Genesis 43

After a while, however, when all the food was gone, Jacob started bugging his kids to go back down to Egypt to buy more. But they were all, um, no, that dude will kill us if we don’t take Benjamin and you said he couldn’t go. Then Jacob got petulant and whiny about starving to death, and was all why did you have to tell him about Benji anyway? It’s because you hate me isn’t it? And his sons were all, come on dad. Dude was interrogating us for being spies, and the Geneva Convention isn’t for another several millennia. We would have told him about that time we caught you wearing Zilpah’s veil if he had thought to ask about it. Besides, how’d we know he’d ask to see Benjamin?

Finally, Judah was all, look dad, Benji’s almost 30, he’s got to grow up sometime. Entrust him to me, and if I don’t bring him back I will pay whatever consequences you deem just. But if we don’t hurry up and go down there, we’re all going to starve. Including Benji. So Jacob was all, fine. Here, take lots of presents to that Egyptian dude, and maybe he will spare you all. Take some balm and some honey, some myrrh, gum, pistachios and almonds (hey why aren’t we eating these things? whatever). Oh and take back the money from last time, plus more for this time. Maybe if we give him all this, he won’t hurt my Benji and maybe he’ll even give us back Simeon. He is my son, too, I guess.

This time, when Joseph saw his brothers in line, he told his steward to prepare a feast for lunch and to bring those men in to dine. When the steward went to tell the brothers they were to dine with the head tax collector, they were terrified. They thought this was all a prelude to their eventual execution.  As soon as they saw Joseph, they began to make excuses for not coming back sooner and for not paying, etc. Joseph was all, chill guys. I just invited you to lunch. Oh, and here’s your brother Simeon, unharmed and a few pounds heavier.

So the brothers presented Joseph with all their gifts, and Joseph asked about their father. But when he saw his little brother Benjamin, all grown up, he had to excuse himself to hide his tears.  And even though the Hebrews had to sit at a different table than the other guests, Joseph made sure they all had seconds and thirds of the best dishes–especially Benjamin, whose plate was heaped with more food than he could possibly eat.

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