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Genesis 42

42
Jacob [Israel] Sends Ten Sons to Egypt
1When Jacob found out that grain was for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at each other? 2I’ve heard there’s grain for sale in Egypt. Go there and buy some for us so that we won’t starve to death.”
3Ten of Joseph’s brothers went to buy grain in Egypt. 4Jacob wouldn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with the other brothers, because he was afraid that something would happen to him. 5Israel’s sons left with the others who were going to buy grain, because there was also famine in Canaan.
Joseph Sends Nine of His Brothers Back to Canaan
6As governor of the country, Joseph was selling grain to everyone. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed in front of him with their faces touching the ground. 7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them. But he acted as if he didn’t know them and spoke harshly to them. “Where did you come from?” he asked them.
“From Canaan, to buy food,” they answered.
8Even though Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him. 9Then he remembered the dreams he once had about them. “You’re spies!” he said to them, “And you’ve come to find out where our country is unprotected.”
10“No, sir!” they answered him. “We’ve come to buy food. 11We’re all sons of one man. We’re honest men, not spies.”
12He said to them, “No! You’ve come to find out where our country is unprotected.”
13They answered him, “We were 12 brothers, sons of one man in Canaan. The youngest brother stayed with our father, and the other one is no longer with us.”
14“It’s just as I told you,” Joseph said to them. “You’re spies! 15This is how you’ll be tested: I solemnly swear, as surely as Pharaoh lives, that you won’t leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16One of you must be sent to get your brother while the rest of you stay in prison. We’ll see if you’re telling the truth. If not, I solemnly swear, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17Then he put them in jail for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this, and you will live. I, too, fear God. 19If you are honest men, you will let one of your brothers stay here in prison. The rest of you will go and take grain back to your starving families. 20But you must bring me your youngest brother. This will show that you’ve been telling the truth. Then you won’t die.” So they agreed.
21They said to each other, “We’re surely being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw how troubled he was when he pleaded with us for mercy, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in trouble now.”
22Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen. Now we must pay for this bloodshed.”
23They didn’t know that Joseph could understand them, because he was speaking through an interpreter. 24He stepped away from them to cry. When he could speak to them again, he came back. Then he picked Simeon and had him arrested right in front of their eyes.
25Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain. He put each man’s money back into his sack and gave them supplies for their trip. After their bags were filled, 26they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27At the place where they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey. His money was right inside his sack. 28He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back! It’s right here in my sack!”
They wanted to die. They trembled and turned to each other and asked, “What has God done to us?”
Jacob’s [Israel’s] Sons Report to Him
29When they came to their father Jacob in Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30“The governor of that land spoke harshly to us and treated us like spies. 31But we said to him, ‘We’re honest men, not spies. 32We were 12 brothers, sons of the same father. One is no longer with us. The youngest brother stayed with our father in Canaan.’
33“Then the governor of that land said to us, ‘This is how I’ll know that you’re honest men: Leave one of your brothers with me. Take food for your starving families and go. 34But bring me your youngest brother. Then I’ll know that you’re not spies but honest men. I’ll give your brother back to you, and you’ll be able to move about freely in this country.’ ”
35As they were emptying their sacks, each man found his bag of money in his sack. When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were frightened. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You’re going to make me lose all my children! Joseph is no longer with us, Simeon is no longer with us, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything’s against me!”
37So Reuben said to his father, “You may put my two sons to death if I don’t bring him back to you. Let me take care of him, and I’ll bring him back to you.”
38Jacob replied, “My son will not go with you. His brother is dead, and he’s the only one left. If any harm comes to him on the trip you’re taking, the grief would drive this gray-haired old man to his grave!”
42
Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt
1Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?” 2Then he said, “Look, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from #Lit therethat place, 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 may happen to him.” 5So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, because the famine was also in the land of Canaan.
6Now Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold grain to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. He said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”
8But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him. 9And Joseph remembered the dreams which he #Lit had dreamedhad about them, and he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to look at the #Lit nakedness of the landundefended parts of our land.” 10And they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11We are all sons of one man; we are honest men, your servants are not spies.” 12Yet he said to them, “No, but you have come to look at the #Lit nakedness of the landundefended parts of our land!” 13But they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers in all, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no longer alive.” 14Yet Joseph said to them, “It is as I said #Lit to you, sayingto you, you are spies; 15by this you will be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here! 16Send one of you and have him get your brother, while you remain confined, so that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. But if not, by the life of Pharaoh, you are certainly spies!” 17So he put them all together in prison for three days.
18Now Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God: 19if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in #Lit the house of your prisonyour prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine of your households, 20and bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified, and you will not die.” And they did so. 21Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; for that reason this distress has happened to us.” 22Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell #Lit you, saying,you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? #Lit And behold, his blood also is requiredNow justice for his blood is required.” 23They did not know, however, that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them. 24Then he turned away from them and wept. But when he returned to them and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, but also to return every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And that is what was done for them.
26So they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed from there. 27But when one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at the overnight campsite, he saw his money; and behold, it was in the opening of his sack! 28So he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned, and look, it is right in my sack!” Then their hearts #Lit went outsank, and they turned #Lit trembledtrembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
Simeon Is Held Hostage
29When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them, saying, 30“The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly with 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 longer alive, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’ 33But the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go. 34But bring your youngest brother to me so that I may know that you are not spies, but #Lit you are honesthonest men. I will give your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’ ”
35Now it came about, as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man’s bag of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bags of money, they were afraid. 36And their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my sons: Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone, and now you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” 37Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my #Lit handcare, and I will return him to you.” 38But #Lit heJacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should happen to him on the journey #Lit on which you are goingyou are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”