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Genesis 42

42
Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
1When #Acts 7:12Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2And he said, “Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may #Gen. 43:8; Ps. 33:18, 19; Is. 38:1live and not die.”
3So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, #Gen. 42:38“Lest some calamity befall him.” 5And the sons of Israel went to buy grain among those who journeyed, for the famine was #Gen. 12:10; 26:1; 41:57; Acts 7:11in the land of Canaan.
6Now Joseph was governor #Gen. 41:41, 55over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and #Gen. 37:7–10; 41:43; Is. 60:14bowed down before him with their faces to the earth. 7Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted as #Gen. 45:1, 2a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. Then he said to them, “Where do you come from?”
And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8So Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 9Then Joseph #Gen. 37:5–9remembered the dreams which he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land!”
10And they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men; your servants are not spies.”
12But he said to them, “No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land.”
13And they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one #Gen. 37:30; 42:32; 44:20; Lam. 5:7is no more.”
14But Joseph said to them, “It is as I spoke to you, saying, ‘You are spies!’ 15In this manner you shall be tested: #1 Sam. 1:26; 17:55By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of you, and let him bring your brother; and you shall be kept in prison, that your words may be tested to see whether there is any truth in you; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies!” 17So he put them all together in prison #Gen. 40:4, 7, 12three days.
18Then Joseph said to them the third day, “Do this and live, #Gen. 22:12; 39:9; Ex. 1:17; Lev. 25:43; Neh. 5:15; Prov. 1:7; 9:10for I fear God: 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined to your prison house; but you, go and carry grain for the famine of your houses. 20And bring your young#Gen. 42:34; 43:5; 44:23est brother to me; so your words will be verified, and you shall not die.”
And they did so. 21Then they said to one another, #Gen. 37:26–28; 44:16; 45:3; Job 36:8, 9; Hos. 5:15“We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; #Prov. 21:13; Matt. 7:2therefore this distress has come upon us.”
22And Reuben answered them, saying, #Gen. 37:21, 22, 29“Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now #Gen. 9:5, 6; 1 Kin. 2:32; 2 Chr. 24:22; Ps. 9:12; Luke 11:50, 51required of us.” 23But they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter. 24And he turned himself away from them and #Gen. 43:30; 45:14, 15wept. Then he returned to them again, and talked with them. And he took #Gen. 34:25, 30; 43:14, 23Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.
The Brothers Return to Canaan
25Then Joseph #Gen. 44:1gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to #Gen. 43:12restore every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. #(Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:17, 20, 21; 1 Pet. 3:9)Thus he did for them. 26So they loaded their donkeys with the grain and departed from there. 27But as #Gen. 43:21, 22one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at the encampment, he saw his money; and there it was, in the mouth of his sack. 28So he said to his brothers, “My money has been restored, and there it is, in my sack!” Then their hearts failed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29Then they went to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying: 30“The man who is lord of the land #Gen. 42:7spoke roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. 31But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father this day in the land of Canaan.’ 33Then the man, the lord of the country, said to us, #Gen. 42:15, 19, 20‘By this I will know that you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for the famine of your households, and be gone. 34And bring your #Gen. 42:20; 43:3, 5youngest brother to me; so I shall know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. I will grant your brother to you, and you may #Gen. 34:10trade in the land.’ ”
35Then it happened as they emptied their sacks, that surprisingly #Gen. 43:12, 15, 21each man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 36And Jacob their father said to them, “You have #Gen. 43:14bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take #Gen. 35:18; (Rom. 8:28, 31)Benjamin. All these things are against me.”
37Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.”
38But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for #Gen. 37:22; 42:13; 44:20, 28his brother is dead, and he is left alone. #Gen. 42:4; 44:29If any calamity should befall him along the way in which you go, then you would #Gen. 37:35; 44:31bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.”
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Chapter 42
Joseph's brothers go to Egypt #42:1 Jacob is living in Canaan with his sons, except for Joseph. There is no food in Canaan, but Jacob knows that there is food in Egypt.
1Jacob heard that there was food in Egypt. So he said to his sons, ‘There is no food here, so why are you just sitting there? 2I have heard that there is food in Egypt. Go there and buy some for us. Then we may continue to live and not die.’
3So 10 of Joseph's brothers went to Egypt to buy food. 4But Jacob did not send his youngest son, Benjamin, with them. Jacob was afraid that something bad might happen to Benjamin. 5Jacob's sons went to Egypt, as well as other people who went there to buy food. They all went to Egypt because there was a bad famine in Canaan.
6Joseph had authority to rule Egypt at that time. He was the man who sold food to all the Egyptians. When Joseph's brothers arrived there, they bent down in front of him, with their faces to the ground. #42:6 Joseph's first dream had showed his brothers bending down to respect him.
