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Genesis 42

42
Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt to Buy Corn
1When Jacob learnt that there was corn in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why don't you do something? 2#Acts 7.12I hear that there is corn in Egypt; go there and buy some to keep us from starving to death.” 3So Joseph's ten half-brothers went to buy corn in Egypt, 4but Jacob did not send Joseph's full-brother Benjamin with them, because he was afraid that something might happen to him.
5The sons of Jacob came with others to buy corn, because there was famine in the land of Canaan. 6Joseph, as governor of the land of Egypt, was selling corn to people from all over the world. So Joseph's brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. 7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he acted as if he did not know them. He asked them harshly, “Where do you come from?”
“We have come from Canaan to buy food,” they answered.
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9#Gen 37.5–10He remembered the dreams he had dreamt about them and said, “You are spies; you have come to find out where our country is weak.”
10“No, sir,” they answered. “We have come as your slaves, to buy food. 11We are all brothers. We are not spies, sir, we are honest men.”
12Joseph said to them, “No! You have come to find out where our country is weak.”
13They said, “We were twelve brothers in all, sir, sons of the same man in the land of Canaan. One brother is dead, and the youngest is now with our father.”
14“It is just as I said,” Joseph answered. “You are spies. 15This is how you will be tested: I swear by the name of the king that you will never leave unless your youngest brother comes here. 16One of you must go and get him. The rest of you will be kept under guard until the truth of what you say can be tested. Otherwise, as sure as the king lives, you are spies.” 17Then he put them in prison for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “I am a God-fearing man, and I will spare your lives on one condition. 19To prove that you are honest, one of you will stay in the prison where you have been kept; the rest of you may go and take back to your starving families the corn that you have bought. 20Then you must bring your youngest brother to me. This will prove that you have been telling the truth, and I will not put you to death.”
They agreed to this 21and said to one another, “Yes, now we are suffering the consequences of what we did to our brother; we saw the great trouble he was in when he begged for help, but we would not listen. That is why we are in this trouble now.”
22 # Gen 37.21–22 Reuben said, “I told you not to harm the boy, but you wouldn't listen. And now we are being paid back for his death.” 23Joseph understood what they said, but they did not know it, because they had been speaking to him through an interpreter. 24Joseph left them and began to cry. When he was able to speak again, he came back, picked out Simeon, and had him tied up in front of them.
Joseph's Brothers Return to Canaan
25Joseph gave orders to fill his brothers' packs with corn, to put each man's money back in his sack, and to give them food for the journey. This was done. 26The brothers loaded their donkeys with the corn they had bought, and then they left. 27At the place where they spent the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey and found his money at the top of the sack. 28“My money has been returned to me,” he called to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack!” Their hearts sank, and in fear they asked one another, “What has God done to us?”
29When they came to their father Jacob in Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them: 30“The governor of Egypt spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying against his country. 31‘We are not spies,’ we answered, ‘we are honest men. 32We were twelve brothers in all, sons of the same father. One brother is dead, and the youngest is still in Canaan with our father.’ 33The man answered, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men: one of you will stay with me; the rest will take corn for your starving families and leave. 34Bring 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 can stay here and trade.’ ”
35Then when they emptied out their sacks, every one of them found his bag of money; and when they saw the money, they and their father Jacob were afraid. 36Their father said to them, “Do you want to make me lose all my children? Joseph is gone; Simeon is gone; and now you want to take away Benjamin. I am the one who suffers!”
37Reuben said to his father, “If I do not bring Benjamin back to you, you can kill my two sons. Put him in my care, and I will bring him back.”
38But Jacob said, “My son cannot go with you; his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. Something might happen to him on the way. I am an old man, and the sorrow you would cause me would kill me.”
42
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2#Acts 7.12. And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live, and not die.” 3So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might befall him. 5#Acts 7.11. Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6Now Joseph was governor over the land; he it was who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came, and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. 7Joseph saw his brothers, and knew them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” 8Thus Joseph knew his brothers, but they did not know him. 9And Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed of them; and he said to them, “You are spies, you have come to see the weakness of the land.” 10They said to him, “No, my lord, but to buy food have your servants come. 11We are all sons of one man, we are honest men, your servants are not spies.” 12He said to them, “No, it is the weakness of the land that you have come to see.” 13And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.” 14But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you, you are spies. 15By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain in prison, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17And he put them all together in prison for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined in your prison, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, 20and bring your youngest brother to me; so your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. 21Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us and we would not listen; therefore is this distress come upon us.” 22And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the lad? But you would not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24Then he turned away from them and wept; and he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.
26Then they loaded their asses with their grain, and departed. 27And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender at the lodging place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack; 28and he said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had befallen them, saying, 30“The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly to us, and took us to be spies of the land. 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 this day with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way. 34Bring your youngest brother to me; then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men, and I will deliver to you your brother, and you shall trade in the land.’ ”
35As they emptied their sacks, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed. 36And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin; all this has come upon me.” 37Then Reuben said to his father, “Slay 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 his brother is dead, and he only is left. If harm should befall him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”