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Muhammad Asad
Thereupon [they were brought before Joseph to be searched; and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]: and in the end he brought forth the drinking Cups out of his brother's bag. In this way did We contrive for Joseph [the attainment of his heart's desire]: under the King's law, he would [otherwise] not have been able to detain his brother, had not God so willed. We do raise to [high] degrees [of knowledge] whomever We will - but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Joseph began searching their bags before that of his brother ˹Benjamin˺, then brought it out of Benjamin’s bag. This is how We inspired Joseph to plan. He could not have taken his brother under the King’s law, but Allah had so willed. We elevate in rank whoever We will. But above those ranking in knowledge is the One All-Knowing.
Safi Kaskas
[They were brought before Joseph to be searched, and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]. In the end he produced the drinking cup from his brother's bag. In this way We schemed on Joseph's behalf-if God had not so willed, he could not have detained his brother as a penalty under the king's law. We raise the rank of whomever We will, but, above everyone who is endowed with knowledge, there is One who knows everything.

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic
فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ كَذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِي دِينِ الْمَلِكِ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاءُ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيم
Transliteration
Fabadaa bi-awAAiyatihim qabla wiAAa-i akheehi thumma istakhrajaha min wiAAa-i akheehi kathalika kidna liyoosufa ma kana liya/khutha akhahu fee deeni almaliki illa an yashaa Allahu narfaAAu darajatin man nashao wafawqa kulli thee AAilmin AAaleemun
Transliteration-2
fabada-a bi-awʿiyatihim qabla wiʿāi akhīhi thumma is'takhrajahā min wiʿāi akhīhi kadhālika kid'nā liyūsufa mā kāna liyakhudha akhāhu fī dīni l-maliki illā an yashāa l-lahu narfaʿu darajātin man nashāu wafawqa kulli dhī ʿil'min ʿalīmu
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
So he began with their bags before (the) bag (of) his brother; then he brought it out from (the) bag (of) his brother. Thus (did) We plan for Yusuf. Not he could take his brother by the law (of) the king, except that willed Allah We raise (in) degrees whom We will, but over every possessor (of) knowledge (is) the All-Knower.

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad
Thereupon [they were brought before Joseph to be searched; and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]: and in the end he brought forth the drinking Cups out of his brother's bag. In this way did We contrive for Joseph [the attainment of his heart's desire]: under the King's law, he would [otherwise] not have been able to detain his brother, had not God so willed. We do raise to [high] degrees [of knowledge] whomever We will - but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all
M. M. Pickthall
Then he (Joseph) began the search with their bags before his brother's bag, then he produced it from his brother's bag. Thus did We contrive for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother according to the king's law unless Allah willed. We raise by grades (of mercy) whom We will, and over every lord of knowledge there is one more knowing
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)
So he began (the search) with their baggage, before (he came to) the baggage of his brother: at length he brought it out of his brother's baggage. Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that Allah willed it (so). We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom We please: but over all endued with knowledge is one, the All-Knowing
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
Joseph began searching their bags before that of his brother ˹Benjamin˺, then brought it out of Benjamin’s bag. This is how We inspired Joseph to plan. He could not have taken his brother under the King’s law, but Allah had so willed. We elevate in rank whoever We will. But above those ranking in knowledge is the One All-Knowing.
Safi Kaskas
[They were brought before Joseph to be searched, and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]. In the end he produced the drinking cup from his brother's bag. In this way We schemed on Joseph's behalf-if God had not so willed, he could not have detained his brother as a penalty under the king's law. We raise the rank of whomever We will, but, above everyone who is endowed with knowledge, there is One who knows everything.
Wahiduddin Khan
He [the herald] searched their bags before his brothers and then took out the cup from his brothers bag. In this way, We devised a plan on behalf of Joseph. He could not have detained his brother under the Kings law, unless God so willed. We exalt whoever We please: but above those who have knowledge there is One all knowing
Shakir
So he began with their sacks before the sack of his brother, then he brought it out from his brother's sack. Thus did We plan for the sake of Yusuf; it was not (lawful) that he should take his brother under the king's law unless Allah pleased; We raise the degrees of whomsoever We please, and above every one possessed of knowledge is the All-knowing one
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
So he began with their sacks before the sack of his brother. Again, he pulled it out of his brother’s sack. Thus, We contrived for Joseph. He would not have taken his brother into the judgment of the king unless God wills it. We exalt in degree whomever We will, and above all those possessors of knowledge is One Who is Knowing.
