Genesis 42

Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt for Food

1 When Jacob realized that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, "Why do you look at one another?"
2 Then he said, "Look, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us there that we may live and not die."
3 And the ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt.
4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, the brother of Joseph, for {he feared harm would come to him}.
5 Then the sons of Israel went to buy grain amid those [other people] who went [as well], for there was famine in the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was the governor over the land. He [was] the one who sold [food] to all the people of the land. And the brothers of Joseph came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.
7 And Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger to them. And he spoke with them harshly and said to them, "From where have you come?" And they said, "From the land of Canaan to buy food."
8 And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.
9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed concerning them, and he said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land!"
10 And they said to him, "No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food.
11 We all are sons of one man. We [are] honest [men]. We, your servants, are not spies."
12 Then he said to them, "No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land."
13 Then they said, "We, your servants, [are] twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, but behold, the youngest [is] with our father today, and one is no more."
14 But Joseph said to them, "It [is] what I said to you--you [are] spies.
15 By this you shall be tested. By the life of Pharaoh you will not go out from here unless your youngest brother comes here.
16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, but you will be kept in prison so that your words might be tested [to see] if [there is] truth with you. And if not, by the life of Pharaoh surely you [are] spies."
17 Then he gathered them into the prison for three days.
18 On the third day Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live; I fear God.
19 If you [are] honest, let one of your brothers be kept in prison {where you are now being kept}, but [the rest of] you go, carry grain for the famine for your households.
20 You must bring your youngest brother to me, and then your words will be confirmed and you will not die." And they did so.
21 Then each said to his brother, "Surely we [are] guilty on account of our brother when we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded for mercy to us and we would not listen. Therefore this trouble has come to us."
22 Then Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not say to you, do not sin against the boy? But you did not listen, and now, behold, his blood has been sought."
23 Now they did not know that Joseph understood, for the interpreter [was] between them.
24 And he turned away from them and wept. Then he returned to them and spoke to them, and took Simeon from them and tied him up in front of them.
25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain and to return their money to each sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them.
26 Then they loaded their grain upon their donkeys and went [away] from there.
27 And one [of them later] opened his sack to give fodder to his donkey at the lodging place and saw his money--behold, it [was] in the mouth of his sack.
28 And he said to his brothers, "My money was returned and moreover, behold, [it is] in my sack!" Then {their hearts failed them} and each of them trembled [and] said, "What [is] this God has done to us?"
29 And when they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan they told him everything [that] had happened to them, saying,
30 "The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and treated us as [if we were] spying out the land.
31 But we said to him, 'We [are] honest; we are not spies.
32 We [are] twelve brothers, the sons of our father. One is no more and the youngest [is] with our father now in the land of Canaan.'
33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, 'By this I will know that you [are] honest. Leave one [brother] with me, and take [food for] the famine in your households and go.
34 And bring your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you [are] not spies but you [are] honest. And I will give your brother [back] to you, and you will trade in the land.'"
35 And it happened [that when] they emptied their sacks, behold, each one's pouch of money [was] in his sack. And when they and their father saw the pouches of their money, they were greatly distressed.
36 And Jacob their father said to them, "You have bereaved me--Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and Benjamin you would take! All of this [is] against me!
37 Then Reuben said to his father, "You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hand and I myself will return him to you."
38 But he said, "My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone remains. [If] harm meets him on the journey that you would take, you would bring down my gray head in sorrow to Sheol."
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