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Genesis 42

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Joseph’s Brothers Go Down to Egypt
1Jacob found out that there was grain in Egypt. So he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at one another?” 2He continued, “I’ve heard there’s grain in Egypt. Go down there. Buy some for us. Then we’ll live and not die.”
3So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain there. 4But Jacob didn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with them. He was afraid Benjamin might be harmed. 5Israel’s sons were among the people who went to buy grain. There wasn’t enough food in the land of Canaan.
6Joseph was the governor of the land. He was the one who sold grain to all its people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them. But he pretended to be a stranger. He spoke to them in a mean way. “Where do you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We’ve come to buy food.”
8Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. 9Then Joseph remembered his dreams about them. So he said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the places where our land isn’t guarded very well.”
10“No, sir,” they answered. “We’ve come to buy food. 11All of us are the sons of one man. We’re honest men. We aren’t spies.”
12“No!” he said to them. “You have come to see the places where our land isn’t guarded very well.”
13But they replied, “We were 12 brothers. All of us were the sons of one man. He lives in the land of Canaan. Our youngest brother is now with our father. And one brother is gone.”
14Joseph said to them, “I still say you are spies! 15So I’m going to test you. And here’s the test. You can be sure that you won’t leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. You can be just as sure of this as you are sure that Pharaoh lives. I give you my word that you won’t leave here unless your brother comes. 16Send one of you back to get your brother. The rest of you will be kept in prison. I’ll test your words. Then we’ll find out whether you are telling the truth. You can be sure that Pharaoh lives. And you can be just as sure that if you aren’t telling the truth, we’ll know that you are spies!” 17So Joseph kept all of them under guard for three days.
18On the third day, Joseph spoke to them again. He said, “Do what I say. Then you will live, because I have respect for God. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison. The rest of you may go and take grain back to your hungry families. 20But you must bring your youngest brother to me. That will prove that your words are true. Then you won’t die.” So they did what he said.
21They said to one another, “God is surely punishing us because of our brother. We saw how upset he was when he begged us to let him live. But we wouldn’t listen. That’s why all this trouble has come to us.”
22Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we’re being paid back for killing him.” 23They didn’t realize that Joseph could understand what they were saying. He was using someone else to explain their words to him in the Egyptian language.
24Joseph turned away from his brothers and began to weep. Then he came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken and tied up right there in front of them.
25Joseph gave orders to have their bags filled with grain. He had each man’s money put back into his sack. He also made sure they were given food for their journey. 26Then the brothers loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27When night came, they stopped. One of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey. He saw his money in the top of his sack. 28“My money has been given back,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”
They had a sinking feeling in their hearts. They began to tremble. They turned to one another and said, “What has God done to us?”
29They came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him everything that had happened to them. They said, 30“The man who is the governor of the land spoke to us in a mean way. He treated us as if we were spying on the land. 31But we said to him, ‘We’re honest men. We aren’t spies. 32We were 12 brothers. All of us were the sons of one father. But now one brother is gone. And our youngest brother is with our father in Canaan.’
33“Then the man who is the governor of the land spoke to us. He said, ‘Here’s how I will know whether you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me. Take food for your hungry families and go. 34But bring your youngest brother to me. Then I’ll know that you are honest men and not spies. I’ll give your brother back to you. And you will be free to trade in the land.’ ”
35They began emptying their sacks. There in each man’s sack was his bag of money! When they and their father saw the money bags, they were scared to death. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You have taken my children away from me. Joseph is gone. Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is going against me!”
37Then Reuben spoke to his father. He said, “You can put both of my sons to death if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. Trust me to take care of him. I’ll bring him back.”
38But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you. His brother is dead. He’s the only one left here with me. Suppose he’s harmed on the journey you are taking. Then I would die as a sad old man.”
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Genesis 42
1¶ Now when Jacob saw that there was food in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why are ye looking upon one another?
2And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is food in Egypt; go down there and buy for us from there that we may live, and not die.
3And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy wheat in Egypt.
4But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure disaster befall him.
5And the sons of Israel came to buy among those that came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6And Joseph was the lord over the land, and he it was that sold the wheat to all the people of the land; and Joseph’s brethren came and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
7¶ And when Joseph saw his brethren, he knew them, but made himself strange unto them and spoke roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Where have you come from? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.
8And Joseph knew his brethren but they did not know him.
9Then Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
10And they said unto him, No, my lord, but to buy food are thy slaves come.
11We are all one man’s sons; we are men of the truth, thy slaves have never been spies.
12And he said unto them, No, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
13And they said, Thy slaves are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.
14And Joseph said unto them, That is it that which I spoke unto you, saying, Ye are spies:
15Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth from here unless your youngest brother comes here.
16Send one of you and let him bring your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison that your words may be proved, whether there is any truth in you; or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies.
17And he put them all together into prison for three days.
18And Joseph said unto them the third day, Do this and live, for I fear God.
19If ye are men of the truth, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison; go ye, carry food for the famine of your houses
20but bring your youngest brother unto me, so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
21¶ And they said one to another, We are truly guilty concerning our brother in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
22Then Reuben answered them, saying, Did I not speak unto you, saying, Do not sin against the young man, and ye would not hear? Therefore, behold, his blood is also required.
23And they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke unto them by an interpreter.
24And he turned himself about from them and wept and returned to them again and spoke with them and took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.
25Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with wheat and to restore each man’s money into his sack and to give them provisions for the way; and thus it was done unto them.
26And they laded their asses with the wheat and departed from there.
27And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass fodder in the inn, he saw his money; for, behold, it was in his sack’s mouth.
28And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, behold, it is even in my sack. And their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God has done unto us?
29¶ And they came unto Jacob, their father, unto the land of Canaan and told him all that had befallen them, saying,
30The man, who is the lord of the land, spoke roughly to us and took us for spies of the country.
31And we said unto him, We are men of the truth; we have never been spies.
32We are twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.
33And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby I shall know that ye are men of the truth; leave one of your brethren here with me and take food for the famine of your households and go
34and bring your youngest brother unto me; then I shall know that ye are not spies, but that ye are men of the truth; thus I will deliver you your brother, and ye shall trade in the land.
35And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, each man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.
36And Jacob, their father, said unto them, Ye have bereaved me of my sons: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away; all these things are upon me.
37And Reuben spoke unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I do not bring him to thee; deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.
38And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left; if some disaster should befall him by the way in which ye go, then shall ye bring my gray hairs with sorrow down to Sheol.