Genesis 42

1Then Jacob, hearing that food was being sold in Egypt, said to his sons: “Why are you negligent? 2I have heard that wheat is being sold in Egypt. Go down and buy necessities for us, so that we may be able to live, and not be consumed by destitution.” 3And so, when ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain in Egypt, 4Benjamin was kept at home by Jacob, who said to his brothers, “Lest perhaps he may suffer harm on the journey.” 5And they entered into the land of Egypt with the others who traveled to buy. For the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6And Joseph was governor in the land of Egypt, and grain was sold under his direction to the people. And when his brothers had reverenced him 7and he had recognized them, he spoke harshly, as if to foreigners, questioning them: “Where did you come from?” And they responded, “From the land of Canaan, to buy necessary provisions.” 8And although he knew his brothers, he was not known by them. 9And remembering the dreams, which he had seen in another time, he said to them: “You are scouts. You have come in order to see which parts of the land are weaker.” 10And they said: “It is not so, my lord. But your servants have arrived in order to buy food. 11We are all sons of one man. We have come in peace, nor do any of your subjects devise evil.” 12And he answered them: “It is otherwise. You have come to examine the unguarded parts of this land.” 13But they said: “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is with our father; the other is not living.” 14He said: “This is just as I have said. You are scouts. 15I will now continue to put you to the test. By the health of Pharaoh, you will not depart from here, until your youngest brother arrives. 16Send one of you and bring him. But you will be in chains, until what you have said is proven to be either true or false. Otherwise, by the health of Pharaoh, you are scouts.” 17Therefore, he delivered them into custody for three days. 18Then, on the third day, he brought them out of prison, and he said: “Do as I have said, and you will live. For I fear God. 19If you are peaceful, let one of your brothers be bound in prison. Then you may go away and carry the grain that you have bought to your houses. 20And bring your youngest brother to me, so that I may be able to test your words, and you may not die.” They did as he had said, 21and they spoke to one another: “We deserve to suffer these things, because we have sinned against our brother, seeing the anguish of his soul, when he begged us and we would not listen. For that reason, this tribulation has come upon us.” 22And Reuben, one of them, said: “Did not I say to you, ‘Do not sin against the boy,’ and you would not listen to me? See, his blood is exacted.” 23But they did not know that Joseph understood, because he was speaking to them through an interpreter. 24And he turned himself away briefly and wept. And returning, he spoke to them. 25And taking Simeon, and binding him in their presence, he ordered his ministers to fill their sacks with wheat, and to replace each one’s money in their sacks, and to give them, in addition, provisions for the way. And they did so. 26Then, having loaded their donkeys with the grain, they set out. 27And one of them, opening a sack to give his beast of burden fodder at the inn, looked upon the money at the sack’s mouth, 28and he said to his brothers: “My money has returned to me. See, it is held in the sack.” And they were astonished and troubled, and they said to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?” 29And they went to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, and they explained to him all the things that had befallen them, saying: 30“The lord of the land spoke harshly to us, and he considered us to be scouts of the province. 31And we answered him: ‘We are peaceful, and we do not intend any treachery. 32We are twelve brothers conceived of one father. One is not living; the youngest is with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33And he said to us: ‘Thus will I prove that you are peaceful. Release one of your brothers to me, and take necessary provisions for your houses, and go away, 34and bring your youngest brother to me, so that I may know that you are not scouts. And this one, who is held in chains, you may be able to receive again. And thereafter, you shall have permission to buy what you want.’ ” 35Having said this, when they poured out their grain, each found his money tied to the mouth of his sack. And all were terrified together. 36Their father Jacob said, “You have caused me to be without children. Joseph is not living, Simeon is held in chains, and Benjamin you would carry away. All these evils have fallen back upon me.” 37And Reuben answered him, “Put my two sons to death, if I do not lead him back to you. Deliver him into my hand, and I will restore him to you.” 38But he said: “My son will not go down with you. His brother is dead, and he is left alone. If any adversity will befall him in the land to which you travel, you would lead my grey hairs down with sorrow to the grave.”
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