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Genesis 42

42
1And Jacob seeth that there is corn in Egypt, and Jacob saith to his sons, ‘Why do you look at each other?’
2he saith also, ‘Lo, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt, go down thither, and buy for us from thence, and we live and do not die;’
3and the ten brethren of Joseph go down to buy corn in Egypt,
4and Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob hath not sent with his brethren, for he said, ‘Lest mischief meet him.’
5And the sons of Israel come to buy in the midst of those coming, for the famine hath been in the land of Canaan,
6and Joseph is the ruler over the land, he who is selling to all the people of the land, and Joseph's brethren come and bow themselves to him — face to the earth.
7And Joseph seeth his brethren, and discerneth them, and maketh himself strange unto them, and speaketh with them sharp things, and saith unto them, ‘From whence have ye come?’ and they say, ‘From the land of Canaan — to buy food.’
8And Joseph discerneth his brethren, but they have not discerned him,
9and Joseph remembereth the dreams which he dreamed of them, and saith unto them, ‘Ye [are] spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye have come.’
10And they say unto him, ‘No, my lord, but thy servants have come to buy food;
11we [are] all of us sons of one man, we [are] right men; thy servants have not been spies;’
12and he saith unto them, ‘No, but the nakedness of the land ye have come to see;’
13and they say, ‘Thy servants [are] twelve brethren; we [are] sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and lo, the young one [is] with our father to-day, and the one is not.’
14And Joseph saith unto them, ‘This [is] that which I have spoken unto you, saying, Ye [are] spies,
15by this ye are proved: Pharaoh liveth! if ye go out from this — except by your young brother coming hither;
16send one of you, and let him bring your brother, and ye, remain ye bound, and let your words be proved, whether truth be with you: and if not — Pharaoh liveth! surely ye [are] spies;’
17and he removeth them unto charge three days.
18And Joseph saith unto them on the third day, ‘This do and live; God I fear!
19if ye [are] right men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your ward, and ye, go, carry in corn [for] the famine of your houses,
20and your young brother ye bring unto me, and your words are established, and ye die not;’ and they do so.
21And they say one unto another, ‘Verily we [are] guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul, in his making supplication unto us, and we did not hearken: therefore hath this distress come upon us.’
22And Reuben answereth them, saying, ‘Spake I not unto you, saying, Sin not against the lad? and ye hearkened not; and his blood also, lo, it is required.’
23And they have not known that Joseph understandeth, for the interpreter [is] between them;
24and he turneth round from them, and weepeth, and turneth back unto them, and speaketh unto them, and taketh from them Simeon, and bindeth him before their eyes.
25And Joseph commandeth, and they fill their vessels [with] corn, also to put back the money of each unto his sack, and to give to them provision for the way; and one doth to them so.
26And they lift up their corn upon their asses, and go from thence,
27and the one openeth his sack to give provender to his ass at a lodging-place, and he seeth his money, and lo, it [is] in the mouth of his bag,
28and he saith unto his brethren, ‘My money hath been put back, and also, lo, in my bag:’ and their heart goeth out, and they tremble, one to another saying, ‘What [is] this God hath done to us!’
29And they come in unto Jacob their father, to the land of Canaan, and they declare to him all the things meeting them, saying,
30‘The man, the lord of the land, hath spoken with us sharp things, and maketh us as spies of the land;
31and we say unto him, We [are] right men, we have not been spies,
32we [are] twelve brethren, sons of our father, the one is not, and the young one [is] to-day with our father in the land of Canaan.
33‘And the man, the lord of the land, saith unto us, By this I know that ye [are] right men — one of your brethren leave with me, and [for] the famine of your houses take ye and go,
34and bring your young brother unto me, and I know that ye [are] not spies, but ye [are] right men; your brother I give to you, and ye trade with the land.’
35And it cometh to pass, they are emptying their sacks, and lo, the bundle of each man's silver [is] in his sack, and they see their bundles of silver, they and their father, and are afraid;
36and Jacob their father saith unto them, ‘Me ye have bereaved; Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and Benjamin ye take — against me have been all these.’
37And Reuben speaketh unto his father, saying, ‘My two sons thou dost put to death, if I bring him not in unto thee; give him into my hand, and I — I bring him back unto thee;’
38and he saith, ‘My son doth not go down with you, for his brother [is] dead, and he by himself is left; when mischief hath met him in the way in which ye go, then ye have brought down my grey hairs in sorrow to sheol.’