T.B.Irving
He began with their baggage before his brother´s bag. Then he pulled it out of his brother [Benjamin]´s bag. Thus We contrived [things] for Joseph; he would never have taken his brother according to the king´s code unless God had so wished it. We raise anyone We wish to in rank, while Someone Aware [stands] over everyone possessing knowledge.
Abdul Hye
So he (Joseph) began to search their bags before the bag of his brother (Benjamin). Then he brought it out of his brother’s bag. Thus We did plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king, except that Allah willed it. We raise to degrees whom We will, but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-knower (Allah).
The Study Quran
Then he began with their baggage, before the baggage of his brother. Then he removed it from his brother’s baggage. Thus did We devise a scheme for Joseph. Under the king’s law, he could not have taken his brother unless God willed. We raise in degrees whomsoever We will, and above every possessor of knowledge is a knower
Dr. Kamal Omar
So, (Yusuf) began (the search) through their bags before the bag of his (real) brother. Then he brought it out of his brother's bag. Thus did We plan for Yusuf. (It) was not (possible for Yusuf) that he may detain his brother under the law (and constitution) of Al-Malik, except when Allah wills it. We raise in ranks whom We think proper. And over all those endued with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah)
Farook Malik
After this Joseph first began to search the packs of his stepbrothers before the pack of his own brother (Benjamin). Finally he took it out of his brother’s pack. Thus We directed Joseph. He could not seize his brother under the King’s law; but Allah willed otherwise. We exalt in ranks whom We please, He is the One Whose knowledge is far greater than the knowledge of all others
Talal A. Itani (new translation)
So he began with their bags, before his brother's bag. Then he pulled it out of his brother's bag. Thus We devised a plan for Joseph; he could not have detained his brother under the king's law, unless God so willed. We elevate by degrees whomever We will; and above every person of knowledge, there is one more learned
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
So he began with their sacks before his brother's sack; thereafter he drew it forth out of his brother's sack. Thus We plotted for Yusuf; in no way indeed could he take his brother, in the king's religion (OR: law) except that Allah decided. We raise in degree (s) whomever We decide; and above every (man) owning knowledge is One Who is Ever-Knowing
Muhammad Sarwar
They searched their baggage before that of Joseph's real brother where at last they found it. Thus, We showed Joseph how to plan this; he would not have been able to take his brother under the King's law unless God had wanted it to be so. We give a high rank to whomever We want. Over every knowledgeable person is one more knowing
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
So, he started with their bags before (searching) the bag of his brother, then, recovered it from the bag of his brother. This is how We planned for Yusuf. He had no right to take his brother according to the law of the king, unless Allah so willed. We elevate in ranks whomsoever We will. Above every man of knowledge, there is someone more knowledgeable
Shabbir Ahmed
They were brought before Joseph for the search. He began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother (Benjamin). And finally extracted the cup out of his brother's bag. We thus perfected the plan for Joseph. He could not have detained his brother under the King's law. But that was the Will of Allah. We raise people in ranks according to Our Laws. And above every person of knowledge there is One who knows all
Dr. Munir Munshey
First, he searched the baggage of others. Then came to his brother and produced it (peg) from his baggage! Thus, We played a trick on them, and found an excuse for Yusuf. The law of the king did not allow Yusuf to keep his brother! We elevate in status, whomever We please! And over all those with knowledge, there is the One Who is the all-Knowing!"
