1Forsooth Jacob heard that foods were sold in Egypt, and he said to his sons, Why be ye negligent?
2I [have] heard that wheat is sold in Egypt; go ye down, and buy ye necessaries to us, that we may live, and be not wasted by neediness.
3Therefore ten brethren of Joseph went down to buy wheat in Egypt,
4and Benjamin was withholden of Jacob at home, that said to his brethren, Lest peradventure in the way he suffer any evil.
5Soothly they entered into the land of Egypt, with other men that went thither to buy corn; forsooth hunger was in the land of Canaan.
6And Joseph was the prince of Egypt, and at his will wheats were sold to [the] peoples. And when his brethren had worshipped or honoured him,
7and he had known them, he spake harder to them, as to aliens, and asked them, From whence came ye? Which answered, From the land of Canaan, that we buy necessaries to our lifelode.
8And nevertheless he knew his brethren, and he was not known of them,
9and he bethought on the dreams which he saw sometime. And he said to them, Ye be spyers [or spies], ye came to see the feebler things of the land.
10Which said, Lord, it is not so, but thy servants came to buy meats;
11all we be [the] sons of one man, we came hither peaceably, and thy servants imagine not any evil.
12To which he answered, It is in other manner, ye came to see the feeble things of the land.
13And they said, We thy servants be twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; the youngest is with our father, another is not alive.
14This it is, he said, that I spake to you, ye be spyers [or spies],
15right now I shall take experience or very knowing of you; by the health of Pharaoh ye shall not go from hence, till your least brother come hither;
16send ye one of you, that he bring him, forsooth ye shall be in bonds till those things that ye said be proved, whether those [or they] be false or true; else, by the health of Pharaoh, ye be spies.
17Therefore he betook them into keeping three days;
18soothly in the third day, when they were led out of prison, Joseph said, Do ye that that I said, and ye shall live, for I dread God;
19if ye be peaceable, one brother of you be bound in prison; forsooth the rest go ye, and bear the wheat, which ye have bought, into your houses,
20and bring ye your youngest brother to me, that I may prove your words, and ye die not. They did as he said,
21and they spake together, Worthily we suffer these things, for we sinned against our brother, and we saw the anguish of his soul, while he prayed us, and we heard him not; therefore this tribulation cometh on us.
22Of which one, Reuben, said, Whether I said not to you, Do not ye sin against the child, and ye heard not me? lo! his blood is sought.
23Soothly they knew not that Joseph understood them, for he spake to them by an interpreter or an expounder.
24And he turned away himself a little, and wept; and he turned again, and spake to them. And he took Simeon, and bound him, while they were present;
25and he commanded the servants, that they should fill their sacks with wheat, and that they should put all their money in their bags, and over this give to them meats in the way; which did so.
26And they bare [the] wheats on their asses, and went forth,
27and when the sack of one of them was opened that he should give meat to the work beast in the inn, he beheld the money in the mouth of the bag,
28and he said to his brethren, My money is yielded to me, lo! it is had in the bag; and they were astonied, and troubled, and said together, What thing is this that God hath done to us?
29And they came to Jacob, their father, in the land of Canaan, and told to him all things that befelled to them, and said,
30The lord of the land spake hard to us, and guessed that we were spyers [or spies] of the province;
31to whom we answered, We be peaceable, neither we purpose any treasons;
32we be twelve brethren, engendered of one father, one is not alive, the youngest dwelleth with the father in the land of Canaan.
33And he said to us, Thus I shall prove that ye be peaceable; leave ye one brother of you with me, and take ye meats needful to your houses, and go ye,
34and bring ye to me your youngest brother, that I know that ye be not spyers [or spies], and that ye may receive this brother which is holden in bonds, and that from thenceforth ye have license to buy what things ye will.
35While these things were said, when they all poured out the wheats, they found the money bound in the mouths of their sacks. And when they altogether were afeared,
36their father Jacob said, Ye have made me to be without children; Joseph is not alive, Simeon is holden in bonds, ye shall take away from me Benjamin; all these evils have fallen in on me.
37To whom Reuben answered, Slay thou my two sons, if I shall not bring him again to thee; take thou him in mine hand, and I shall restore him to thee.
38And Jacob said, My son shall not go down with you; his brother is dead, he alone is left; if any adversity shall befall to him in the land to which ye shall go, ye shall lead forth mine hoar hairs with sorrow to hell.
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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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