Jacob [Israel] Sends Ten Sons to Egypt
1When Jacob found out that grain was for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at each other? 2I’ve heard there’s grain for sale in Egypt. Go there and buy some for us so that we won’t starve to death.”
3Ten of Joseph’s brothers went to buy grain in Egypt. 4Jacob wouldn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with the other brothers, because he was afraid that something would happen to him. 5Israel’s sons left with the others who were going to buy grain, because there was also famine in Canaan.
Joseph Sends Nine of His Brothers Back to Canaan
6As governor of the country, Joseph was selling grain to everyone. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed in front of him with their faces touching the ground. 7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them. But he acted as if he didn’t know them and spoke harshly to them. “Where did you come from?” he asked them.
“From Canaan, to buy food,” they answered.
8Even though Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him. 9Then he remembered the dreams he once had about them. “You’re spies!” he said to them, “And you’ve come to find out where our country is unprotected.”
10“No, sir!” they answered him. “We’ve come to buy food. 11We’re all sons of one man. We’re honest men, not spies.”
12He said to them, “No! You’ve come to find out where our country is unprotected.”
13They answered him, “We were 12 brothers, sons of one man in Canaan. The youngest brother stayed with our father, and the other one is no longer with us.”
14“It’s just as I told you,” Joseph said to them. “You’re spies! 15This is how you’ll be tested: I solemnly swear, as surely as Pharaoh lives, that you won’t leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16One of you must be sent to get your brother while the rest of you stay in prison. We’ll see if you’re telling the truth. If not, I solemnly swear, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17Then he put them in jail for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this, and you will live. I, too, fear God. 19If you are honest men, you will let one of your brothers stay here in prison. The rest of you will go and take grain back to your starving families. 20But you must bring me your youngest brother. This will show that you’ve been telling the truth. Then you won’t die.” So they agreed.
21They said to each other, “We’re surely being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw how troubled he was when he pleaded with us for mercy, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in trouble now.”
22Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen. Now we must pay for this bloodshed.”
23They didn’t know that Joseph could understand them, because he was speaking through an interpreter. 24He stepped away from them to cry. When he could speak to them again, he came back. Then he picked Simeon and had him arrested right in front of their eyes.
25Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain. He put each man’s money back into his sack and gave them supplies for their trip. After their bags were filled, 26they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27At the place where they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey. His money was right inside his sack. 28He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back! It’s right here in my sack!”
They wanted to die. They trembled and turned to each other and asked, “What has God done to us?”
Jacob’s [Israel’s] Sons Report to Him
29When they came to their father Jacob in Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30“The governor of that land spoke harshly to us and treated us like spies. 31But we said to him, ‘We’re honest men, not spies. 32We were 12 brothers, sons of the same father. One is no longer with us. The youngest brother stayed with our father in Canaan.’
33“Then the governor of that land said to us, ‘This is how I’ll know that you’re honest men: Leave one of your brothers with me. Take food for your starving families and go. 34But bring me your youngest brother. Then I’ll know that you’re not spies but honest men. I’ll give your brother back to you, and you’ll be able to move about freely in this country.’ ”
35As they were emptying their sacks, each man found his bag of money in his sack. When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were frightened. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You’re going to make me lose all my children! Joseph is no longer with us, Simeon is no longer with us, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything’s against me!”
37So Reuben said to his father, “You may put my two sons to death if I don’t bring him back to you. Let me take care of him, and I’ll bring him back to you.”
38Jacob replied, “My son will not go with you. His brother is dead, and he’s the only one left. If any harm comes to him on the trip you’re taking, the grief would drive this gray-haired old man to his grave!”
