You’ll remember from *last time* that while the sons of Jacob were loading their donkeys for their return journey to Canaan from Egypt, Joseph had got his steward to put his prized silver goblet into Benjamin’s sack without him knowing.
You’ll also remember that after the brothers had left, Joseph told his steward to set out after them, and, having caught up, to search all the sacks. The steward did as told, and so found the goblet in Benjamin’s sack. Benjamin’s protestations of his innocence fell on deaf ears.
“I’m disappointed in you, Benjy. We’re all disappointed in you, in fact,” said Judah. “Wherever did you get the idea that stealing is kosher?”
“I don’t believe I’m hearing this, I mean really,” said Benjamin, “your hypocrisy is something else. You throw our brother Joseph down a well and leave him for dead, then you tell Father the wild animals ate him, and you disapprove of a little thing like stealing? That’s…….well…….funny. In any case, as I’ve already said, I didn’t steal the goblet.”
“You were with us when we threw Joseph down the well,” said Judah, “and you said nothing when we told Father the wild animals ate him. No, Benjy, you’re as culpable as the rest of us.”
Joseph’s steward, who had been attending to his camel while the brothers were talking, came up to them and said, “I’m afraid, boys, you’ll have to come back with me to explain to the de facto prime minister why you stole his silver goblet.”
“Well, well, well,” said Joseph when the brothers were brought in to his tent, “I’d told you, didn’t I, that I had a strong feeling I’d see you again soon. It seems my feeling was correct. Stealing my silver goblet was foolish. You should have known I practice divination, and that a silver goblet is instrumental in this.”
“It was Benjamin here who stole it, Sire,” said Judah, “the rest of us knew nothing of it.”
“I see,” said Joseph, “Well, Benjamin, I’ll have to insist you stay here as my slave. The rest of you can go home.”
“Excuse me, Sire,” said Judah, “you may remember we’d already told you how precious Benjy is to our father, Jacob. If Benjy doesn’t return to him Father will die of sorrow. He only let him come with us when I offered to stand surety for him. So please, Sire, let him go, and keep me as your slave. You won’t regret this. I can do everything Benjy can, and more.”
Source: Genesis 44, 13 – 34