1And Jacob seeth that there is corn in Egypt, and Jacob saith to his sons, ‘Why do you look at each other?’
2he saith also, ‘Lo, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt, go down thither, and buy for us from thence, and we live and do not die;’
3and the ten brethren of Joseph go down to buy corn in Egypt,
4and Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob hath not sent with his brethren, for he said, ‘Lest mischief meet him.’
5And the sons of Israel come to buy in the midst of those coming, for the famine hath been in the land of Canaan,
6and Joseph is the ruler over the land, he who is selling to all the people of the land, and Joseph's brethren come and bow themselves to him — face to the earth.
7And Joseph seeth his brethren, and discerneth them, and maketh himself strange unto them, and speaketh with them sharp things, and saith unto them, ‘From whence have ye come?’ and they say, ‘From the land of Canaan — to buy food.’
8And Joseph discerneth his brethren, but they have not discerned him,
9and Joseph remembereth the dreams which he dreamed of them, and saith unto them, ‘Ye [are] spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye have come.’
10And they say unto him, ‘No, my lord, but thy servants have come to buy food;
11we [are] all of us sons of one man, we [are] right men; thy servants have not been spies;’
12and he saith unto them, ‘No, but the nakedness of the land ye have come to see;’
13and they say, ‘Thy servants [are] twelve brethren; we [are] sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and lo, the young one [is] with our father to-day, and the one is not.’
14And Joseph saith unto them, ‘This [is] that which I have spoken unto you, saying, Ye [are] spies,
15by this ye are proved: Pharaoh liveth! if ye go out from this — except by your young brother coming hither;
16send one of you, and let him bring your brother, and ye, remain ye bound, and let your words be proved, whether truth be with you: and if not — Pharaoh liveth! surely ye [are] spies;’
17and he removeth them unto charge three days.
18And Joseph saith unto them on the third day, ‘This do and live; God I fear!
19if ye [are] right men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your ward, and ye, go, carry in corn [for] the famine of your houses,
20and your young brother ye bring unto me, and your words are established, and ye die not;’ and they do so.
21And they say one unto another, ‘Verily we [are] guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul, in his making supplication unto us, and we did not hearken: therefore hath this distress come upon us.’
22And Reuben answereth them, saying, ‘Spake I not unto you, saying, Sin not against the lad? and ye hearkened not; and his blood also, lo, it is required.’
23And they have not known that Joseph understandeth, for the interpreter [is] between them;
24and he turneth round from them, and weepeth, and turneth back unto them, and speaketh unto them, and taketh from them Simeon, and bindeth him before their eyes.
25And Joseph commandeth, and they fill their vessels [with] corn, also to put back the money of each unto his sack, and to give to them provision for the way; and one doth to them so.
26And they lift up their corn upon their asses, and go from thence,
27and the one openeth his sack to give provender to his ass at a lodging-place, and he seeth his money, and lo, it [is] in the mouth of his bag,
28and he saith unto his brethren, ‘My money hath been put back, and also, lo, in my bag:’ and their heart goeth out, and they tremble, one to another saying, ‘What [is] this God hath done to us!’
29And they come in unto Jacob their father, to the land of Canaan, and they declare to him all the things meeting them, saying,
30‘The man, the lord of the land, hath spoken with us sharp things, and maketh us as spies of the land;
31and we say unto him, We [are] right men, we have not been spies,
32we [are] twelve brethren, sons of our father, the one is not, and the young one [is] to-day with our father in the land of Canaan.
33‘And the man, the lord of the land, saith unto us, By this I know that ye [are] right men — one of your brethren leave with me, and [for] the famine of your houses take ye and go,
34and bring your young brother unto me, and I know that ye [are] not spies, but ye [are] right men; your brother I give to you, and ye trade with the land.’
35And it cometh to pass, they are emptying their sacks, and lo, the bundle of each man's silver [is] in his sack, and they see their bundles of silver, they and their father, and are afraid;
36and Jacob their father saith unto them, ‘Me ye have bereaved; Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and Benjamin ye take — against me have been all these.’
