Old Testament

Genesis 42
Joseph and His Brothers
421When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing here looking at each other?” 2He also said, “Listen, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us there, so that we may live and not die.” 3So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4But Jacob did not send Joseph's brother Benjamin along with his other brothers, because he said, “Something bad might happen to him.”
5The sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain because of the famine in the land of Canaan. 6Joseph was the governor over the land. He was the one who sold grain to all the people of the land. Joseph's brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted like a stranger toward them and spoke harshly to them. He asked them, “Where did you come from?”
They said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 9Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where the land is exposed.”
10They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11We are all one man's sons. We are honest men. Your servants are not spies.”
12He said to them, “No, you have come to see where the land is exposed!”
13They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. Listen, at the present time the youngest remains with our father, and one is no more.”
14Joseph said to them, “It is just as I said. You are spies! 15This is how you will be tested: By the life of Pharaoh, you shall never get out of here, unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of you to get your brother. The rest of you will be kept under arrest, so that your words may be tested, whether you are telling the truth. Otherwise, by the life of Pharaoh, you are spies.” 17He kept them all together, confined in the jail for three days.
18On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do what I tell you and you will live, because I fear God. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in the jail, but the rest of you go and deliver grain to your houses to relieve the famine. 20Bring your youngest brother to me so that your words may be verified, and you will not die.” So they did as he said.
21They said to one another, “We are certainly guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the misery of his soul when he begged us, but we would not listen. That is why this misery has come upon us.”
22Reuben answered them, “Didn't I tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’? But you would not listen. So now payment for his blood is being required from us.”
23They did not know that Joseph understood them, because an interpreter was being used between them. 24Joseph turned away from them and wept. After he returned and spoke to them, he seized Simeon from among them and tied him up before their very eyes. 25Then Joseph gave a command to fill their containers with grain, to return each man's money into his sack, and to give them food for the journey. So all this was done for them.
26They loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed from there. 27When one of them opened his sack at the lodging place to give his donkey food, he saw his money. It was right there in the mouth of his bag. 28He said to his brothers, “My money has been returned! Look, there it is, in my bag!” Their hearts sank, and they turned to one another trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29They came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him everything that had happened to them. They said, 30“The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and accused us of being spies against the country. 31We said to him, ‘We are honest men. We are not spies. 32We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One brother is no more, and at the present time the youngest is with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33That man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘This is how I will know that you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers with me. Take grain to relieve the famine at your houses, and go on your way. 34Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. Then I will release your brother to you, and you will be allowed to conduct business in the land.’”
35Then as they emptied their sacks, they were surprised to see that each man's pouch of money was in his sack. When they and their father saw their pouch of money, they were afraid.
36Jacob, their father, said to them, “You have deprived me of my children! Joseph is no more. Simeon is no more. And now you want to take Benjamin away. All these things are against me.”
37Reuben spoke to his father, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back to you again.”
38Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you, since his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If he has a mishap on the journey that you are taking, you will bring my gray hairs down to the grave with sorrow.”