Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
1When Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?”
2And he said, “Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die.”
3So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.
4But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “Lest some calamity befall him.”
5And the sons of Israel went to buy grain among those who journeyed, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.
7Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted as a stranger to them and spoke 42:7 harshlyroughly to them. Then he said to them, “Where do you come from?”
And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8So Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.
9Then Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the 42:9 Exposed partsnakedness of the land!”
10And they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food.
11We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men; your servants are not spies.”
12But he said to them, “No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land.”
13And they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more.”
14But Joseph said to them, “It is as I spoke to you, saying, ‘You are spies!’
15In this manner you shall be tested: By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.
16Send one of you, and let him bring your brother; and you shall be 42:16 Lit. boundkept in prison, that your words may be tested to see whether there is any truth in you; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies!”
17So he 42:17 Lit. gatheredput them all together in prison three days.
18Then Joseph said to them the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God:
19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined to your prison house; but you, go and carry grain for the famine of your houses.
20And bring your youngest brother to me; so your words will be verified, and you shall not die.”
And they did so.
21Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.”
22And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.”
23But they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter.
24And he turned himself away from them and wept. Then he returned to them again, and talked with them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.
The Brothers Return to Canaan
25Then Joseph gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to restore every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them.
26So they loaded their donkeys with the grain and departed from there.
27But as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at the encampment, he saw his money; and there it was, in the mouth of his sack.
28So he said to his brothers, “My money has been restored, and there it is, in my sack!” Then their hearts 42:28 sankfailed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29Then they went to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying:
30“The man who is lord of the land spoke 42:30 harshlyroughly to us, and took us for spies of the country.
31But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies.
32We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father this day in the land of Canaan.’
33Then the man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for the famine of your households, and be gone.
34And bring your youngest brother to me; so I shall know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. I will grant your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’ ”
35Then it happened as they emptied their sacks, that surprisingly each man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.
36And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.”
37Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.”
38But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is left alone. If any calamity should befall him along the way in which you go, then you would bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.”
New King James Version®, Copyright© 1982, Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.