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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Joseph and his brothers
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? 2I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Now go down and buy some, so we won't starve to death.”#Ac 7.12.
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 straight away 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.”
9Joseph remembered what he had dreamed about them and said, “You're spies! You've come here to find out where our country is weak.”#Gn 37.5-10.
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 just like I said. You're spies, 15and I'm going to find out who you really are. 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.”
22Reuben 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.”#Gn 37.21,22.
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 straight away he saw his money bag. 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?”
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 money bags 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 will 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 favourite 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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