Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt To Buy Grain
1When Jacob found out there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you just sitting here, staring at one another? 2#Ac 7.12. I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down and buy some, so we won't starve to death.”
3Ten of Joseph's brothers went to Egypt to buy grain. 4But Jacob did not send Joseph's younger brother Benjamin with them; he was afraid that something might happen to him. 5So Jacob's sons joined others from Canaan who were going to Egypt because of the terrible famine.
6Since Joseph was governor of Egypt and in charge of selling grain, his brothers came to him and bowed with their faces to the ground. 7-8They did not recognize Joseph, but at once he knew who they were, though he pretended not to know. Instead, he spoke harshly and asked, “Where do you come from?”
“From the land of Canaan,” they answered. “We've come here to buy grain.”
9 # Gn 37.5-10. Joseph remembered what he had dreamed about them and said, “You're spies! You've come here to find out where our country is weak.”
10“No sir,” they replied. “We're your servants, and we have only come to buy grain. 11We're honest men, and we come from the same family—we're not spies.”
12“That isn't so!” Joseph insisted. “You've come here to find out where our country is weak.”
13But they explained, “Sir, we come from a family of twelve brothers. The youngest is still with our father in Canaan, and one of our brothers is dead.”
It's like I said. You're spies, 15and I'm going to find out the truth. I swear by the life of the king that you won't leave this place until your youngest brother comes here. 16Choose one of you to go after your brother, while the rest of you stay here in jail. That will show whether you are telling the truth. But if you are lying, I swear by the life of the king that you are spies!
17Joseph kept them all under guard for three days, 18before saying to them:
Since I respect God, I'll give you a chance to save your lives. 19If you are honest men, one of you must stay here in jail, and the rest of you can take the grain back to your starving families. 20But you must bring your youngest brother to me. Then I'll know that you are telling the truth, and you won't be put to death.
Joseph's brothers agreed 21and said to one another, “We're being punished because of Joseph. We saw the trouble he was in, but we refused to help him when he begged us. That's why these terrible things are happening.”
22 # Gn 37.21,22. Reuben spoke up, “Didn't I tell you not to harm the boy? But you wouldn't listen, and now we have to pay the price for killing him.”
23They did not know that Joseph could understand them, since he was speaking through an interpreter. 24Joseph turned away from them and cried, but soon he turned back and spoke to them again. Then he had Simeon tied up and taken away while they watched.
Joseph's Brothers Return to Canaan
25Joseph gave orders for his brothers' grain sacks to be filled with grain and for their money#42.25 money: Probably in the form of small pieces of silver and/or other precious or semi-precious metals; there were no coins or paper money at this time. to be put in their sacks. He also gave orders for them to be given food for their journey home. After this was done, 26they each loaded the grain on their donkeys and left.
27When they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack to get some grain for his donkey, and at once he saw his moneybag. 28“Here's my money!” he told his brothers. “Right here in my sack.”
They were trembling with fear as they stared at one another and asked themselves, “What has God done to us?”#42.28 What has God … us: They thought God had put the money in their bags, so they would be caught and punished.
29When they returned to the land of Canaan, they told their father Jacob everything that had happened to them:
30The governor of Egypt was rude and treated us like spies. 31But we told him, “We're honest men, not spies. 32We come from a family of twelve brothers. The youngest is still with our father in Canaan, and the other is dead.”
33Then the governor of Egypt told us, “I'll find out if you really are honest. Leave one of your brothers here with me, while you take the grain to your starving families. 34But bring your youngest brother to me, so I can be certain that you are honest men and not spies. After that, I'll let your other brother go free, and you can stay here and trade.”
35When the brothers started emptying their sacks of grain, they found their moneybags in them. They were frightened, and so was their father Jacob, 36who said, “You have already taken my sons Joseph and Simeon from me. And now you want to take away Benjamin! Everything is against me.”
37Reuben spoke up, “Father, if I don't bring Benjamin back, you can kill both of my sons. Trust me with him, and I'll bring him back.”
