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The famine is still going strong, and the family has already eaten up the provisions they got from their first trip to Egypt.
Jacob tells them to go back and buy more food.
Judah pipes up: they were told not to come back unless they bring their youngest brother Ben with them. He kind of promises to take care of the little guy.
Sounds like he's redeeming himself for hatching the plot to sell Joseph into slavery (recall 37:26-27).
They head off, and in Egypt, Joseph invites them all over to his house, and Joseph's servant releases Simeon to them.
Joseph arrives, and his brothers bow down and give him the money and goodies they brought with them. They all eat, drink, and get toasted.
Then Joseph arranges for the servant to put food and the silver they used to pay for it in their bags. Just like last time.
Plus, he directs the servant to put his very own silver goblet in Ben's bag. What's Joseph up to?
After the brothers depart, Joseph sends the steward of his house after the brothers. He's supposed to accuse them of stealing the cup. Aha.
The steward finds the silver cup in Ben's bag.
Judah speaks up. After all, he's the one who pledged to Jacob that he would bring Ben back to him. And now, Ben's going to be killed, and they're all going to become slaves. This is what you might call a last-ditch effort.
Joseph says he'll take Ben as his slave and let everyone else go.
In a lengthy speech, Judah tries to persuade Joseph to take him and let Ben go instead. He argues that his father just won't be able to live without Ben, who's the only other surviving son of Rachel.