Genesis 42

42
The Brothers’ First Journey to Egypt.#The first journey of the brothers to Egypt. Its cause is famine, which was also the reason Abraham and Sarah undertook their dangerous journey to Egypt. The brothers bow to Joseph in v. 6, which fulfills Joseph’s dream in 37:5–11. Endowed with wisdom, Joseph begins a process of instruction or “discipline” for his brothers that eventually forces them to recognize the enormity of their sin against him and the family. He controls their experience of the first journey with the result that the second journey in chaps. 43–44 leads to full acknowledgment and reconciliation. 1When Jacob learned that grain rations were for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons: “Why do you keep looking at one another?” 2He went on, “I hear that grain is for sale in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, that we may stay alive and not die.”#Acts 7:12. 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 thought some disaster might befall him. 5And so the sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain, since there was famine in the land of Canaan.#Jdt 5:10; Acts 7:11.
6Joseph, as governor of the country, was the one who sold grain to all the people of the land. When Joseph’s brothers came, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.#Ps 105:21. 7He recognized them as soon as he saw them. But he concealed his own identity from them and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked them. They answered, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”
8When Joseph recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him, 9he was reminded of the dreams he had about them. He said to them: “You are spies.#Gn 37:5. You have come to see the weak points#42:9, 12] Weak points: lit., “the nakedness of the land”; the military weakness of the land, like human nakedness, should not be seen by strangers. of the land.” 10“No, my lord,” they replied. “On the contrary, your servants have come to buy food. 11All of us are sons of the same man. We are honest men; your servants have never been spies.” 12But he answered them: “Not so! It is the weak points of the land that you have come to see.” 13“We your servants,” they said, “are twelve brothers, sons of a certain man in Canaan; but the youngest one is at present with our father, and the other one is no more.”#Gn 44:20. 14“It is just as I said,” Joseph persisted; “you are spies. 15This is how you shall be tested: I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you shall not leave here unless your youngest brother comes here. 16So send one of your number to get your brother, while the rest of you stay here under arrest. Thus will your words be tested for their truth; if they are untrue, as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them: “Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in this prison, while the rest of you go and take home grain for your starving families. 20But you must bring me your youngest brother. Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die.” To this they agreed.#Gn 43:5. 21To one another, however, they said: “Truly we are being punished because of our brother. We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen. That is why this anguish has now come upon us.”#Gn 37:18–27. 22Then Reuben responded, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do no wrong to the boy’? But you would not listen! Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”#Gn 37:22. 23They did not know, of course, that Joseph understood what they said, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. 24But turning away from them, he wept. When he was able to speak to them again, he took Simeon from among them and bound him before their eyes. 25Then Joseph gave orders to have their containers filled with grain, their money replaced in each one’s sack, and provisions given them for their journey. After this had been done for them, 26they loaded their donkeys with the grain and departed.
27At the night encampment, when one of them opened his bag to give his donkey some fodder, he saw his money there in the mouth of his bag. 28He cried out to his brothers, “My money has been returned! Here it is in my bag!” At that their hearts sank. Trembling, they asked one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29When they got back to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. 30“The man who is lord of the land,” they said, “spoke to us harshly and put us in custody on the grounds that we were spying on the land. 31But we said to him: ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies. 32We are twelve brothers, sons of the same father; but one is no more, and the youngest one 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 if you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, then take grain for your starving families and go. 34When you bring me your youngest brother, and I know that you are not spies but honest men, I will restore your brother to you, and you may move about freely in the land.’”
35When they were emptying their sacks, there in each one’s sack was his moneybag! At the sight of their moneybags, they and their father were afraid. 36Their father Jacob said to them: “Must you make me childless? Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin away! All these things have happened to me!” 37Then Reuben told his father: “You may kill my own two sons if I do not return him to you! Put him in my care, and I will bring him back to you.” 38But Jacob replied: “My son shall not go down with you. Now that his brother is dead, he is the only one left. If some disaster should befall him on the journey you must make, you would send my white head down to Sheol in grief.”#Gn 37:35.