Syed Vickar Ahamed
So he (Yusuf) began (the search) through their bags, before (he came to) the bag of his (full) brother: At the end, he brought it out of his (full) brother’s bag. Thus did We plan for Yusuf (Joseph). He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that Allah willed it (so). We raise to (different) levels (of wisdom) whom We please: But above all blessed with knowledge is One, the All Knowing (Aleem)
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
So he began [the search] with their bags before the bag of his brother; then he extracted it from the bag of his brother. Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother within the religion of the king except that Allah willed. We raise in degrees whom We will, but over every possessor of knowledge is one [more] knowing
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)
So he began with their bags before his brother's bag. Then he brought it out of his brother's bag. It was such that We planned for Joseph, for he would not have been able to take his brother under the King's system, except that God wished it so. We raise the degrees of whom We please, and over every one of knowledge is the All Knowledgeable
Abdel Haleem
[Joseph] began by searching their bags, then his brother’s, and he pulled it out from his brother’s bag. In this way We devised a plan for Joseph- if God had not willed it so, he could not have detained his brother as a penalty under the king’s law- We raise the rank of whoever We will. Above everyone who has knowledge there is the One who is all knowing
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
Then he began with their sacks before the sack of his brother; then he brought it forth from his brothers sack. In this wise We contrived for Yusuf. He was not one to take his brother by the law of the king, except that Allah willed. We exalt in degrees whomsoever We will, and above every knowing one is a Knower
Ahmed Ali
So he searched their saddle-bags before his brother's, then produced the cup from his brother's bag. That is how We planned an excuse for Joseph, for under the law of the king he could not detain his brother unless God so willed. We raise the status of whom We please. Over every man of knowledge there is one more knowing
Aisha Bewley
He started with their bags before his brother´s. and then produced it from his brother´s bag. In that way We devised a cunning scheme for Yusuf. He could not have held his brother according to the statutes of the King — only because Allah had willed it so. We raise the rank of anyone We will. Over everyone with knowledge is a Knower.
Ali Ünal
(So they were brought back before Joseph to be searched.) He began with their sacks before his brother’s sack; and then he brought the drinking-cup out of his brother’s sack. In this way We made an arrangement for Joseph. Under the king’s law, he could not have detained his brother, had not God so willed. Whomsoever We will, We raise in ranks. Above every owner of knowledge there is (always) one more knowledgeable (until God Who is the All-Knowing)
Ali Quli Qara'i
Then he began with their sacks, before [opening] his brother’s sack. Then he took it out from his brother’s sack. Thus did We devise for Joseph’s sake. He could not have held his brother under the king’s law unless Allah willed [otherwise]. We raise in rank whomever We please, and above every man of knowledge is One who knows best
Hamid S. Aziz
And he began (searching) their sacks before the sacks of his brother; then he drew it forth from his brother´s sack. Thus did We devise a stratagem for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the king´s law unless Allah willed. We raise by d
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad
So he began with their sacks before his brother’s sack, then he brought it out of his brother’s sack. That is how We plotted for Joseph. He was not to take his brother according to the king’s law unless God wants. We raise ranks of anyone We want. And above all having knowledge is a (more) knowledgeable one
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)
So he began to search their baggage, then he came to the baggage of his brother, and brought it out of his brother’s bag. We planned this for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that God willed it. We raise in degrees who We please. But over all, endued with knowledge is One, All Knowing
Musharraf Hussain
So Yusuf began by searching their bags before his brother’s bag, then he produced the goblet from his brothers. That is how We devised a plan for Yusuf to succeed. It would not have been proper for him to arrest his brother under the king’s law, unless Allah had so willed. We elevate in rank anyone We please; and above every knowledgeable person is the One who knows all
Maududi
Then Joseph began searching their bags before searching his own brother´s bag. Then he brought forth the drinking-cup from his brother´s bag. Thus did We contrive to support Joseph. He had no right, according to the religion of the king (i.e. the law of Egypt), to take his brother, unless Allah so willed. We exalt whomsoever We will over others by several degrees. And above all those who know is the One Who truly knows
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)
So he began with their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of the bag of his brother. It was such that We planned for Joseph, for he would not have been able to take his brother under the system of the king, except that God wished it so. We raise the degrees of whom We please, and over every one of knowledge is the All Knowledgeable.
