Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
1When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another? 2I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise we’ll die.”
3So Joseph’s ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain. 4But Jacob wouldn’t let Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, for fear some harm might come to him. 5So Jacob’s#42:5 Hebrew Israel’s. See note on 35:21. sons arrived in Egypt along with others to buy food, for the famine was in Canaan as well.
6Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground. 7Joseph recognized his brothers instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where are you from?” he demanded.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We have come to buy food.”
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him. 9And he remembered the dreams he’d had about them many years before. He said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.”
10“No, my lord!” they exclaimed. “Your servants have simply come to buy food. 11We are all brothers—members of the same family. We are honest men, sir! We are not spies!”
12“Yes, you are!” Joseph insisted. “You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.”
13“Sir,” they said, “there are actually twelve of us. We, your servants, are all brothers, sons of a man living in the land of Canaan. Our youngest brother is back there with our father right now, and one of our brothers is no longer with us.”
14But Joseph insisted, “As I said, you are spies! 15This is how I will test your story. I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you will never leave Egypt unless your youngest brother comes here! 16One of you must go and get your brother. I’ll keep the rest of you here in prison. Then we’ll find out whether or not your story is true. By the life of Pharaoh, if it turns out that you don’t have a younger brother, then I’ll know you are spies.”
17So Joseph put them all in prison for three days. 18On the third day Joseph said to them, “I am a God-fearing man. If you do as I say, you will live. 19If you really are honest men, choose one of your brothers to remain in prison. The rest of you may go home with grain for your starving families. 20But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. This will prove that you are telling the truth, and you will not die.” To this they agreed.
21Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.”
22“Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!”
23Of course, they didn’t know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter. 24Now he turned away from them and began to weep. When he regained his composure, he spoke to them again. Then he chose Simeon from among them and had him tied up right before their eyes.
25Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men’s sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each brother’s payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them supplies for their journey home. 26So the brothers loaded their donkeys with the grain and headed for home.
27But when they stopped for the night and one of them opened his sack to get grain for his donkey, he found his money in the top of his sack. 28“Look!” he exclaimed to his brothers. “My money has been returned; it’s here in my sack!” Then their hearts sank. Trembling, they said to each other, “What has God done to us?”
29When the brothers came to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them. 30“The man who is governor of the land spoke very harshly to us,” they told him. “He accused us of being spies scouting the land. 31But we said, ‘We are honest men, not spies. 32We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One brother is no longer with us, and the youngest is at home with our father in the land of Canaan.’
33“Then the man who is governor of the land told us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your starving families and go on home. 34But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know you are honest men and not spies. Then I will give you back your brother, and you may trade freely in the land.’”
35As they emptied out their sacks, there in each man’s sack was the bag of money he had paid for the grain! The brothers and their father were terrified when they saw the bags of money. 36Jacob exclaimed, “You are robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!”
37Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. I’ll be responsible for him, and I promise to bring him back.”
38But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.#42:38 Hebrew to Sheol.”
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1Then Iaakob saw that there was foode in Egypt, and Iaakob said vnto his sonnes, Why gaze ye one vpon an other? 2And he said, Behold, I haue heard that there is foode in Egypt, Get you downe thither, and bie vs foode thence, that we may liue and not die. 3So went Iosephs ten brethren downe to bye corne of the Egyptians. 4But Beniamin Iosephs brother woulde not Iaakob send with his brethren: for he saide, Least death should befall him. 5And the sonnes of Israel came to bye foode among them that came: for there was famine in the land of Canaan. 6Now Ioseph was gouerner of the land, who solde to all the people of the lande: then Iosephs brethren came, and bowed their face to the groud before him. 7And when Ioseph sawe his brethren, hee knewe them, and made himselfe straunge toward them, and spake to them roughly, and saide vnto them, Whence come yee? Who answered, Out of the land of Canaan, to bye vitaile. 8(Now Ioseph knewe his brethren, but they knew not him. 9And Ioseph remembred the dreames, which he dreamed of them) and he sayde vnto them, Ye are spies, and are come to see the weaknesse of the land. 10But they sayde vnto him, Nay, my lorde, but to bye vitayle thy seruants are come. 11Wee are all one mans sonnes: wee meane truely, and thy seruants are no spies. 12But he saide vnto them, Nay, but yee are come to see the weakenes of the land. 13And they said, We thy seruants are twelue brethren, the sonnes of one man in the lande of Canaan: and beholde, the yongest is this day with our father, and one is not. 14Againe Ioseph sayde vnto them, This is it that I spake vnto you, saying, Ye are spies. 15Hereby ye shall be proued: by the life of Pharaoh, ye shall not goe hence, except your yongest brother come hither. 16Send one of you which may fet your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proued, whether there bee trueth in you: or els by the life of Pharaoh ye are but spies. 17So he put them in warde three dayes. 18Then Ioseph said vnto them the third day, This do, and liue: for I feare God. 19If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bounde in your prison house, and goe ye, carie foode for the famine of your houses: 20But bring your yonger brother vnto me, that your wordes may be tried, and that ye dye not: and they did so. 21And they said one to another, We haue verily sinned against our brother, in that we sawe the anguish of his soule, when he besought vs, and we would not heare him: therefore is this trouble come vpon vs. 22And Reuben answered them, saying, Warned I not you, saying, Sinne not against the childe, and ye would not heare? and lo, his blood is now required. 23(And they were not aware that Ioseph vnderstoode them: for he spake vnto them by an interpreter.) 24Then he turned from them, and wept, and turned to them againe, and communed with them, and tooke Simeon from among them, and bounde him before their eyes. 25So Ioseph commanded that they should fill their sackes with wheate, and put euery mans money againe in his sacke, and giue them vitaile for the iourney: and thus did he vnto them. 26And they layed their vitaile vpon their asses, and departed thence. 27And as one of them opened his sacke for to giue his asse prouender in the ynne, he espyed his money: for lo, it was in his sackes mouth. 28Then he sayde vnto his brethren, My money is restored: for loe, it is euen in my sacke. And their heart fayled them, and they were astonished, and sayde one to another, What is this, that God hath done vnto vs? 29And they came vnto Iaakob their father vnto the lande of Canaan, and tolde him all that had befallen them, saying, 30The man, who is Lord of the lande, spake roughly to vs, and put vs in prison as spyes of the countrey. 31And we sayd vnto him, We are true men, and are no spies. 32We be twelue brethren, sonnes of our father: one is not, and the yongest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. 33Then the Lord of the countrey sayde vnto vs, Hereby shall I knowe if ye be true men: Leaue one of your brethren with me, and take foode for the famine of your houses and depart, 34And bring your yongest brother vnto me, that I may knowe that ye are no spies, but true men: so will I deliuer you your brother, and yee shall occupie in the land. 35And as they emptied their sacks, behold, euery mans bundel of money was in his sacke: and when they and their father sawe the bundels of their money, they were afrayde. 36Then Iaakob their father said to them, Ye haue robbed me of my children: Ioseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Beniamin: all these things are against me. 37Then Reuben answered his father, saying, Slay my two sonnes, if I bring him not to thee againe: deliuer him to mine hand, and I will bring him to thee againe. 38But he said, My sonne shall not go downe with you: for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if death come vnto him by the way which ye goe, then ye shall bring my gray head with sorow vnto the graue.
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