Reunited, and It Feels So… Weird
Now, instead of going back to Egypt, the brothers decided to stay in Canaan and let Simeon rot in jail. 2 They stayed there so long, in fact, that they used up all of the grain they’d brought home.
Israel told his sons, ‘Go back to Egypt and buy us some more food.’
3 ‘But that governor guy will kill us!’ replied Judah. 4 ‘The only way we can go back is if we take Benjamin with us. 5 We’d have to pretend that it was our intention to come back in the first place, and I suppose we could get Simeon out of prison too, if there’s time.’
6 ‘Why the hell did you tell him you had another brother anyway?’ asked Israel.
7 Asher piped up, ‘He interrogated us. He hung me on a rack and hooked a car battery up to my nipples!’
8 Then Judah interjected, ‘I’ll look after Benjamin. 9 Like I said, if I don’t come back with him, you can kill my kids. 10 You know, if we’d just gone back when I wanted to,’ he gave his brothers a dirty look, ‘we could have been back by now with more grain!’
11 ‘Fine,’ sighed Israel. ‘If you insist. But take them some food as a gift. You know, I’ve got some pistachios and almonds, and I’ve got more honey than we could possibly eat.’
‘Wait, we’ve got food?’ asked Judah.
‘Yeah, we’ve got tons of stuff in the pantry!’
‘Then why the fuck are we going down to Egypt for food?’
‘Erm…’ Israel pondered for a moment. ‘What’s that saying? “Man cannot live on honey, nuts, meat, and cheese alone; you need grain too.’
Judah shook his head.
12 ‘Oh,’ added Israel. ‘Take back that silver too. I don’t know what the fuck you thought you were doing stealing the man’s silver!’
13 ‘But we didn’t steal it!’ protested Judah. ‘We don’t know how it got there!’
14 ‘Yeah, yeah, a likely story. If any harm comes to your brother Benjamin, may God have mercy on your souls!’
15 So, Israel’s sons, including Benjamin, filled sacks with food, and went down to Egypt.
16 When Joseph saw that Benjamin with was his brothers, he said to his slave, ‘Well slaughter a goat! It’s my brother Benjamin!’
Unfortunately, his slave wasn’t familiar with Canaanite expressions of surprise, so he went out and slaughtered a goat. It worked out fine, though, because Joseph decided to invite his brothers to his house for dinner.
17 As Joseph’s slave led his brothers to his house, the men were shitting themselves. 18 They were convinced that he was going to punish them for taking the silver. 19 They said to the slave, 20 ‘We didn’t know that there was silver in our bags when we left. 21 We’ve brought it back with us, no harm, no foul, right?’
22 Joseph’s slave laughed, but he said nothing. 23 The brothers were even more terrified.
24 When they arrived at Joseph’s house, they saw Simeon sitting on a big cushion at the dinner table. ‘Hi, guys,’ he said waving. ‘You took your bloody time!’
‘Yeah,’ they replied, joining him at the table. ‘Sorry about that. Are you okay?’
‘I don’t want to talk about it,’ snapped Simeon shifting his weight on the icepack he had pressed against his sphincter.
25 The brothers joined Simeon at the table, and the slave washed their feet, and gave their donkeys some food.
26 When Joseph returned home, they all got down on their knees and bowed before him, and then they gave him the bag of food that they’d brought as a present.
27 ‘How’s your father doing?’ asked Joseph. ‘Is he dead?’
28 ‘No, he’s very much alive,’ the brothers replied.
29 ‘And who’s this little guy?’ he said, ruffling Benjamin’s hair.
‘Oh, that’s our brother Benjamin.’
30 Joseph ran out of the room crying.
‘Was it something I said?’ remarked Benjamin.
31 A little while later, Joseph returned. He said to his chef, ‘Bring out the food!’
32 Now, it was well-known in Egypt that the Hebrews were uncivilised pigs who ate with their mouths open and picked their noses with the cutlery, so the Egyptians had a custom of making them eat in another room. 33 The brothers were confused as to why they’d be invited to dinner, but Joseph wasn’t going to eat with them. 34 Nevertheless, they sat and enjoyed they meal, even though Benjamin, the little porker, ate five times more than anyone else.