B'resheet (Gen) 42
1Now Ya‘akov saw that there was grain in Egypt; so Ya‘akov said to his sons, “Why are you staring at each other? 2Look,” he said, “I’ve heard that there’s grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us from there, so that we can stay alive and not die!” 3Thus Yosef’s ten brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt, 4except for Binyamin, Yosef’s brother. Ya‘akov did not send him with his brothers, because he was afraid something might happen to him.
5The sons of Isra’el came to buy along with the others that came, since the famine extended to the land of Kena‘an. 6Yosef was governor over the land; it was he who sold to all the people of the land. Now when Yosef’s brothers came and prostrated themselves before him on the ground, 7Yosef saw his brothers and recognized them; but he acted toward them as if he were a stranger and spoke harshly with them. He asked them, “Where are you from?” They answered, “From the land of Kena‘an to buy food.” 8So Yosef recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him.
9Remembering the dreams he had had about them, Yosef said to them, “You are spies! You’ve come to spot our country’s weaknesses!” 10“No, my lord,” they replied, “your servants have come to buy food. 11We’re all the sons of one man, we’re upright men; your servants aren’t spies.” 12“No,” he said to them, “you’ve come to spy out our country’s weaknesses.” 13They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Kena‘an; the youngest stayed with our father, and another one is gone.” 14“Just as I said,” replied Yosef, “you’re spies! 15Here’s how you can prove you’re not lying: as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave here unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of you, and let him bring your brother. Meanwhile, you will be kept in custody. This will prove whether there is any truth in what you say. Otherwise, as Pharaoh lives, you are certainly spies.” 17Then he put all of them together in prison for three days.
18On the third day, Yosef said to them, “Do what I say, and stay alive, for I fear God. (v) 19If you are upright men, let one of your brothers remain incarcerated in the prison you’re being kept in, while you go and carry grain back to relieve the famine in your homes. 20But bring your youngest brother to me. In this way your statements will be verified, and you won’t die.”
So they did it. 21They said to each other, “We are in fact guilty concerning our brother. He was in distress and pleaded with us; we saw it and wouldn’t listen. That’s why this distress has come upon us now.” 22Re’uven answered them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t wrong the boy’? But you wouldn’t hear of it. Now comes the reckoning for his blood!” 23They had no idea that Yosef understood them, since an interpreter was translating for them. 24Yosef turned away from them and wept; then he returned and spoke to them. He took Shim‘on from among them and put him in prison before their eyes. 25Next he ordered that their containers be filled with grain, that every man’s money be put back in his pack and that they be given provisions for the journey. When these things had been done for them, 26they loaded their grain on their donkeys and departed.
27But at camp that night, as one of them opened his pack to give fodder to his donkey, he noticed his money — there it was, just inside his pack. 28He said to his brothers, “My money has been restored — there it is, right in my pack!” At that, their hearts sank; they turned, trembling, to one another and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29They returned to Ya‘akov their father in the land of Kena‘an and told him all that had happened to them. 30“The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly with us. He took us for spies in his country. 31We said to him, ‘We are upright men, we’re not spies; 32we are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is gone, and the youngest stayed with our father in the land of Kena‘an.’ 33But the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘Here is how I will know that you are upright men: leave one of your brothers with me, take grain to relieve the famine in your homes, and go on your way; 34but bring your youngest brother to me. By this I will know that you aren’t spies, but are upright men; then I will return your brother to you; and you will do business in the land.’”
35Next, as they emptied their packs, there was each man’s bag of money in his pack; and when they and their father saw their bags of money, they became afraid. 36Ya‘akov their father said to them, “You have robbed me of my children! Yosef is gone, Shim‘on is gone, now you’re taking Binyamin away — it all falls on me!” 37Re’uven said to his father, “If I don’t bring him back to you, you can kill my own two sons! Put him in my care; I will return him to you.” 38But he replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother is dead, and he alone is left. If anything were to happen to him while traveling with you, you would bring my gray hair down to Sh’ol with grief.”
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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.”
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