and asked, “Is this your youngest brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he went on, “May God be gracious to you, my boy.” 30With 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. 31Then he washed his face, reappeared, and—now in control of himself—gave the order, “Serve the meal.” 32They 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. 33As 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. 34Portions were served them from his table; but Benjamin’s portion was several times that of anyone else. And they drank their fill with him.
44Then 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. 2Put 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.
3With the first light of morning, the men were sent off with their pack animals. 4They 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? 5It is the very one from which my master drinks and which he uses for divination. It was a wicked thing for you to do!’”
6He overtook them and spoke those words to them. 7And they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything of the kind! 8Here 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! 9Whichever of your servants it is found with shall die; the rest of us, moreover, shall become slaves to my lord.” 10He 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.”
11So each one hastened to lower his bag to the ground, and each one opened his bag. 12He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the goblet turned up in Benjamin’s bag. 13At this they rent their clothes. Each reloaded his pack animal, and they returned to the city.
14When Judah and his brothers reentered the house of Joseph, who was still there, they threw themselves on the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me practices divination?” 16Judah 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.” 17But 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.”
18Then Judah went up to him and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant appeal to my lord, and do not be impatient with your servant, you who are the equal of Pharaoh. 19My lord asked his servants, ‘Have you a father or another brother?’ 20We told my lord, ‘We have an old father, and there is a child of his old age, the youngest; his full brother is dead, so that he alone is left of his mother, and his father dotes on him.’ 21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set eyes on him.’ 22We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he were to leave him, his father would die.’ 23But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, do not let me see your faces.’ 24When we came back to your servant my father, we reported my lord’s words to him.
25“Later our father said, ‘Go back and procure some food for us.’ 26We answered, ‘We cannot go down; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go down, for we may not show our faces to the man unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27Your servant my father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons. 28But one is gone from me, and I said- Alas, he was torn by a beast! And I have not seen him since. 29If you take this one from me, too, and he meets with disaster, you will send my white head down to Sheol in sorrow.’
30“Now, if I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with us—since his own life is so bound up with his—31when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will send the white head of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief. 32Now your servant has pledged himself for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I shall stand guilty before my father forever.’ 33Therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34For how can I go back to my father unless the boy is with me? Let me not be witness to the woe that would overtake my father!”
45Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!” So there was no one else about when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2His sobs were so loud that the Egyptians could hear, and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still well?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dumfounded were they on account of him.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come forward to me.” And when they came forward, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, he whom you sold into Egypt. 5Now, do not be distressed or reproach yourselves because you sold me hither; it was to save life that God sent me ahead of you. 6It is now two years that there has been famine in the land, and there are still five years to come in which there shall be no yield from tilling. 7God has sent me ahead of you to ensure your survival on earth, and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance. 8So, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.
9“Now, hurry back to my father and say to him- Thus says your son Joseph, ‘God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me without delay. 10You will dwell in the region of Goshen, where you will be near me—you and your children and your grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all that is yours. 11There I will provide for you—for there are yet five years of famine to come—that you and your household and all that is yours may not suffer want.’ 12You can see for yourselves, and my brother Benjamin for himself, that it is indeed I who am speaking to you. 13And you must tell my father everything about my high station in Egypt and all that you have seen; and bring my father here with all speed.”
14With that he embraced his brother Benjamin around the neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15He kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; only then were his brothers able to talk to him.
16The news reached Pharaoh’s palace- “Joseph’s brothers have come.” Pharaoh and his courtiers were pleased. 17And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do as follows- load up your beasts and go at once to the land of Canaan. 18Take your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you shall live off the fat of the land.’ 19And you are bidden [to add], ‘Do as follows- take from the land of Egypt wagons for your children and your wives, and bring your father here. 20And never mind your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt shall be yours.’”
21The sons of Israel did so; Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had commanded, and he supplied them with provisions for the journey. 22To each of them, moreover, he gave a change of clothing; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and several changes of clothing. 23And to his father he sent the following- ten he-asses laden with the best things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with grain, bread, and provisions for his father on the journey. 24As he sent his brothers off on their way, he told them, “Do not be quarrelsome on the way.”
