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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1And Jacob hearing that food was sold in Egypt, said to his sons: Why are ye careless?
2I have heard that wheat is sold in Egypt. Go ye down, and buy us necessaries, that we may live, and not be consumed with want.
3So the ten brethren of Joseph went down, to buy corn in Egypt:
4Whilst Benjamin was kept at home by Jacob, who said to his brethren: Lest perhaps he take any harm in the journey.
5And they entered into the land of Egypt with others that went to buy. For the famine was in the land of Chanaan.
6And Joseph was governor in the land of Egypt, and corn was sold by his direction to the people. And when his brethren had bowed down to him,
7And he knew them, he spoke as it were to strangers somewhat roughly, asking them: Whence came you? They answered: From the land of Chanaan, to buy necessaries of life.
8And though he knew his brethren, he was not known by them.
9And remembering the dreams, which formerly he had dreamed, he said to them: You are spies. You are come to view the weaker parts of the land.
10But they said: It is not so, my lord; but thy servants are come to buy food.
11We are all the sons of one man: we are come as peaceable men; neither do thy servants go about any evil.
12And he answered them: It is otherwise: you are come to consider the unfenced parts of this land.
13But they said: We thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Chanaan. The youngest is with our father, the other is not living.
14He saith: This is it that I said: You are spies.
15I shall now presently try what you are. By the health of Pharao, you shall not depart hence, until your youngest brother come.
16Send one of you to fetch him: and you shall be in prison, till what you have said be proved, whether it be true or false: or else by the health of Pharao you are spies.
17So he put them in prison three days.
18And the third day he brought them out of prison, and said: Do as I have said, and you shall live; for I fear God.
19If you be peaceable men, let one of your brethren be bound in prison: and go ye your ways and carry the corn that you have bought, unto your houses.
20And bring your youngest brother to me, that I may find your words to be true, and you may not die. And they did as he had said.
21And they talked one to another: We deserve to suffer these things, because we have sinned against our brother, seeing the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear. Therefore is this affliction come upon us.
22And Ruben, one of them, said: Did not I say to you: Do not sin against the boy; and you would not hear me? Behold, his blood is required.
23And they knew not that Joseph understood; because he spoke to them by an interpreter.
24And he turned himself away a little while, and wept: and returning he spoke to them.
25And taking Simeon, and binding him in their presence, he commanded his servants to fill their sacks with wheat, and to put every man's money again in their sacks, and to give them besides provisions for the way. And they did so.
26But they having loaded their asses with the corn, went their way.
27And one of them opening his sack, to give his beast provender in the inn, saw the money in the sack's mouth;
28And said to his brethren: My money is given me again; behold it is in the sack. And they were astonished, and troubled, and said to one another: What is this that God hath done unto us?
29And they came to Jacob their father in the land of Chanaan; and they told him all things that had befallen them, saying:
30The lord of the land spoke roughly to us, and took us to be spies of the country.
31And we answered him: We are peaceable men, and we mean no plot.
32We are twelve brethren born of one father. One is not living; the youngest is with our father in the land of Chanaan.
33And he said to us: Hereby shall I know that you are peaceable men; Leave one of your brethren with me, and take ye necessary provision for your houses, and go your ways.
34And bring your youngest brother to me, that I may know you are not spies: and you may receive this man again, that is kept in prison: and afterwards may have leave to buy what you will.
35When they had told this, they poured out their corn, and every man found his money tied in the mouth of his sack. And all being astonished together,
36Their father Jacob said: You have made me to be without children: Joseph is not living, Simeon is kept in bonds, and Benjamin you will take away. All these evils are fallen upon me.
37And Ruben answered him: Kill my two sons, if I bring him not again to thee. Deliver him unto my hand, and I will restore him to thee.
38But he said: My son shall not go down with you. His brother is dead, and he is left alone: if any mischief befall him in the land to which you go, you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to hell.
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