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1Then Iaakob saw that there was foode in Egypt, and Iaakob said vnto his sonnes, Why gaze ye one vpon an other? 2And he said, Behold, I haue heard that there is foode in Egypt, Get you downe thither, and bie vs foode thence, that we may liue and not die. 3So went Iosephs ten brethren downe to bye corne of the Egyptians. 4But Beniamin Iosephs brother woulde not Iaakob send with his brethren: for he saide, Least death should befall him. 5And the sonnes of Israel came to bye foode among them that came: for there was famine in the land of Canaan. 6Now Ioseph was gouerner of the land, who solde to all the people of the lande: then Iosephs brethren came, and bowed their face to the groud before him. 7And when Ioseph sawe his brethren, hee knewe them, and made himselfe straunge toward them, and spake to them roughly, and saide vnto them, Whence come yee? Who answered, Out of the land of Canaan, to bye vitaile. 8(Now Ioseph knewe his brethren, but they knew not him. 9And Ioseph remembred the dreames, which he dreamed of them) and he sayde vnto them, Ye are spies, and are come to see the weaknesse of the land. 10But they sayde vnto him, Nay, my lorde, but to bye vitayle thy seruants are come. 11Wee are all one mans sonnes: wee meane truely, and thy seruants are no spies. 12But he saide vnto them, Nay, but yee are come to see the weakenes of the land. 13And they said, We thy seruants are twelue brethren, the sonnes of one man in the lande of Canaan: and beholde, the yongest is this day with our father, and one is not. 14Againe Ioseph sayde vnto them, This is it that I spake vnto you, saying, Ye are spies. 15Hereby ye shall be proued: by the life of Pharaoh, ye shall not goe hence, except your yongest brother come hither. 16Send one of you which may fet your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proued, whether there bee trueth in you: or els by the life of Pharaoh ye are but spies. 17So he put them in warde three dayes. 18Then Ioseph said vnto them the third day, This do, and liue: for I feare God. 19If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bounde in your prison house, and goe ye, carie foode for the famine of your houses: 20But bring your yonger brother vnto me, that your wordes may be tried, and that ye dye not: and they did so. 21And they said one to another, We haue verily sinned against our brother, in that we sawe the anguish of his soule, when he besought vs, and we would not heare him: therefore is this trouble come vpon vs. 22And Reuben answered them, saying, Warned I not you, saying, Sinne not against the childe, and ye would not heare? and lo, his blood is now required. 23(And they were not aware that Ioseph vnderstoode them: for he spake vnto them by an interpreter.) 24Then he turned from them, and wept, and turned to them againe, and communed with them, and tooke Simeon from among them, and bounde him before their eyes. 25So Ioseph commanded that they should fill their sackes with wheate, and put euery mans money againe in his sacke, and giue them vitaile for the iourney: and thus did he vnto them. 26And they layed their vitaile vpon their asses, and departed thence. 27And as one of them opened his sacke for to giue his asse prouender in the ynne, he espyed his money: for lo, it was in his sackes mouth. 28Then he sayde vnto his brethren, My money is restored: for loe, it is euen in my sacke. And their heart fayled them, and they were astonished, and sayde one to another, What is this, that God hath done vnto vs? 29And they came vnto Iaakob their father vnto the lande of Canaan, and tolde him all that had befallen them, saying, 30The man, who is Lord of the lande, spake roughly to vs, and put vs in prison as spyes of the countrey. 31And we sayd vnto him, We are true men, and are no spies. 32We be twelue brethren, sonnes of our father: one is not, and the yongest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. 33Then the Lord of the countrey sayde vnto vs, Hereby shall I knowe if ye be true men: Leaue one of your brethren with me, and take foode for the famine of your houses and depart, 34And bring your yongest brother vnto me, that I may knowe that ye are no spies, but true men: so will I deliuer you your brother, and yee shall occupie in the land. 35And as they emptied their sacks, behold, euery mans bundel of money was in his sacke: and when they and their father sawe the bundels of their money, they were afrayde. 36Then Iaakob their father said to them, Ye haue robbed me of my children: Ioseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Beniamin: all these things are against me. 37Then Reuben answered his father, saying, Slay my two sonnes, if I bring him not to thee againe: deliuer him to mine hand, and I will bring him to thee againe. 38But he said, My sonne shall not go downe with you: for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if death come vnto him by the way which ye goe, then ye shall bring my gray head with sorow vnto the graue.
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