Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt,#Ac 7:12 he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at each other? 2Listen,” he went on, “I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us so that we will live and not die.”#Gn 43:8 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, “Something might happen to him.”
5The sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6Joseph was in charge of the country; he sold grain to all its people. His brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground.#Gn 37:7–10; 41:43; Is 60:14 7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them.
“Where do you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan to buy food,” they replied.
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9Joseph remembered his dreams about them#Gn 37:5–11 and said to them, “You are spies. You have come to see the weakness#42:9 Lit nakedness, also in v. 12 of the land.”
10“No, my lord. Your servants have come to buy food,” they said. 11“We are all sons of one man. We are honest; your servants are not spies.”
12“No,” he said to them. “You have come to see the weakness of the land.”
13But they replied, “We, your servants, were twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now#42:13 Or today, also in v. 32 with our father, and one is no longer living.”
14Then Joseph said to them, “I have spoken:#42:14 Lit “That which I spoke to you saying: ‘You are spies!’ 15This is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one from among you to get your brother. The rest of you will be imprisoned so that your words can be tested to see if they are true. If they are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17So Joseph imprisoned them together for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “I fear God#Gn 39:9; Lv 25:43; Neh 5:15 — do this and you will live. 19If you are honest, let one of you#42:19 Lit your brothers be confined to the guardhouse, while the rest of you go and take grain to relieve the hunger of your households. 20Bring your youngest brother to me so that your words can be confirmed; then you won’t die.” And they consented to this.
21Then they said to each other, “Obviously, we are being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw his deep distress when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this trouble has come to us.”#Gn 37:26–28
22But Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to harm the boy?#Gn 37:22 But you wouldn’t listen. Now we must account for his blood!” #42:22 Lit Even his blood is being sought!”
23They did not realize that Joseph understood them, since there was an interpreter between them. 24He turned away from them and wept. When he turned back and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and had him bound before their eyes. 25Joseph then gave orders to fill their containers with grain, return each man’s silver to his sack, and give them provisions for their journey. This order was carried out. 26They loaded the grain on their donkeys and left there.
The Brothers Return Home
27At the place where they lodged for the night, one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver there at the top of his bag. 28He said to his brothers, “My silver has been returned! It’s here in my bag.” Their hearts sank. Trembling, they turned to one another and said, “What has God done to us?”
29When they reached their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them: 30“The man who is the lord of the country spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying on the country. 31But we told him, ‘We are honest and not spies. 32We were twelve brothers, sons of the same#42:32 Lit of our father. One is no longer living, and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33The man who is the lord of the country said to us, ‘This is how I will know if you are honest: Leave one brother with me, take food to relieve the hunger of your households, and go. 34Bring back your youngest brother to me, and I will know that you are not spies but honest men. I will then give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the country.’”
35As they began emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his bag of silver! When they and their father saw their bags of silver, they were afraid.
36Their father Jacob said to them, “It’s me that you make childless. Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything happens to me!”
37Then Reuben said to his father, “You can kill my two sons if I don’t bring him back to you. Put him in my care,#42:37 Lit hand and I will return him to you.”
38But Jacob answered, “My son will not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left.#Gn 37:33–34; 42:13; 44:27–28 If anything happens to him on your journey, you will bring my gray hairs down to Sheol in sorrow.”#Gn 44:29
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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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