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Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt

42 Now (A)Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?” Then he said, “Behold, (B)I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from there, (C)so that we may live and not die.” So ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother (D)Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “(E)Lest any harm befall him.” So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, (F)for the famine was in the land of Canaan also.

Now (G)Joseph was the one in power over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and (H)bowed down to him with their [a]faces to the ground. And Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and (I)spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”

But Joseph recognized his brothers, although (J)they did not recognize him. And Joseph (K)remembered the dreams which he [b]had about them and said to them, “You are spies; you have come to look at the [c]nakedness of the land.” 10 Then they said to him, “No, (L)my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man; we are (M)honest men; your servants are not spies.” 12 And he said to them, “No, but you have come to look at the [d]nakedness of our land!” 13 So they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers in all, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is with (N)our father today, and (O)one is no more.” 14 And Joseph said to them, “It is as I said [e]to you, you are spies; 15 by this you will be tested: (P)by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here! 16 Send one of you that he may get your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is (Q)truth in you. But if not, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 Then he put them all together in (R)prison for three days.

18 And Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and live, for (S)I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in [f]your prison; but as for the rest of you, go, bring grain for the famine of your households, 20 and (T)bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be proven true, and you will not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, “(U)Surely we are guilty concerning our brother because we saw the distress of his soul when he begged us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, “(V)Did I not tell you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; yet you would not listen? (W)So also his blood, behold, it is required of us.” 23 Now they did not know that Joseph was listening, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 And he turned away from them and (X)wept. Then he returned to them and spoke to them. And he (Y)took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 (Z)Then Joseph gave a command to fill their bags with grain and to restore every man’s money in his sack and to give them provisions for the journey. And thus it was done for them.

26 So they loaded their donkeys with their grain and went from there. 27 Then one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place. And he saw his (AA)money; and behold, it was in the mouth of his sack. 28 So he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned, and behold, it is even in my sack.” And their hearts [g]sank, and they turned [h]trembling to one another, saying, “(AB)What is this that God has done to us?”

Jacob Is Bereaved

29 Then they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, (AC)spoke harshly with us and took us for spies of the country. 31 So we said to him, ‘We are (AD)honest men; we are not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’ 33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘(AE)By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me that I may know that you are not spies, but [i]honest men. I will give your brother to you, and you may (AF)trade in the land.’”

35 Now it happened that they were emptying their sacks, and behold, (AG)every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and they and their father saw their bundles of money, and they feared. 36 And their father Jacob said to them, “You have (AH)bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” 37 Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my hand, and I will return him to you.” 38 But [j]Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his (AI)brother is dead, and he alone remains. (AJ)If harm should befall him on the journey on which you are going, then you will (AK)bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”


  1. Genesis 42:6 Lit noses
  2. Genesis 42:9 Lit had dreamed
  3. Genesis 42:9 Or undefended parts
  4. Genesis 42:12 Or undefended parts
  5. Genesis 42:14 Lit to you, saying
  6. Genesis 42:19 Lit the house of your prison
  7. Genesis 42:28 Lit went out
  8. Genesis 42:28 Lit trembled
  9. Genesis 42:34 Lit you are honest
  10. Genesis 42:38 Lit he