When Jacob found out that grain was for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why do you keep looking at each other?
I've heard there's grain for sale in Egypt. Go there and buy some for us so that we won't starve to death."
Ten of Joseph's brothers went to buy grain in Egypt.
Jacob wouldn't send Joseph's brother Benjamin with the other brothers, because he was afraid that something would happen to him.
Israel's sons left with the others who were going to buy grain, because there was also famine in Canaan.
As 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.
As 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.
Even though Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn't recognize him.
Then 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."
"No, sir!" they answered him. "We've come to buy food.
We're all sons of one man. We're honest men, not spies."
He said to them, "No! You've come to find out where our country is unprotected."
They 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."
"It's just as I told you," Joseph said to them. "You're spies!
This 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.
One 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!"
Then he put them in jail for three days.
On the third day Joseph said to them, "Do this, and you will live. I, too, fear God.
If 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.
But 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.