43 15 So the men took this tribute, double the silver in their hand, and Benjamin. They arose, went down to Egypt, and stood in Joseph’s presence. 16 Joseph saw Benjamin with them and said to the steward of his household, “Bring the men to the house; slaughter an animal, and prepare it for it is with me the men will eat at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph said and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18 The men were frightened when they were brought into Joseph’s house and said, “Because of the silver that was returned to our sacks before, we have been brought here—to fall upon us, and attack us, and take us as slaves, as well as our donkeys.”
19 They approached the man who was Joseph’s household steward and said to him at the entrance to the house: 20 “Please, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food, 21 but when we stopped to camp for the night and opened our sacks, there was each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack, the full weight. We have brought it back in our hand, 22 and we’ve brought down with us more silver in hand to buy food. We do not know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23 He said, “It is well with you; do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure for you in your sacks. Your silver was recorded by me.” And then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet, and fodder for their donkeys. 25 They prepared the tribute in anticipation of Joseph’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they would eat bread there. 26 Joseph came into the house; they brought him the tribute their hand had brought into the house, and they bowed down to him, down to the ground. 27 He asked how they were and said, “Is it well with your aged father, about whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28 They said, “All is well with your servant, our father. He is still alive.” And in homage, they bowed down.
29 He looked up and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother’s son, and he said, “Is this your youngest brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Joseph’s feelings for his brother overwhelmed him, and he wanted to weep. In haste, he rushed to a chamber and wept there.
The brothers gather what luxuries they can to add to double the amount of silver they took with them before. The extra silver was not just to help appease the Guardian of Grain but a recognition that as there is less grain to sell, its price increases.
With no travel time recorded, stories of foiling thieves and other adventures will have to be told another time. The brothers and Benjamin (still a dividing line between them) stand before Joseph.
Seeing Benjamin, Joseph invites them all (minus Simeon) to a feast. The brothers have not resigned themselves to what will be and resting in mercy. They fear a trap will be sprung on them, even as Simeon and Levi sprung a trap on the people of Shechem.
Their fear hearkens back to the dread they felt when seeing their silver mysteriously present in their bags of grain. So they go on about their innocence to Joseph’s steward and how they are returning that silver plus bringing more for grain.
The steward dismisses their concern as a miracle of bookkeeping—the silver they had previously brought had been properly recorded as received, so any silver they found was of no account to Egypt. Simeon is brought out in the context of payment having been made (not connected with Benjamin). Together, all eleven of the brothers will be brought in for a feast. Without knowing it, the reunion of twelve brothers will begin with a feast.
As the brothers presented their luxuries, Joseph shifts to questions about their father, just as he had previously asked about Benjamin. Readers can wonder if Jacob will also be asked to come down to Egypt.
When finally recognizing Benjamin, Joseph abruptly leaves to weep his joy alone. It is not yet time in Joseph’s administrative plan to reveal who he is. He still must pretend not to be their brother. Besides this internal state, there are the servants and interpreters before whom Joseph must protect his position. Everyone seems conflicted and compromised.