25They went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26And they told him, “Joseph is still alive; yes, he is ruler over the whole land of Egypt.” His heart went numb, for he did not believe them. 27But when they recounted all that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28“Enough!” said Israel. “My son Joseph is still alive! I must go and see him before I die.”
46So Israel set out with all that was his, and he came to Beer-sheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2God called to Israel in a vision by night- “Jacob! Jacob!” He answered, “Here.” 3And He said, “I am God, the God of your father. Fear not to go down to Egypt, for I will make you there into a great nation. 4I Myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I Myself will also bring you back; and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”
5So Jacob set out from Beer-sheba. The sons of Israel put their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him; 6and they took along their livestock and the wealth that they had amassed in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his offspring with him came to Egypt- 7he brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.
8These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his descendants, who came to Egypt.
Jacob’s first-born Reuben; 9Reuben’s sons- Enoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10Simeon’s sons- Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Saul the son of a Canaanite woman. 11Levi’s sons- Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12Judah’s sons- Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah—but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and Perez’s sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13Issachar’s sons- Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. 14Zebulun’s sons- Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15Those were the sons whom Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, in addition to his daughter Dinah. Persons in all, male and female- 33.
16Gad’s sons- Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17Asher’s sons- Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah’s sons- Heber and Malchiel. 18These were the descendants of Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah. These she bore to Jacob—16 persons.
19The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 20To Joseph were born in the land of Egypt Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bore to him. 21Benjamin’s sons- Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22These were the descendants of Rachel who were born to Jacob—14 persons in all.
23Dan’s son- Hushim. 24Naphtali’s sons- Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25These were the descendants of Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel. These she bore to Jacob—7 persons in all.
26All the persons belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt—his own issue, aside from the wives of Jacob’s sons—all these persons numbered 66. 27And Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt were two in number. Thus the total of Jacob’s household who came to Egypt was seventy persons.
28He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph, to point the way before him to Goshen. So when they came to the region of Goshen, 29Joseph ordered his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel; he presented himself to him and, embracing him around the neck, he wept on his neck a good while. 30Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now I can die, having seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell the news to Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32The men are shepherds; they have always been breeders of livestock, and they have brought with them their flocks and herds and all that is theirs.’ 33So when Pharaoh summons you and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34you shall answer, ‘Your servants have been breeders of livestock from the start until now, both we and our fathers’—so that you may stay in the region of Goshen. For all shepherds are abhorrent to Egyptians.”
47Then Joseph came and reported to Pharaoh, saying, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that is theirs, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the region of Goshen.” 2And selecting a few of his brothers, he presented them to Pharaoh. 3Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” They answered Pharaoh, “We your servants are shepherds, as were also our fathers. 4We have come,” they told Pharaoh, “to sojourn in this land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, the famine being severe in the land of Canaan. Pray, then, let your servants stay in the region of Goshen.” 5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “As regards your father and your brothers who have come to you, 6the land of Egypt is open before you- settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them stay in the region of Goshen. And if you know any capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”
7Joseph then brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob greeted Pharaoh. 8Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How many are the years of your life?” 9And Jacob answered Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourn [on earth] are one hundred and thirty. Few and hard have been the years of my life, nor do they come up to the life spans of my fathers during their sojourns.” 10Then Jacob bade Pharaoh farewell, and left Pharaoh’s presence.
11So Joseph settled his father and his brothers, giving them holdings in the choicest part of the land of Egypt, in the region of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12Joseph sustained his father, and his brothers, and all his father’s household with bread, down to the little ones.
13Now there was no bread in all the world, for the famine was very severe; both the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14Joseph gathered in all the money that was to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, as payment for the rations that were being procured, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s palace. 15And when the money gave out in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us bread, lest we die before your very eyes; for the money is gone!” 16And Joseph said, “Bring your livestock, and I will sell to you against your livestock, if the money is gone.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, for the stocks of sheep and cattle, and the asses; thus he provided them with bread that year in exchange for all their livestock. 18And when that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We cannot hide from my lord that, with all the money and animal stocks consigned to my lord, nothing is left at my lord’s disposal save our persons and our farmland. 19Let us not perish before your eyes, both we and our land. Take us and our land in exchange for bread, and we with our land will be serfs to Pharaoh; provide the seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become a waste.”
