1Jacob, seeing that there were supplies to be had in Egypt, said to his sons, 'Why do you keep staringat one another? 2I hear', he said, 'that there are supplies in Egypt. Go down and procure some for us there, so that wemay survive and not die.' 3So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to procure grain in Egypt. 4But Jacob did not send Joseph's brother Benjamin with his brothers. 'Nothing must happen to him,' hethought. 5Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to get supplies, there being famine inCanaan. 6It was Joseph, as the man in authority over the country, who al ocated the rations to the entirepopulation. So Joseph's brothers went and bowed down before him, their faces touching the ground. 7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers he recognised them. But he did not make himself known to them,and he spoke harshly to them. 'Where have you come from?' he asked. 'From Canaan to get food,' they replied. 8Now when Joseph recognised his brothers, but they did not recognise him, 9Joseph remembered the dreams he had had about them, and said to them, 'You are spies. You havecome to discover the country's weak points.' 10'No, my lord,' they said, 'your servants have come to get food. 11We are al sons of the same man. We are honest men, your servants are not spies.' 12'Oh no,' he replied, 'you have come to discover the country's weak points.' 13'Your servants were twelve brothers,' they said, 'sons of the same man in Canaan, but the youngestis at present with our father, and the other one is no more.' 14To which Joseph retorted, 'It is as I said, you are spies. 15This is the test you are to undergo: as sure as Pharaoh lives you shal not leave unless youryoungest brother comes here. 16Send one of your number to fetch your brother; you others will remain under arrest, so that yourstatements can be tested to see whether or not you are honest. If not, then as sure as Pharaoh lives you arespies.' 17Whereupon, he put them al into custody for three days. 18On the third day Joseph said to them, 'Do this and you will live, for I am a man who fears God. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be detained where you are imprisoned; the rest ofyou, go and take supplies home for your starving families. 20But you must bring your youngest brother back to me; in this way, what you have said wil beverified, and you wil not have to die!' And this is what they did. 21And they said to one another, 'Clearly, we are being punished for what we did to our brother. Wesaw his deep misery when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen, and now this misery has come home tous.' 22Reuben retorted to them, 'Did I not tel you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. Nowcomes the accounting.' 23They did not know that Joseph understood, because there was an interpreter between them. 24He turned away from them and wept. When he was able to speak to them again, he chose Simeonout of their number and had him bound while they looked on. 25Joseph gave the order to fil their panniers with grain, to put back each man's money in his sack, andto give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them. 26Then they loaded their supplies on their donkeys and went away. 27But when they camped for the night, one of them opened his sack to give his donkey some fodderand saw his money -- there it was in the mouth of his sack. 28He said to his brothers, 'My money has been put back; here it is, in my sack!' Their hearts sank, andthey looked at one another in panic, saying, 'What is this that God has done to us?' 29Returning to their father Jacob in Canaan, they gave him a ful report of what had happened to them, 30'The man who is lord of the country spoke harshly to us, accusing us of spying on the country. 31We told him, "We are honest men, we are not spies. 32We were twelve brothers, sons of the same father. One of us is no more, and the youngest is atpresent with our father in Canaan." 33But the man who is lord of the country said to us, "This is how I shal know whether you are honest:leave one of your brothers with me. Take supplies for your starving families and be gone, 34but bring me back your youngest brother and then I shall know that you are not spies but honestmen. Then I shal give your brother back to you and you wil be free to move about the country." ' 35As they emptied their sacks, each discovered his bag of money in his sack. On seeing their bags ofmoney they were afraid, and so was their father. 36Then their father Jacob said to them, 'You are robbing me of my children; Joseph is no more;Simeon is no more; and now you want to take Benjamin. I bear the brunt of al this!' 37Then Reuben said to his father, 'You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you.Put him in my care and I will bring him back to you.' 38But he replied, 'My son is not going down with you, for now his brother is dead he is the only one left.If any harm came to him on the journey you are undertaking, you would send my white head down to Sheol withgrief!'
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