37And Reuben speaketh unto his father, saying, ‘My two sons thou dost put to death, if I bring him not in unto thee; give him into my hand, and I — I bring him back unto thee;’
38and he saith, ‘My son doth not go down with you, for his brother [is] dead, and he by himself is left; when mischief hath met him in the way in which ye go, then ye have brought down my grey hairs in sorrow to sheol.’
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Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt to Buy Corn
1When Jacob learnt that there was corn in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why don't you do something? 2#Acts 7.12I hear that there is corn in Egypt; go there and buy some to keep us from starving to death.” 3So Joseph's ten half-brothers went to buy corn in Egypt, 4but Jacob did not send Joseph's full-brother Benjamin with them, because he was afraid that something might happen to him.
5The sons of Jacob came with others to buy corn, because there was famine in the land of Canaan. 6Joseph, as governor of the land of Egypt, was selling corn to people from all over the world. So Joseph's brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. 7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he acted as if he did not know them. He asked them harshly, “Where do you come from?”
“We have come from Canaan to buy food,” they answered.
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9#Gen 37.5–10He remembered the dreams he had dreamt about them and said, “You are spies; you have come to find out where our country is weak.”
10“No, sir,” they answered. “We have come as your slaves, to buy food. 11We are all brothers. We are not spies, sir, we are honest men.”
12Joseph said to them, “No! You have come to find out where our country is weak.”
13They said, “We were twelve brothers in all, sir, sons of the same man in the land of Canaan. One brother is dead, and the youngest is now with our father.”
14“It is just as I said,” Joseph answered. “You are spies. 15This is how you will be tested: I swear by the name of the king that you will never leave unless your youngest brother comes here. 16One of you must go and get him. The rest of you will be kept under guard until the truth of what you say can be tested. Otherwise, as sure as the king lives, you are spies.” 17Then he put them in prison for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “I am a God-fearing man, and I will spare your lives on one condition. 19To prove that you are honest, one of you will stay in the prison where you have been kept; the rest of you may go and take back to your starving families the corn that you have bought. 20Then you must bring your youngest brother to me. This will prove that you have been telling the truth, and I will not put you to death.”
They agreed to this 21and said to one another, “Yes, now we are suffering the consequences of what we did to our brother; we saw the great trouble he was in when he begged for help, but we would not listen. That is why we are in this trouble now.”
22 # Gen 37.21–22 Reuben said, “I told you not to harm the boy, but you wouldn't listen. And now we are being paid back for his death.” 23Joseph understood what they said, but they did not know it, because they had been speaking to him through an interpreter. 24Joseph left them and began to cry. When he was able to speak again, he came back, picked out Simeon, and had him tied up in front of them.
Joseph's Brothers Return to Canaan
25Joseph gave orders to fill his brothers' packs with corn, to put each man's money back in his sack, and to give them food for the journey. This was done. 26The brothers loaded their donkeys with the corn they had bought, and then they left. 27At the place where they spent the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey and found his money at the top of the sack. 28“My money has been returned to me,” he called to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack!” Their hearts sank, and in fear they asked one another, “What has God done to us?”
29When they came to their father Jacob in Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them: 30“The governor of Egypt spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying against his country. 31‘We are not spies,’ we answered, ‘we are honest men. 32We were twelve brothers in all, sons of the same father. One brother is dead, and the youngest is still in Canaan with our father.’ 33The man answered, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men: one of you will stay with me; the rest will take corn for your starving families and leave. 34Bring 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 can stay here and trade.’ ”
35Then when they emptied out their sacks, every one of them found his bag of money; and when they saw the money, they and their father Jacob were afraid. 36Their father said to them, “Do you want to make me lose all my children? Joseph is gone; Simeon is gone; and now you want to take away Benjamin. I am the one who suffers!”
37Reuben said to his father, “If I do not bring Benjamin back to you, you can kill my two sons. Put him in my care, and I will bring him back.”
38But Jacob said, “My son cannot go with you; his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. Something might happen to him on the way. I am an old man, and the sorrow you would cause me would kill me.”
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.