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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.”

Genesis 42

42
Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you staring blankly at each other? 2I’ve just heard that there’s grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us so that we can survive and not starve to death.” 3So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4However, Jacob didn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin along with his brothers because he thought something bad might happen to him. 5Israel’s sons came to buy grain with others who also came since the famine had spread to the land of Canaan.
6As for Joseph, he was the land’s governor, and he was the one selling grain to all the land’s people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him, their faces to the ground. 7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he acted like he didn’t know them. He spoke to them with a harsh tone and said, “Where have you come from?”
And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. 9Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies. You’ve come to look for the country’s weaknesses.”
10They said to him, “No, Master. Your servants have just come to buy food. 11We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants aren’t spies.”
12He said to them, “No. You’ve come to look for the country’s weaknesses.”
13They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, but one is gone.”
14Joseph said to them, “It’s just as I’ve said to you. You are spies! 15But here is how to prove yourselves: As Pharaoh lives, you won’t leave here until your youngest brother arrives. 16Send one of you to get your brother, but the rest of you will stay in prison. We will find out if your words are true. If not, as Pharaoh lives, you are certainly spies.”
Joseph’s brothers return to Canaan
17He put them all in prison for three days. 18On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I’m a God-fearing man. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay in prison, and the rest of you, go, take grain back to those in your households who are hungry. 20But bring your youngest brother back to me so that your words will prove true and you won’t die.”
So they prepared to do this. 21The brothers said to each other, “We are clearly guilty for what we did to our brother when we saw his life in danger and when he begged us for mercy, but we didn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this danger now.”
22Reuben responded to them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t do anything wrong to the boy’? But you wouldn’t listen. So now this is payback for his death.” 23They didn’t know that Joseph was listening to them because they were using an interpreter. 24He stepped away from them and wept. When he returned, he spoke with them again. Then he took Simeon from them and tied him up in front of them.
25Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put back each man’s silver into his own sack, and to give them provisions for their trip, and it was done. 26They loaded their grain onto their donkeys, and they set out. 27When they stopped to spend the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey, and he saw his silver at the top of his sack. 28He said to his brothers, “My silver’s been returned. It’s right here in my sack.” Their hearts stopped. Terrified, they said to each other, “What has God done to us?”
29When they got back to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they described to him everything that had happened to them: 30“The man, the country’s governor, spoke to us with a harsh tone and accused us of being spies in the country. 31We told him, ‘We’re honest men, not spies. 32We are twelve brothers, all our father’s sons. One of us is gone, but the youngest is right now with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33The man, the country’s governor, told us, ‘This is how I will know you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers with me, take grain for those in your households who are hungry, and go. 34But bring back your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you are not spies but honest men. I will give your brother back to you, and you may travel throughout the country.’”
35When they opened their sacks, each man found a pouch of his silver in his sack. When they and their father saw their pouches of silver, they were afraid. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You’ve taken my children from me. Joseph’s gone. Simeon’s gone. And you are taking Benjamin. All this can’t really be happening to me!”
37Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I don’t bring him back to you. Make him my responsibility, and I will make sure he returns to you.”
38But Jacob said to him, “My son won’t go down with you because his brother’s dead and he’s been left all alone. If anything were to happen to him on the trip you are taking, you would send me—old as I am—to my grave in grief.”