Mohammad Shafi
So he (Joseph) began the search with their (his step-brothers') packs before searching the pack of his brother, and then he brought it (the king's cup) out from his brother's pack. Thus did We plan a stratagem for the sake of Joseph. He could not legally take and keep his brother with him under the king's laws, unless Allah pleased.We raise the ranks of whomsoever We please. And over every person of knowledge, there is one having better knowledge

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)
Then first he began the search of their bags before the bag of his brother; then he took it out from the bag of his brother. We taught Yusuf thus to plan. He could not take his brother under the King's Law but this that Allah willed. We exalt in degrees whomsoever We please. And above every man of knowledge there is One of More Knowledge.
Rashad Khalifa
He then started by inspecting their containers, before getting to his brother's container, and he extracted it out of his brother's container. We thus perfected the scheme for Joseph; he could not have kept his brother if he applied the king's law. But that was the will of GOD. We exalt whomever we choose to higher ranks. Above every knowledgeable one, there is one who is even more knowledgeable.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah
He searched their bags before his brother's and then took out the goblet from his brother's bag. As such We directed Joseph. By the king's law he had no right to seize his brother unless Allah willed otherwise. We raise whom We will in rank; over every knowledgeable person is One who knows
Maulana Muhammad Ali
So he began with their sacks before the sack of his brother, then he brought it out from his brother’s sack. Thus did We plan for the sake of Joseph. He could not take his brother under the king’s law, unless Allah pleased. We raise in degree whom We please. And above every one possessed of knowledge is the All-Knowing One
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira
So he began with their bags/containers , before his brother's bag/container , then he brought it out from his brother's bag/container, as/like that, We plotted/conspired to Joseph, he was not to take his brother in the king's religion/domain , except that God wills/wants, We raise whom We will/want stages/degrees , and above each (owner) of knowledge (is more) knowledgeable
Bijan Moeinian
Joseph then started to search his (step) brothers’ loads first, before searching his brother’s bag. Then he took the cup out from the pack of his brother (Benjamin.) This is how I helped Joseph to complete his plan in order to be able to keep his brother with him. He could not have kept his brother, if he had applied the law of the land. Yes; it was the will of God. I rais whoever I will to a higher rank; and above every knowledgeable person, there is One All-Knowledgeable Who is above all knowledgeable ones
Faridul Haque
So he first searched their bags before his brother’s bag, then removed it from his brother’s bag; this was the plan We had taught Yusuf; he had no right to take his brother by the king’s law, except if Allah wills; We may raise in ranks whomever We will; and above every possessor of knowledge is another scholar
Sher Ali
Then he began with the search of their sacks before the sack of Joseph's brother; then he took it out of the sack of his brother. He could not have taken his brother under the King's law unless ALLAH had so willed. WE raise in degrees of rank whomsoever WE please; and over every possessor of knowledge is One, Most-Knowing
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
So Yusuf (Joseph) began to search their sacks before his brother’s. Then (at last) he took (the goblet) out of his (real) brother’s (Benjamin’s) sack. That is how We revealed to Yusuf (Joseph) the plan. He could not have held his brother (as a captive) under the law of the king (of Egypt) except (as) Allah wills. We exalt in ranks whom We like. And above every possessor of knowledge is (also) One possessing greater knowledge
Amatul Rahman Omar
Then he (- the king's herald) began (the search) with the sacks of others before (he came to) the sack of his (- Joseph's) brother (Benjamin). (Finding the vessel therein) he brought it out of his brother's sack. That is how We contrived for Joseph (to keep Benjamin with him, otherwise) he could not have taken his brother according to the king's law. Yet it came about as Allah willed. We raise in degrees (of rank) whomsoever We will. And over and above every possessor of knowledge there is One (Almighty God), Who is All Knowing
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali
So he (Yoosuf (Joseph)) began (the search) in their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of his brothers bag. Thus did We plan for Yoosuf (Joseph). He could not take his brother by the law of the king (as a slave), except that Allah willed it. (So Allah made the brothers to bind themselves with their way of "punishment, i.e. enslaving of a thief.") We raise to degrees whom We please, but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah)

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry
So he made beginning with their sacks, before his brother's sack, then he pulled it out of his brother's sack. So We contrived for Joseph's sake; he could not have taken his brother, according to the king's doom, except that God willed. Whomsoever We will, We raise in rank; over every man of knowledge is One who knows
