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If you send 1 our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy food for you.
The people contended 1 with Moses, saying, 2 “If only 3 we had died when our brothers died before the Lord!
Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?
Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, 1 for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 2
So we turned away from our relatives 1 the descendants of Esau, the inhabitants of Seir, turning from the desert route, 2 from Elat 3 and Ezion Geber, 4 and traveling the way of the Moab wastelands.
Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 1 In the presence of our relatives 2 identify whatever is yours and take it.” 3 (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 4
They said to one other, 1 “Surely we’re being punished 2 because of our brother, because we saw how distressed he was 3 when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen. That is why this distress 4 has come on us!”
But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there. 1 If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go, 2 for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’
They said, “The Lord commanded my lord to give 1 the land as an inheritance by lot to the Israelites; and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters.
What is going to happen to us? Our brothers have drained away our courage 1 by describing people who are more numerous 2 and taller than we are, and great cities whose defenses appear to be as high as heaven 3 itself! Moreover, they said they saw 4 Anakites 5 there.”
They went before Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders and said, “The Lord told Moses to assign us land among our relatives.” 1 So Joshua 2 assigned them land among their uncles, as the Lord had commanded. 3
His mother’s relatives 1 spoke on his behalf to 2 all the leaders of Shechem and reported his proposal. 3 The leaders were drawn to Abimelech; 4 they said, “He is our close relative.” 5
Then all the men of Israel began coming to the king. They asked the king, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, sneak the king away and help the king and his household cross the Jordan – and not only him but all of David’s men as well?”
David said to the whole Israelite assembly, “If you so desire and the Lord our God approves, 1 let’s spread the word 2 to our brothers who remain in all the regions of Israel, and to the priests and Levites in their cities, 3 so they may join us.
And now, though we share the same flesh and blood as our fellow countrymen, 1 and our children are just like their children, 2 still we have found it necessary to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. 3 Some of our daughters have been subjected to slavery, while we are powerless to help, 4 since our fields and vineyards now belong to other people.” 5
I said to them, “To the extent possible we have bought back our fellow Jews 1 who had been sold to the Gentiles. But now you yourselves want to sell your own countrymen, 2 so that we can then buy them back!” They were utterly silent, and could find nothing to say.