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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.”

Genesis 42

42
Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?”
2“Look,” he added, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”
3So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “I am afraid that harm might befall him.”
5So the sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain, since the famine had also spread to the land of Canaan.
6Now Joseph was the ruler of the land; he was the one who sold grain to all its people. So when his brothers arrived, they bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. 7And when Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them as strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where have you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We are here to buy food.”
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9Joseph remembered his dreams about them and said, “You are spies! You have come to see if our land is vulnerable.”
10“Not so, my lord,” they replied. “Your servants have come to buy food. 11We are all sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.”
12“No,” he told them. “You have come to see if our land is vulnerable.”
13But they answered, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”
14Then Joseph declared, “Just as I said, you are spies! 15And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be confined so that the truth of your words may be tested. If they are untrue, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!”
17So Joseph imprisoned them for three days, 18and on the third day he said to them, “I fear God. So do this and you will live: 19If you are honest, leave one of your brothers in custody while the rest of you go and take back grain to relieve the hunger of your households. 20Then bring your youngest brother to me so that your words can be verified, that you may not die.”
And to this they consented.
21Then they said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.”
22And Reuben responded, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you would not listen. Now we must account for his blood!”
23They did not realize that Joseph understood them, since there was an interpreter between them. 24And he turned away from them and wept. When he turned back and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and had him bound before their eyes.
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Canaan
25Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return each man’s silver #42:25 Or money; here and throughout chapters 42–44 to his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. This order was carried out, 26and they loaded the grain on their donkeys and departed.
27At the place where they lodged for the night, one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of the sack. 28“My silver has been returned!” he said to his brothers. “It is here in my sack.”
Their hearts sank, and trembling, they turned to one another and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29When they reached their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they described to him all that had happened to them: 30“The man who is lord of the land spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying on the country.
31But we told him, ‘We are honest men, not spies. 32We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan.’
33Then the man who is lord of the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest: Leave one brother with me, take food to relieve the hunger of your households, and go. 34But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.’”
35As they began emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his bag of silver! And when they and their father saw the bags of silver, they were dismayed.
36Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my sons. Joseph is gone and Simeon is no more. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is going against me!”
37Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I fail to bring him back to you. Put him in my care, and I will return him.”
38But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If any harm comes to him on your journey, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”