1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2#Acts 7.12. And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live, and not die.” 3So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might befall him. 5#Acts 7.11. Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6Now Joseph was governor over the land; he it was who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came, and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. 7Joseph saw his brothers, and knew them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” 8Thus Joseph knew his brothers, but they did not know him. 9And Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed of them; and he said to them, “You are spies, you have come to see the weakness of the land.” 10They said to him, “No, my lord, but to buy food have your servants come. 11We are all sons of one man, we are honest men, your servants are not spies.” 12He said to them, “No, it is the weakness of the land that you have come to see.” 13And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.” 14But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you, you are spies. 15By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain in prison, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17And he put them all together in prison for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined in your prison, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, 20and bring your youngest brother to me; so your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. 21Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us and we would not listen; therefore is this distress come upon us.” 22And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the lad? But you would not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24Then he turned away from them and wept; and he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.
26Then they loaded their asses with their grain, and departed. 27And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender at the lodging place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack; 28and he said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had befallen them, saying, 30“The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly to us, and took us to be spies of the land. 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 this day with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way. 34Bring your youngest brother to me; then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men, and I will deliver to you your brother, and you shall trade in the land.’ ”
35As they emptied their sacks, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed. 36And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin; all this has come upon me.” 37Then Reuben said to his father, “Slay 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 his brother is dead, and he only is left. If harm should befall him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”
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Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you staring blankly at each other? 2I’ve just heard that there’s grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us so that we can survive and not starve to death.” 3So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4However, Jacob didn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin along with his brothers because he thought something bad might happen to him. 5Israel’s sons came to buy grain with others who also came since the famine had spread to the land of Canaan.
6As for Joseph, he was the land’s governor, and he was the one selling grain to all the land’s people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him, their faces to the ground. 7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he acted like he didn’t know them. He spoke to them with a harsh tone and said, “Where have you come from?”
And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. 9Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies. You’ve come to look for the country’s weaknesses.”
10They said to him, “No, Master. Your servants have just come to buy food. 11We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants aren’t spies.”
12He said to them, “No. You’ve come to look for the country’s weaknesses.”
13They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, but one is gone.”
14Joseph said to them, “It’s just as I’ve said to you. You are spies! 15But here is how to prove yourselves: As Pharaoh lives, you won’t leave here until your youngest brother arrives. 16Send one of you to get your brother, but the rest of you will stay in prison. We will find out if your words are true. If not, as Pharaoh lives, you are certainly spies.”
Joseph’s brothers return to Canaan
17He put them all in prison for three days. 18On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I’m a God-fearing man. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay in prison, and the rest of you, go, take grain back to those in your households who are hungry. 20But bring your youngest brother back to me so that your words will prove true and you won’t die.”
So they prepared to do this. 21The brothers said to each other, “We are clearly guilty for what we did to our brother when we saw his life in danger and when he begged us for mercy, but we didn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this danger now.”
22Reuben responded to them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t do anything wrong to the boy’? But you wouldn’t listen. So now this is payback for his death.” 23They didn’t know that Joseph was listening to them because they were using an interpreter. 24He stepped away from them and wept. When he returned, he spoke with them again. Then he took Simeon from them and tied him up in front of them.
25Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put back each man’s silver into his own sack, and to give them provisions for their trip, and it was done. 26They loaded their grain onto their donkeys, and they set out. 27When they stopped to spend the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey, and he saw his silver at the top of his sack. 28He said to his brothers, “My silver’s been returned. It’s right here in my sack.” Their hearts stopped. Terrified, they said to each other, “What has God done to us?”
29When they got back to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they described to him everything that had happened to them: 30“The man, the country’s governor, spoke to us with a harsh tone and accused us of being spies in the country. 31We told him, ‘We’re honest men, not spies. 32We are twelve brothers, all our father’s sons. One of us is gone, but the youngest is right now with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33The man, the country’s governor, told us, ‘This is how I will know you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers with me, take grain for those in your households who are hungry, and go. 34But bring back your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you are not spies but honest men. I will give your brother back to you, and you may travel throughout the country.’”
35When they opened their sacks, each man found a pouch of his silver in his sack. When they and their father saw their pouches of silver, they were afraid. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You’ve taken my children from me. Joseph’s gone. Simeon’s gone. And you are taking Benjamin. All this can’t really be happening to me!”
37Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I don’t bring him back to you. Make him my responsibility, and I will make sure he returns to you.”
38But Jacob said to him, “My son won’t go down with you because his brother’s dead and he’s been left all alone. If anything were to happen to him on the trip you are taking, you would send me—old as I am—to my grave in grief.”
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