Genesis 44

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English: Young's Literal Translation         

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1 And he commandeth him who [is] over his house, saying, `Fill the bags of the men [with] food, as they are able to bear, and put the money of each in the mouth of his bag;

2 and my cup, the silver cup, thou dost put in the mouth of the bag of the young one, and his corn-money;' and he doth according to the word of Joseph which he hath spoken.

3 The morning is bright, and the men have been sent away, they and their asses --

4 they have gone out of the city -- they have not gone far off -- and Joseph hath said to him who [is] over his house, `Rise, pursue after the men; and thou hast overtaken them, and thou hast said unto them, Why have ye recompensed evil for good?

5 Is not this that with which my lord drinketh? and he observeth diligently with it; ye have done evil [in] that which ye have done.'

6 And he overtaketh them, and speaketh unto them these words,

7 and they say unto him, `Why doth my lord speak according to these words? far be it from thy servants to do according to this word;

8 lo, the money which we found in the mouth of our bags we brought back unto thee from the land of Canaan, and how do we steal from the house of thy lord silver or gold?

9 with whomsoever of thy servants it is found, he hath died, and we also are to my lord for servants.'

10 And he saith, `Now, also, according to your words, so it [is]; he with whom it is found becometh my servant, and ye are acquitted;'

11 and they hasten and take down each his bag to the earth, and each openeth his bag;

12 and he searcheth -- at the eldest he hath begun, and at the youngest he hath completed -- and the cup is found in the bag of Benjamin;

13 and they rend their garments, and each ladeth his ass, and they turn back to the city.

14 And Judah -- his brethren also -- cometh in unto the house of Joseph, and he is yet there, and they fall before him to the earth;

15 and Joseph saith to them, `What [is] this deed that ye have done? have ye not known that a man like me doth diligently observe?'

16 And Judah saith, `What do we say to my lord? what do we speak? and what -- do we justify ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants; lo, we [are] servants to my lord, both we, and he in whose hand the cup hath been found;'

17 and he saith, `Far be it from me to do this; the man in whose hand the cup hath been found, he becometh my servant; and ye, go ye up in peace unto your father.'

18 And Judah cometh nigh unto him, and saith, `O, my lord, let thy servant speak, I pray thee, a word in the ears of my lord, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant -- for thou art as Pharaoh.

19 My lord hath asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father or brother?

20 and we say unto my lord, We have a father, an aged one, and a child of old age, a little one; and his brother died, and he is left alone of his mother, and his father hath loved him.

21 `And thou sayest unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, and I set mine eye upon him;

22 and we say unto my lord, The youth is not able to leave his father, when he hath left his father, then he hath died;

23 and thou sayest unto thy servants, If your young brother come not down with you, ye add not to see my face.

24 `And it cometh to pass, that we have come up unto thy servant my father, that we declare to him the words of my lord;

25 and our father saith, Turn back, buy for us a little food,

26 and we say, We are not able to go down; if our young brother is with us, then we have gone down; for we are not able to see the man's face, and our young brother not with us.

27 `And thy servant my father saith unto us, Ye -- ye have known that two did my wife bare to me,

28 and the one goeth out from me, and I say, Surely he is torn -- torn! and I have not seen him since;

29 when ye have taken also this from my presence, and mischief hath met him, then ye have brought down my grey hairs with evil to sheol.

30 `And now, at my coming in unto thy servant my father, and the youth not with us (and his soul is bound up in his soul),

31 then it hath come to pass when he seeth that the youth is not, that he hath died, and thy servants have brought down the grey hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to sheol;

32 for thy servant obtained the youth by surety from my father, saying, If I bring him not in unto thee -- then I have sinned against my father all the days.

33 `And now, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the youth a servant to my lord, and the youth goeth up with his brethren,

34 for how do I go up unto my father, and the youth not with me? lest I look on the evil which doth find my father.'

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Word/Phrase Explanations

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

fill
There are two ways something can be filled: It can be filled with something bad against the wishes of its owner, or it can be...

