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Genesis

Joseph's brothers come to buy corn.  Gn.42.1-24

1WHEN JACOB SAW that there was com in Egypt, he said to his sons, 'Why do you stand staring at each other? 2I have heard that there is corn in Egypt. Go down and buy some so that we may keep ourselves alive and not starve.' 3So Joseph's brothers, ten of them, went down to buy grain from Egypt, 4but Jacob did not let Joseph's brother Benjamin go with them, for fear that he might come to harm.

5So the sons of Israel came down with everyone else to buy corn, because of the famine in Canaan. 6Now Joseph was governor of all Egypt, and it was he who sold the corn to all the people of the land. Joseph's brothers came and bowed to the ground before him, 7and when he saw his brothers, he recognized them but pretended not to know them and spoke harshly to them. 'Where do you come from?' he asked. 'From Canaan,' they answered, 'to buy food.' 8Although Joseph had recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9He remembered also the dreams he had had about them; so he said to them, 'You are spies; you have come to spy out the weak points in our defences.' 10They answered, 'No, sir: your servants have come to buy food. 11We are all sons of one man. Your humble servants are honest men, we are not spies.' 12'No,' he insisted, 'it is to spy out our weaknesses that you have come.' 13They answered him, 'Sir, there are twelve of us, all brothers, sons of one man in Canaan. The youngest is still with our father, and one has disappeared.' 14But Joseph said again to them, 'No, as I said before, you are spies. 15This is how you shall be put to the proof: unless your youngest brother comes here, by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place. 16Send one of your number to bring your brother; the rest will be kept in prison. Thus your story will be tested, and we shall see whether you are telling the truth. If not, then, by the life of Pharaoh, you must be spies.' 17So he kept them in prison for three days.

18On the third day Joseph said to the brothers, 'Do what I say and your lives will be spared; for I am a God-fearing man: 19if you are honest men, your brother there shall be kept in prison, and the rest of you shall take corn for your hungry households 20and bring your youngest brother to me; thus your words will be proved true, and you will not die prob. rdg, Heb adds and they did so.'

21They said to one another, 'No doubt we deserve to be punished because of our brother, whose suffering we saw; for when he pleaded with us we refused to listen. That is why these sufferings have come upon us.' 22But Reuben said, 'Did I not tell you not to do the boy a wrong? But you would not Iisten, and his blood is on our heads, and we must pay.' 23They did not know that Joseph understood, because he had used an interpreter. 24Joseph turned away from them and wept. Then, turning back, he played a trick on them. First he took Simeon and bound him before their eyes; 25then he gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return each man's silver, putting it in his sack, and to give them supplies for the journey.

Joseph's brothers return home.  Gn.42.26-38

26 (25b) All this was done; (26) and they loaded the corn on to their asses and went away. 27When they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack to give fodder to his ass, and there he saw his silver at the top of the pack. 28He said to his brothers, 'My silver has been returned to me, and here it is in my pack.' Bewildered and trembling, they said to each other, 'What is this that God has done to us?'

29When they came to their father Jacob in Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30'The man who is lord of the country spoke harshly to us and made out that we were spies. 31We said to him, "We are honest men, we are not spies. 32There are twelve of us, all brothers, sons of one father. One has disappeared, and the youngest is with our father in Canaan." 33This man, the lord of the country, said to us, "This is how I shall find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers with me, take food for your hungry households and go. 34Bring your youngest brother to me, and I shall know that you are not spies, but honest men. Then I will restore your brother to you, and you can move about the country freely." ' 35But on emptying their sacks, each of them found his silver inside, and when they and their father saw the bundles of silver, they were afraid. 36Their father Jacob said to them, 'You have robbed me of my children. Joseph has disappeared; Simeon has disappeared; and now you are taking Benjamin. Everything is against me.' 37Reuben said to his father, 'You may kill both my sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my charge, and I shall bring him back.' 38But Jacob said, 'My son shall not go with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If he comes to any harm on the journey, you will bring down my grey hairs in sorrow to the grave.'


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