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Genesis 44:1-8

Context
The Final Test

44:1 He instructed the servant who was over his household, “Fill the sacks of the men with as much food as they can carry and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 44:2 Then put 1  my cup – the silver cup – in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” He did as Joseph instructed. 2 

44:3 When morning came, 3  the men and their donkeys were sent off. 4  44:4 They had not gone very far from the city 5  when Joseph said 6  to the servant who was over his household, “Pursue the men at once! 7  When you overtake 8  them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 44:5 Doesn’t my master drink from this cup 9  and use it for divination? 10  You have done wrong!’” 11 

44:6 When the man 12  overtook them, he spoke these words to them. 44:7 They answered him, “Why does my lord say such things? 13  Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 14  44:8 Look, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Why then would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house?

1 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express Joseph’s instructions.

2 tn Heb “and he did according to the word of Joseph which he spoke.”

3 tn Heb “the morning was light.”

4 tn Heb “and the men were sent off, they and their donkeys.” This clause, like the preceding one, has the subject before the verb, indicating synchronic action.

5 tn Heb “they left the city, they were not far,” meaning “they had not gone very far.”

6 tn Heb “and Joseph said.” This clause, like the first one in the verse, has the subject before the verb, indicating synchronic action.

7 tn Heb “arise, chase after the men.” The first imperative gives the command a sense of urgency.

8 tn After the imperative this perfect verbal form with vav consecutive has the same nuance of instruction. In the translation it is subordinated to the verbal form that follows (also a perfect with vav consecutive): “and overtake them and say,” becomes “when you overtake them, say.”

9 tn Heb “Is this not what my master drinks from.” The word “cup” is not in the Hebrew text, but is obviously the referent of “this,” and so has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Heb “and he, divining, divines with it.” The infinitive absolute is emphatic, stressing the importance of the cup to Joseph.

11 tn Heb “you have caused to be evil what you have done.”

12 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn Heb “Why does my lord speak according to these words?”

14 tn Heb “according to this thing.”



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