42When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why are you standing around looking at one another?H3290H7200H3426H7668H4714H3290H559H1121H7200 2I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise we'll die."H559H8085H3426H7668H4714H3381H7666H2421H4191 3So Joseph's ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain.H3130H6235H251H3381H7666H1250H4714 4But Jacob wouldn't let Joseph's younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, for fear some harm might come to him.H1144H3130H251H3290H7971H251H559H6435H611H7122 5So Jacob's sons arrived in Egypt along with others to buy food, for the famine was in Canaan as well.H1121H3478H935H7666H8432H935H7458H776H3667 6Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground.H3130H7989H776H7666H5971H776H3130H251H935H7812H639H776 7Joseph recognized his brothers instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. "Where are you from?" he demanded. "From the land of Canaan," they replied. "We have come to buy food."H3130H7200H251H5234H5234H1696H7186H559H370H935H559H776H3667H7666H400 8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn't recognize him.H3130H5234H251H5234 9And he remembered the dreams he'd had about them many years before. He said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become."H3130H2142H2472H2492H559H7270H7200H6172H776H935 10"No, my lord!" they exclaimed. "Your servants have simply come to buy food.H559H113H7666H400H5650H935 11We are all brothers—members of the same family. We are honest men, sir! We are not spies!"H5168H259H376H1121H3651H5650H7270 12"Yes, you are!" Joseph insisted. "You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become."H559H7200H6172H776H935 13"Sir," they said, "there are actually twelve of us. We, your servants, are all brothers, sons of a man living in the land of Canaan. Our youngest brother is back there with our father right now, and one of our brothers is no longer with us."H559H5650H8147H6240H251H1121H259H376H776H3667H6996H3117H1H259 14But Joseph insisted, "As I said, you are spies!H3130H559H1696H559H7270 15This is how I will test your story. I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you will never leave Egypt unless your youngest brother comes here!H2063H974H2416H6547H3318H6996H251H935 16One of you must go and get your brother. I'll keep the rest of you here in prison. Then we'll find out whether or not your story is true. By the life of Pharaoh, if it turns out that you don't have a younger brother, then I'll know you are spies."H7971H259H3947H251H631H1697H974H571H854H3808H2416H6547H7270 17So Joseph put them all in prison for three days.H622H4929H7969H3117 18On the third day Joseph said to them, "I am a God-fearing man. If you do as I say, you will live.H3130H559H7992H3117H6213H2421H3373H430 19If you really are honest men, choose one of your brothers to remain in prison. The rest of you may go home with grain for your starving families.H3651H259H251H631H1004H4929H3212H935H7668H7459H1004 20But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. This will prove that you are telling the truth, and you will not die." To this they agreed.H935H6996H251H1697H539H4191H6213 21Speaking among themselves, they said, "Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn't listen. That's why we're in this trouble."H559H376H251H61H818H251H834H7200H6869H5315H2603H8085H6869H935 22"Didn't I tell you not to sin against the boy?" Reuben asked. "But you wouldn't listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!"H7205H6030H559H559H559H2398H3206H8085H1818H1875 23Of course, they didn't know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter.H3045H3130H8085H3887 24Now he turned away from them and began to weep. When he regained his composure, he spoke to them again. Then he chose Simeon from among them and had him tied up right before their eyes.H5437H1058H7725H1696H3947H8095H631H5869 25Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men's sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each brother's payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them supplies for their journey home.H3130H6680H4390H3627H1250H7725H376H3701H8242H5414H6720H1870H3651H6213 26So the brothers loaded their donkeys with the grain and headed for home.H5375H2543H7668H3212 27But when they stopped for the night and one of them opened his sack to get grain for his donkey, he found his money in the top of his sack.H259H6605H8242H5414H2543H4554H4411H7200H3701H572H6310 28"Look!" he exclaimed to his brothers. "My money has been returned; it's here in my sack!" Then their hearts sank. Trembling, they said to each other, "What has God done to us?"H559H251H3701H7725H2009H572H3820H3318H2729H559H376H251H430H6213 29When the brothers came to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them.H935H3290H1H776H3667H5046H7136H559 30"The man who is governor of the land spoke very harshly to us," they told him. "He accused us of being spies scouting the land.H376H113H776H1696H7186H5414H7270H776 31But we said, 'We are honest men, not spies.H559H3651H7270 32We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One brother is no longer with us, and the youngest is at home with our father in the land of Canaan.'H6240H8147H251H1121H1H259H6996H3117H1H776H3667 33"Then the man who is governor of the land told us, 'This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your starving families and go on home.H376H113H776H559H3045H3651H3240H259H251H3947H7459H1004H3212 34But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know you are honest men and not spies. Then I will give you back your brother, and you may trade freely in the land.'"H935H6996H251H3045H7270H3651H5414H251H5503H776 35As they emptied out their sacks, there in each man's sack was the bag of money he had paid for the grain! The brothers and their father were terrified when they saw the bags of money.H7324H8242H376H6872H3701H8242H1H7200H6872H3701H3372 36Jacob exclaimed, "You are robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!"H3290H1H559H7921H3130H8095H3947H1144 37Then Reuben said to his father, "You may kill my two sons if I don't bring Benjamin back to you. I'll be responsible for him, and I promise to bring him back."H7205H559H1H559H4191H8147H1121H935H5414H3027H7725 38But Jacob replied, "My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave."H559H1121H3381H251H4191H7604H611H7122H1870H3212H3381H7872H3015H7585
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.