George Sale
Then he began by their sacks, before he searched the sack of his brother; and he drew out the cup from his brother's sack. Thus did we furnish Joseph with a stratagem. It was not lawful for him to take his brother for a bondman, by the law of the king of Egypt, had not God pleased to allow it, according to the offer of his brethren. We exalt to degrees of knowledge and honour whom we please: And there is one who is knowing above all those who are indued with knowledge
Edward Henry Palmer
And he began with their sacks before the sacks of his brother; then he drew it forth from his brother's sack. Thus did we devise a stratagem for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the king's religion except God pleased;- we raise the degrees of whomsoever we please, and over every possessor of knowledge is one who knows
John Medows Rodwell
And Joseph began with their sacks, before the sack of his brother, and then from the sack of his brother he drew it out. This stratagem did we suggest to Joseph. By the King's law he had no power to seize his brother, had not God pleased. We uplift into grades of wisdom whom we will. And there is one knowing above every one else endued with knowledge
N J Dawood (2014)
He searched their bags before his brother‘s, and then took out the cup from his brother‘s bag. Thus did We devise it for Joseph: by the king‘s law he had no right to seize his brother: but God willed otherwise. We exalt whom We will to a lofty station: and above those that have knowledge there is One who is all-knowing

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto
The brothers’ saddlebags were searched first, before the saddlebag of (Benjamin). Finally, (the goblet) was found in (Benjamin’s) saddlebag. That is what We planned for Joseph’s sake. By law of the king, (Joseph) could not detain his brother except by Allah’s will. We elevate those whom We please, but over all those with knowledge is the All-knowing.
Sayyid Qutb
Thereupon, [Joseph] began to search their bags before the bag of his brother, and then took out the drinking-cup from his brother's bag. Thus did We contrive for Joseph. He had no right under the King's law to detain his brother, had God not so willed. We do exalt [in knowledge] whom We will, but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all.
Ahmed Hulusi
Upon this (Joseph) started searching, he began with the other bags before his brother’s bag... Then he found (the water cup) in his brother’s bag and took it out... Thus We progressed (the events) in favor of Joseph. For he could not have taken his brother within the religion of the king (based on the regulations of the King) except if Allah willed... We increase in knowledge whom We will. But over every possessor of knowledge there is One who knows all.
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli
And so he began(the search)with their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he drew it out from his brother's bag. Thus did We contrive for Yusuf's sake; for he could not take his brother in accordance with the king's law, except that Allah willed. We raise the degrees of whomsoever We please, and above everyone endued with knowledge, there is one more knowing.
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim
He –Yusuf- began the search with their sacks before searching that of his brother -Benjamin-, then he brought it out of Benjamin's saddle bags. Thus did We design a stratagem for Yusuf to outwit his brothers according to the inspired plan. He could not have detained his brother -Benjamin- by exercising judicial authority not conformable to the statutes of the realm, nor could he have applied the Jewish law of full restitution for the theft or the enslavement by the state unless Allah had willed. So it was. We raise whom We will to higher ranks and exalt them in dignity, wisdom and power. Above every one having mastery of knowledge, there is one who is endowed with more substantial knowledge; and above every one whose sum of knowledge with grace divine imbued there is AL-'Alim (the All-Knowing, the Omniscient)
Mir Aneesuddin
So he began (the search) with their sacks before (searching) the sack of his brother, then he brought out the (cup) from the sack of his brother. Thus did We plot for Yusuf. It was (otherwise) not (possible) for him to retain his brother under the law of the king unless Allah willed. We raise the grades of whom We will, and above every possessor of knowledge there is (the Great) Knower.

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)
So he began (the search) with their baggage, before (he came to) the baggage of his brother: at length he brought it out of his brother's baggage. Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that Go d willed it (so). We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom We please: but over all endued with knowledge is one, the All-Knowing
OLD Literal Word for Word
So he began with their bags before (the) bag (of) his brother; then he brought it out from (the) bag (of) his brother. Thus (did) We plan for Yusuf. He could not take his brother by the law (of) the king, except that Allah willed. We raise (in) degrees whom We will, but over every possessor (of) knowledge (is) the All-Knower