When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said,
"The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land.
But we said to him, 'We are honest men; we are not spies.
We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.'
"Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, 'This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go.
But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.' "
As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man's sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened.
Their father Jacob said to them, "You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!"
Then Reuben said to his father, "You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back."
But Jacob said, "My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow."
Now the famine was still severe in the land.
So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go back and buy us a little more food."
But Judah said to him, "The man warned us solemnly, 'You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.'
If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you.
But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, 'You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.' "
Israel asked, "Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?"
They replied, "The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. 'Is your father still living?' he asked us. 'Do you have another brother?' We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, 'Bring your brother down here'?"
Then Judah said to Israel his father, "Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die.
I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life.
As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice."
Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift--a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.
Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake.
Take your brother also and go back to the man at once.
And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved."
So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph.
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare dinner; they are to eat with me at noon."
The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph's house.
Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, "We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys."
So they went up to Joseph's steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house.
"Please, sir," they said, "we came down here the first time to buy food.
But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver--the exact weight--in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us.
We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don't know who put our silver in our sacks."
"It's all right," he said. "Don't be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver." Then he brought Simeon out to them.
The steward took the men into Joseph's house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys.
They prepared their gifts for Joseph's arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.
He asked them how they were, and then he said, "How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?"