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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.”

Genesis 42

42
1When Jacob found out grain was available in Egypt, he asked his sons, “Why do you keep on looking at each other to do something? 2I've heard there's grain in Egypt. Go there and buy some for us so we can stay alive—if not, we're going to die!”
3So ten of Joseph's brothers went to Egypt to buy grain. 4But Jacob did not send Joseph's brother Benjamin with his other brothers, for he said, “I'm afraid something bad might happen to him.” 5So Israel's sons went to buy grain along with everyone else, because there was famine in Canaan too.
6Joseph was the governor of the country and he sold grain to all the people there. So Joseph's brothers went to him, and bowed low before him with their faces to the ground. 7Joseph recognized them as soon as he saw them, but he acted like a stranger towards them and spoke to them in a severe way, saying, “Where are you from?”
“From the country of Canaan,” they replied. “We've come to buy food.”
8Even though Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn't recognize him. 9Joseph thought back to the dreams he'd had about them, and told them, “No! You're spies! You've come to discover our country's weaknesses!”
10“That's not true, my lord!” they responded. “We, your servants, have just come to buy food. 11We're all the sons of one man and we're honest. We're not spies!”
12“No! You've come to find our country's weaknesses!” he insisted.
13“Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man living in the country of Canaan,” they explained. “The youngest is right now with our father, and one has passed away.”
14“As I said before, you're spies!” Joseph declared. 15“This is how your story will be checked. I swear on Pharaoh's life that you'll never leave this country unless your younger brother comes here. 16One of you go back and bring your other brother here. The others of you will be kept here in prison until it's clear that you're telling the truth. If not, then I swear on Pharaoh's life it proves you're spies!”
17So Joseph put all of them in prison for three days. 18On the third day he told them, “Since I'm someone who respects God, do as I tell you and you'll live. 19If you're truly honest, choose one of your brothers to stay here in prison. The rest of you can go back home with grain for your hungry families. 20But you must bring your youngest brother here to me to prove what you're saying is true. If not, you will all die.” They agreed to do this.
21“Clearly we're being punished for what we did to our brother,” they said to each other. “We watched him in agony pleading with us for mercy, but we refused to listen to him. That's why we're in all this trouble.”
22Reuben said to them, “Didn't I tell you, ‘Don't harm the boy!’ But you didn't listen to me. Now we're paying the price for what we did to him.”#42:22. Literally, “Now his blood is required.” The concept is that the blood of the victim cries out for vengeance. 23They didn't realize that Joseph understood what they were saying because they were talking to him through an interpreter. 24Joseph stepped away from them because he started crying. He came back when he was able to speak to them again. He chose Simeon and had him tied up as they watched.
25Joseph gave the order to fill up their sacks with grain, and also to return the money they had paid by placing it in the sacks as well. He also ordered that they should be provided with food for their journey home. All this was done. 26The brothers loaded the grain onto their donkeys and then set off.
27On their way they stopped for the night, and one of them opened up his sack to give his donkey something to eat and saw his money there at the top of the sack. 28He told his brothers, “My money's been returned to me. It's right here at the top of my sack!” They were horrified! Trembling with fear they asked each other, “What is this that God's done to us?”
29When they arrived home in Canaan, they told their father Jacob everything that had happened. 30“The man who is the country's governor spoke to us in a severe way, and accused us of spying on the land,” they explained. 31“We told him, ‘We are honest men. We're not spies! 32We are twelve brothers, the sons of one father. One has passed away and the youngest is right now with our father in the country of Canaan.’ 33Then the man who is the country's governor said to us, ‘This is how I'll find out if you're telling the truth: you are to leave one of your brothers here with me while the rest take grain home for your hungry families. 34Then bring your youngest brother to me. That way I'll know you're not spies but you're telling the truth. I'll release your brother to you, and you can stay in the country and trade.’”
35As they emptied their sacks, each one's money bag was there in his sack! When they and their father saw the money bags, they were horrified. 36Jacob their father accused them, “You have taken Joseph from me—he's gone! Simeon is gone too! Now you want to take Benjamin away! I'm the one who's suffering from all of this!”#42:36. The sentence is literally, “on me are all these things.” The Hebrew construction focuses “on me” making it clear that Jacob is holding them responsible for his suffering.
37“You can kill my two sons if I don't bring him back to you,” Reuben assured him. “Trust me with him, and I will bring him home to you myself.”
38“My son won't go there with you!” Jacob declared. “His brother is dead, and he's the only one I have left. If anything bad happens to him on the journey you're planning, you'll send this old man to his grave in grief.”