38But Jacob said, “I won't let my son Benjamin go down to Egypt with the rest of you. His brother is already dead, and he is the only son I have left.#42.38 only son I have left: Jacob had only two sons by Rachel, his favorite wife. I am an old man, and if anything happens to him on the way, I'll die from sorrow, and all of you will be to blame.”
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Berĕshith (Genesis) 42
1And when Ya‛aqoḇ saw that there was grain in Mitsrayim, Ya‛aqoḇ said to his sons, “Why do you look at each other?”
2And he said, “See, I have heard that there is grain in Mitsrayim. Go down to that place and buy for us there, and let us live and not die.”
3And Yosĕph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Mitsrayim.
4But Ya‛aqoḇ did not send Yosĕph’s brother Binyamin with his brothers, for he said, “Lest some harm come to him.”
5And the sons of Yisra’ĕl went to buy grain among those who journeyed, for the scarcity of food was in the land of Kena‛an.
6And Yosĕph was the governor over the land, he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Yosĕph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.
7And Yosĕph saw his brothers and recognised them, but he acted as a stranger to them and spoke to them harshly, and said to them, “Where do you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Kena‛an to buy food.”
8So Yosĕph recognised his brothers, but they did not recognise him.
9And Yosĕph remembered 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 master, but your servants have come to buy food.
11We are all one man’s sons, we are trustworthy, 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 Kena‛an. And see, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more.”
14And Yosĕph said to them, “It is as I spoke to you, saying, ‘You are spies!’
15“By this you shall be proven: By the life of Pharaoh, you do not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.
16“Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you are kept in prison. So let your words be proven to see whether there is any truth in you, or else, by the life of Pharaoh, you are spies!”
17And he put them all together in prison for three days.
18Now Yosĕph said to them the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear Elohim:
19“If you are trustworthy, let one of your brothers be confined to your prison house, and you, go, bring grain for the scarcity of food of your houses.
20“And bring your youngest brother to me, and let your words be confirmed, and you do not die.” And so they did.
21And they said to each other, “Truly, we are guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the distress of his life when he pleaded with us, yet we did not listen, that is why this distress has come upon us.”
22And Re’uḇĕn answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy,’ and you would not listen? And see, his blood is now required of us.”
23And they did not know that Yosĕph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter.
24And he turned himself away from them and wept, but came back to them and spoke to them. And he took Shim‛on from them and bound him before their eyes.
25And Yosĕph commanded and they filled their sacks with grain, also to put back every man’s silver to his sack, and to give them food for the journey. And thus it was done for them.
26So they loaded their donkeys with the grain and went from there.
27And as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his silver, for there it was in the mouth of his sack!
28And he said to his brothers, “My silver has been returned, and there it is, in my sack!” And their hearts sank and they were afraid, saying to each other, “What is this that Elohim has done to us?”
29So they came to Ya‛aqoḇ their father in the land of Kena‛an and reported to him all that befell them, saying,
30“The man, the master of the land, spoke to us harshly, and took us for spies of the land.
31But we said to him, ‘We are trustworthy, we are not spies.
32We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One is no more, and the youngest is today with our father in the land of Kena‛an.’
33“And the man, the master of the land, said to us, ‘By this I know that you are trustworthy: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for the scarcity of food of your households, and go.
34And bring your youngest brother to me, then I know that you are not spies, but that you are trustworthy – I give your brother to you, and you move about in the land.’ ”
35And it came to be as they emptied their sacks, that look, the bundle of each man’s silver was in his sack! And when they and their father saw the bundles of silver, they were afraid.
36And Ya‛aqoḇ their father said to them, “You have bereaved me – Yosĕph is no more, and Shim‛on is no more, and you would take Binyamin! All this is against me.”
37So Re’uḇĕn spoke to his father, saying, “Take the lives of my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I myself bring him back to you.”
38But he said, “My son is not going down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is left alone. If any harm should come to him along the way in which you go, then you would bring down my grey hair with sorrow to She’ol.”
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