The Mystery of the Lost Brother /p5
The stewards received the men into Joseph's house, and washed their feet, according to the custom of the land. And at noon, Joseph came in to meet them. They brought him the present from their father, and again they bowed before him, with their faces on the ground.
And Joseph asked them if they were well, and said: "Is your father still living, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he well?"
And they said, "Our father is well and he is living." And again they bowed to Joseph.
And Joseph looked at his younger brother Benjamin, the child of his own mother Rachel, and said:
"Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious unto you, my son."
And Joseph's heart was so full that he could not keep back the tears. He went in haste to his own room, and wept there. Then he washed his face, and came out again, and ordered the table to be set for dinner. They set Joseph's table for himself, as the ruler, and another table for his Egyptian officers, and another for the eleven men from Canaan; for Joseph had brought Simeon out of the prison, and had given him a place with his brothers.
Joseph himself arranged the order of the seats for his brothers, the oldest at the head, and all in order of age down to the youngest. The men wondered at this, and could not see how the ruler of Egypt could know the order of their ages. And Joseph sent dishes from his table to his brothers, and he gave to Benjamin five times as much as to the others. Perhaps he wished to see whether they were as jealous of Benjamin as in other days they had been toward him.
After dinner, Joseph said to his steward: "Fill the men's sacks with grain, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in his sack. And put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest, with his money."
The steward did as Joseph had said; and early in the morning the brothers started to go home. A little while afterward, Joseph said to his steward:
"Hasten, follow after the men from Canaan, and say, 'Why have you wronged me, after I had treated you kindly? You have stolen my master's silver cup, out of which he drinks'."
The steward followed the men, and overtook them, and charged them with stealing. And they said to him:
"Why should you talk to us in this manner? We have stolen nothing. Why, we brought back to you the money that we found in our sacks; and is it likely that we would steal from your lord his silver or gold? You may search us, and if you find your master's cup on any of us, let him die, and the rest of us may be sold as slaves."