20So Joseph gained possession of all the farm land of Egypt for Pharaoh, every Egyptian having sold his field because the famine was too much for them; thus the land passed over to Pharaoh. 21And he removed the population town by town, from one end of Egypt’s border to the other. 22Only the land of the priests he did not take over, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh had made to them; therefore they did not sell their land.
23Then Joseph said to the people, “Whereas I have this day acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you to sow the land. 24And when harvest comes, you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be yours as seed for the fields and as food for you and those in your households, and as nourishment for your children.” 25And they said, “You have saved our lives! We are grateful to my lord, and we shall be serfs to Pharaoh.” 26And Joseph made it into a land law in Egypt, which is still valid, that a fifth should be Pharaoh’s; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.
27Thus Israel settled in the country of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; they acquired holdings in it, and were fertile and increased greatly.
28Jacob lived seventeen years in the land of Egypt, so that the span of Jacob’s life came to one hundred and forty-seven years. 29And when the time approached for Israel to die, he summoned his son Joseph and said to him, “Do me this favor, place your hand under my thigh as a pledge of your steadfast loyalty- please do not bury me in Egypt. 30When I lie down with my fathers, take me up from Egypt and bury me in their burial-place.” He replied, “I will do as you have spoken.” 31And he said, “Swear to me.” And he swore to him. Then Israel bowed at the head of the bed.
48Some time afterward, Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.
3And Jacob said to Joseph, “El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and He blessed me, 4and said to me, ‘I will make you fertile and numerous, making of you a community of peoples; and I will assign this land to your offspring to come for an everlasting possession.’ 5Now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine no less than Reuben and Simeon. 6But progeny born to you after them shall be yours; they shall be recorded instead of their brothers in their inheritance. 7I [do this because], when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, while I was journeying in the land of Canaan, when still some distance short of Ephrath; and I buried her there on the road to Ephrath”—now Bethlehem.
8Noticing Joseph’s sons, Israel asked, “Who are these?” 9And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” “Bring them up to me,” he said, “that I may bless them.” 10Now Israel’s eyes were dim with age; he could not see. So [Joseph] brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see you again, and here God has let me see your children as well.”
12Joseph then removed them from his knees, and bowed low with his face to the ground. 13Joseph took the two of them, Ephraim with his right hand—to Israel’s left—and Manasseh with his left hand—to Israel’s right—and brought them close to him. 14But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head—thus crossing his hands—although Manasseh was the first-born. 15And he blessed Joseph, saying,
“The God in whose ways my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has been my shepherd from my birth to this day—
16The Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—
Bless the lads.
In them may my name be recalled,
And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
And may they be teeming multitudes upon the earth.”
17When Joseph saw that his father was placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it wrong; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18“Not so, Father,” Joseph said to his father, “for the other is the first-born; place your right hand on his head.” 19But his father objected, saying, “I know, my son, I know. He too shall become a people, and he too shall be great. Yet his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall be plentiful enough for nations.” 20So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you shall Israel invoke blessings, saying- God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die; but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22And now, I assign to you one portion more than to your brothers, which I wrested from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”
49And Jacob called his sons and said, “Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come.
2Assemble and hearken, O sons of Jacob;
Hearken to Israel your father-
3Reuben, you are my first-born,
My might and first fruit of my vigor,
Exceeding in rank
And exceeding in honor.
4Unstable as water, you shall excel no longer;
For when you mounted your father’s bed,
You brought disgrace—my couch he mounted!
5Simeon and Levi are a pair;
Their weapons are tools of lawlessness.
6Let not my person be included in their council,
Let not my being be counted in their assembly.
For when angry they slay men,
And when pleased they maim oxen.
