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.
They 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."
Reuben 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."