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

food
To give food, as in Genesis 41:48, signifies to store up.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

Money
'Money' relates to truth.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

Cup
"Cup" in the Bible is often used as synonym for wine, and the meaning is essentially the same: Cups represent true ideas on the spiritual...

silver
'Spoil of gold, and silver, and cattle' signifies falsified truths.

young
'The son of a cow' signifies the celestial natural level and natural exterior good.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

Corn
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

bright
'Goodly things' signify truths and magnificent things derived from truths.

Sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

sent away
To "send away" means creating a separation of spiritual states. This phrase is used a great deal in Exodus, when Moses repeatedly calls on Pharaoh...

city
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

rise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

Pursue
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

my lord
Characters in the Bible will often address others using the term “my lord,” and it seems to be no more than an expression of respect....

drinketh
Food in the Bible represents the desire for good, and water and other drinks represent the understanding and true ideas we need to recognize what...

Words
'Words,' as in Exodus 34:28, signify everything pertaining to doctrine.

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

of Canaan
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

Canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

Steal
In a natural sense, the commandment 'Thou shalt not steal,' in Exodus 20:15, means, according to the letter, not stealing, robbing, or committing piracy in...

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

died
'The soul going forth' and 'dying,' as in Genesis 35:18, signifies the extreme of temptation, which is when the old self dies and the new...

Hasten
'To hasten' or 'hastiness' in the internal sense, does not denote what is quick, but what is certain, and also what is full, thus every...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

youngest
In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...

Rend
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

garments
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

Brethren
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

cometh
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

Observe
'To observe' stands for all aspects of the Word in general.

Justify
'To justify,' as in Isaiah 5:3, 11, signifies saving by means of divine good.

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

Nigh
'Nigh' denotes truth in affinity with good.

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

Pharaoh
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

asked
The words "ask" and "question" are used a number of different in natural language, and a number of different ways in the Bible. The spiritual...

brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

age
“Age” is used in slightly different ways in natural language, and those differences are reflected in the word’s spiritual meanings. All the variations, though, reflect...

child
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

old
'Old waste places' signify the celestial aspects of faith.

Little one
'A little one,' or 'a little child' in the Word, signifies innocence and charity, because true innocence cannot possibly exist without charity, nor can true...

alone
To be alone in the Bible represents being free of evil and false influences. That's why the Lord seeks solitude to pray, and why the...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

loved
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

eye
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

youth
'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

go down
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

Torn
'Torn,' as in Genesis 31:38, signifies death caused by another, so evil without blame. 'Torn' relates to good, which falsity is injected into, which means...

Coming
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

Bound
Being bound, as in Genesis 42:16, denotes to be separated, for he who is kept b. is separated, viz., from the spiritual good, which is...

Sorrow
'The woman condemned to 'bring forth sons in sorrow' denotes the anxieties and combats in the production of truths.

Surety
To be 'surety' for someone, signifies being joined to him, as in Genesis 43:9.

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

Look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

Find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Dramatize the Story of Joseph Receiving His Brothers
Retell the story or read selected portions from the Word as the children dramatize the story of the brothers going to Egypt and being reunited with Joseph. 
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Food for the Soul
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Joseph's Cup Found - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: make a special cup for Joseph, have your own feast with some foods that were eaten in ancient Egypt, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph's Cup Found - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: make a special cup for Joseph, play Brothers Bingo to help you learn the names of all Joseph's brothers, sing a song to learn the names of the sons of Israel (video), scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph's Cup Found - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: service activity of preparing food for your congregation, explore the idea of what honesty is in the Joseph story and in your own life with skits, read and reflect on a door handle sign about being honest and shunning deceit, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Joseph's Cup Found - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: service activity of making care bags for a person or family in need, explore how taking responsibility for one's actions in 4 different stages can be a turning point in "Turn and Live", read and reflect on a door handle sign about being honest and shunning deceit, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Joseph Welcomes His Family
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Overview of Joseph a Man of Integrity Levels A B C D for Ages 3-18
Overview of the Youth Journey Program "Joseph: a man of integrity", Levels A, B, C, and D for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18


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