7Cursed be their anger so fierce,
And their wrath so relentless.
I will divide them in Jacob,
Scatter them in Israel.
8You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise;
Your hand shall be on the nape of your foes;
Your father’s sons shall bow low to you.
9Judah is a lion’s whelp;
On prey, my son, have you grown.
He crouches, lies down like a lion,
Like the king of beasts—who dare rouse him?
10The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet;
So that tribute shall come to him
And the homage of peoples be his.
11He tethers his ass to a vine,
His ass’s foal to a choice vine;
He washes his garment in wine,
His robe in blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine;
His teeth are whiter than milk.
13Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore;
He shall be a haven for ships,
And his flank shall rest on Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong-boned ass,
Crouching among the sheepfolds.
15When he saw how good was security,
And how pleasant was the country,
He bent his shoulder to the burden,
And became a toiling serf.
16Dan shall govern his people,
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent by the road,
A viper by the path,
That bites the horse’s heels
So that his rider is thrown backward.
18I wait for Your deliverance, O Lord!
19Gad shall be raided by raiders,
But he shall raid at their heels.
20Asher’s bread shall be rich,
And he shall yield royal dainties.
21Naphtali is a hind let loose,
Which yields lovely fawns.
22 Joseph is a wild ass,
A wild ass by a spring
—Wild colts on a hillside.
23Archers bitterly assailed him;
They shot at him and harried him.
24Yet his bow stayed taut,
And his arms were made firm
By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob—
There, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel—
25The God of your father who helps you,
And Shaddai who blesses you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that couches below,
Blessings of the breast and womb.
26 The blessings of your father
Surpass the blessings of my ancestors,
To the utmost bounds of the eternal hills.
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
On the brow of the elect of his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
In the morning he consumes the foe,
And in the evening he divides the spoil.”
28All these were the tribes of Israel, twelve in number, and this is what their father said to them as he bade them farewell, addressing to each a parting word appropriate to him.
29Then he instructed them, saying to them, “I am about to be gathered to my kin. Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30the cave which is in the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site—31there Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah—32the field and the cave in it, bought from the Hittites.” 33When Jacob finished his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and, breathing his last, he was gathered to his people.
50Joseph flung himself upon his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. 2Then Joseph ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel. 3It required forty days, for such is the full period of embalming. The Egyptians bewailed him seventy days; 4and when the wailing period was over, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s court, saying, “Do me this favor, and lay this appeal before Pharaoh- 5‘My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die. Be sure to bury me in the grave which I made ready for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now, therefore, let me go up and bury my father; then I shall return.’” 6And Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you promise on oath.”
7So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the officials of Pharaoh, the senior members of his court, and all of Egypt’s dignitaries, 8together with all of Joseph’s household, his brothers, and his father’s household; only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the region of Goshen. 9Chariots, too, and horsemen went up with him; it was a very large troop.
10When they came to Goren ha-Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and solemn lamentation; and he observed a mourning period of seven days for his father. 11And when the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning at Goren ha-Atad, they said, “This is a solemn mourning on the part of the Egyptians.” That is why it was named Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. 12Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them. 13His sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham had bought for a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. 14After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
15When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrong that we did him!” 16So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before his death your father left this instruction- 17So shall you say to Joseph, ‘Forgive, I urge you, the offense and guilt of your brothers who treated you so harshly.’ Therefore, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph was in tears as they spoke to him.
18His brothers went to him themselves, flung themselves before him, and said, “We are prepared to be your slaves.” 19But Joseph said to them, “Have no fear! Am I a substitute for God? 20Besides, although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. 21And so, fear not. I will sustain you and your children.” Thus he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
22So Joseph and his father’s household remained in Egypt. Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23Joseph lived to see children of the third generation of Ephraim; the children of Machir son of Manasseh were likewise born upon Joseph’s knees. 24At length, Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. God will surely take notice of you and bring you up from this land to the land that He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25So Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “When God has taken notice of you, you shall carry up my bones from here.”
26Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.
Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem- Jewish Publication Society) 1985.