7As soon as Joseph saw the men, he knew that they were his brothers. But he spoke to them as if they were strangers. He did not speak to them in a kind way. He asked them, ‘Where do you come from?’ They replied, ‘We come from the land of Canaan. We have come here to buy food.’ 8Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. #42:8 Joseph was only 17 years old when they sold him as a slave. He now looked like an Egyptian. Probably he spoke to his brothers in the language of Egypt. Then a man who could speak Hebrew told the brothers what Joseph had said. That is why they did not recognize him.
9Then Joseph remembered the dream that he had dreamed about his brothers. He said to them, ‘You have come here secretly to see how your people can attack our land.’ 10They replied ‘No, my lord, that is not true! We are your servants and we have come to buy food. 11We are all the sons of one man. We are honest men. We are not your enemies.’
12But Joseph said, ‘No! You have come here to see if our country is weak so that you can attack us.’ 13Joseph's brothers replied, ‘We belong to a family of 12 brothers. We are the sons of one man who lives in Canaan. Our youngest brother stayed at home with our father. One other brother is not with us any more.’ 14Joseph said to them, ‘It is as I told you. You are our enemies! 15I will see if what you say is true. This is what I will do. I promise by the life of Pharaoh himself, I will not let you leave this place. #42:15 Joseph made a promise ‘by the life of Pharaoh’. He wanted to show his brothers that he meant what he said. You must first bring your youngest brother here. Only then I will let you go. 16One of you must go to bring your brother here. I will keep you others in prison. In that way I will know if what you said is true. If your youngest brother does not come, then I will certainly know that you are enemies!’
17Then Joseph put his brothers in prison for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, ‘Do what I say. Then you will stay alive, because I respect God. #42:18 Joseph showed his brothers that he was under God's authority, so he would not cheat them. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison. The other brothers can go back to Canaan. You may take food back with you, because your families are hungry. 20But you must return to Egypt and you must bring your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that what you have said is true. Then you will not die.’ Joseph's brothers agreed to do what he told them.
21The brothers said to each other, ‘This punishment is happening to us because of what we did to Joseph. We saw how upset he was when he asked us not to kill him. But we refused to be kind to him. That is why we have all this trouble.’ 22Reuben said, ‘I told you not to do anything bad to the boy. But you would not agree! We killed him and now we must receive the punishment.’ 23While they said all this, they did not know that Joseph could understand them. Joseph had been speaking in the Egyptian language and someone else told the brothers his message in Hebrew. #42:23 The brothers still did not know that the important officer was Joseph. They thought that he was an Egyptian. They did not know that he spoke Hebrew too.
24Joseph went away from his brothers and he began to weep. But then he returned to speak to them again. While they watched, Joseph told his men to tie Simeon's hands and take him away. 25Then Joseph told his servants to fill the brothers' bags with food. He also told them to put each man's money back into his bag. #42:25 The brothers had brought the money to pay for the food. He told them to give the brothers enough food for their journey. The servants did what Joseph told them. 26Then the brothers put the bags of food on to their donkeys. Then they left.
27They travelled until they reached a place to sleep that night. One of the brothers opened his bag to get food for his donkey. Then he saw his money inside his bag, at the top. 28He said to his brothers, ‘They have given back my money! Here it is in my bag!’ All the brothers were upset and frightened. They asked each other, ‘What has God done to us?’
29After some time they arrived back in Canaan. They went to their father, Jacob. They told him everything that had happened to them. 30They said, ‘We met the man who is lord over Egypt. He spoke strong words to us. He thought that we were enemies who had come to find a way to attack Egypt. 31But we said to him, “We are honest men. We are not your enemies. 32We belong to a family of 12 brothers, all the sons of one father. One brother is not with us any more, and the youngest brother is at home with our father in Canaan.” 33Then the man who is lord over Egypt said, “I want to know if your are an honest men. This is what I will do. You must leave one of your brothers here, with me. Then take food for your hungry families and leave Egypt. 34But then you must bring your youngest brother here to me. If you do that, I will know that you are really honest men. I will know that you are not our enemies. Then I will give your brother back to you. You will be able to stay in Egypt and you can buy and sell things here.” ’
35The brothers started to take the food out of their bags. And in their bags, they found each man's money! When the brothers and their father saw the money, they were frightened. 36Their father Jacob said to them, ‘You are taking my children away from me! Joseph is not here any more. Simeon also is not here. Now you want to take Benjamin away from me. Everything that happens is hurting me!’
37Then Reuben said to his father, Jacob, ‘I will bring Benjamin back to you. If I do not, then you can kill both of my sons. Trust me to take care of him. I will bring him back.’ 38But Jacob said, ‘My son will not go with you. His brother is already dead. Benjamin is the only one left. Something bad may happen to him on your journey. I am already an old man. If I lose Benjamin, I would be so sad that I would die.’ #42:38 Benjamin is Jacob's youngest son. Benjamin's mother was Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel more than he loved his other wives. Jacob thinks that Joseph, Rachel's other son is dead. Jacob shows that he loves Benjamin more than he loves his other sons. Even when Simeon is in prison, Jacob does not want Benjamin to go to Egypt.