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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 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.”