Genesis 42-44 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt
42 Now when Jacob (Israel) learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another [in bewilderment and not taking action]?” 2 He said, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy [some] grain for us, so that we may live and not die [of starvation].” 3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s [younger] brother, with his brothers, for he said, “I am afraid that some harm or injury may come to him.” 5 So the sons of Israel came [to Egypt] to buy grain along with the others who were coming, for famine was in the land of Canaan also.
6 Now Joseph was the ruler over the land, and he was the one who sold [grain] to all the people of the land; and Joseph’s [half] brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. 7 When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but [hiding his identity] he treated them as strangers and [a]spoke harshly to them. He said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”
8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but [b]they did not recognize him. 9 Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies; you have come [with a malicious purpose] to observe the [c]undefended parts of our land.” 10 But they said to him, “No, my lord, for your servants have [only] come to buy food. 11 We are all the sons of one man; we are honest men, your servants are not spies.” 12 Yet he said to them, “No, you have come to see the undefended parts of our land.” 13 But they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers [in all], the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; please listen: the youngest is with our father today, and one is no longer alive.” 14 Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you, you are spies. 15 In this way you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here! 16 Send one of you [back home], and let him bring your brother [here], while [the rest of] you remain confined, so that your words may be tested, [to see] whether there is any truth in you [and your story]; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, certainly you are spies.” 17 Then Joseph put them all in prison for three days.
18 Now Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and [you may] live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your [place here in] prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine in your households, 20 but bring your youngest brother to me, so your words will be verified and you will not die.” And they did so. 21 And they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty regarding our brother [Joseph], because we saw the distress and anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us [to let him go], yet we would not listen [to his cry]; so this distress and anguish has come on us.” 22 Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now the accounting for his blood is required [of us for we are guilty of his death].” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood [their conversation], because he spoke to them through an interpreter. 24 He turned away from his brothers and [left the room and] wept; then he returned and talked with them, and took Simeon from them and bound him in front of them [to be kept as a hostage in Egypt]. 25 Then Joseph gave orders [privately] that their bags be filled with grain, and that every man’s money [used to pay for the grain] be put back in his sack, and that provisions be given to them for the journey. And so this was done for them.
26 They loaded their donkeys with grain and left from there. 27 And at the lodging place, as one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey, he saw his money in the opening of his sack. 28 And he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned! Here it is in my sack!” And their hearts sank, and they were afraid and turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
The Return to Canaan
29 When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man who is the lord of the land spoke harshly to us, and took us for spies of the land. 31 But we told him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no longer alive, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’ 33 And the man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘By this [test] I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers here with me and take grain for your starving households and go. 34 Bring your youngest brother to me; then I will know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. Then I will return your [imprisoned] brother [back] to you, and you may trade and do business in the land.’”
35 Now when they emptied their sacks, every man’s bundle of money [paid to buy grain] was in his sack. When they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me [by causing the loss] of my children. Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin [from me]. All these things are [working] against me.” 37 Then Reuben spoke to his father, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring Benjamin back to you; put him in my care, and I will return him to you.” 38 But Jacob said, “My son shall not go down [to Egypt] with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left [of Rachel’s children]. If any harm or accident should happen to him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in sorrow.”
The Return to Egypt
43 Now the famine was very severe in the land [of Canaan]. 2 And it happened that when the families of Jacob’s sons had finished eating [all of] the grain which they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” 3 But Judah said to him, “The man [representing Pharaoh] solemnly and sternly warned us, saying, ‘You will not see my face [again] unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother with us, we will go down [to Egypt] and buy you food. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go down there; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” 6 And Israel (Jacob) said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man that you had another brother?” 7 And they said, “The man asked us straightforward questions about ourselves and our relatives. He said, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we [d]answered him accordingly. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down [here to Egypt]’?” 8 Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the young man with me and we will get up and go [buy food], so that we may live and not die [of starvation], we as well as you and our little ones. 9 I will be security (a guarantee) for him; [e]you may hold me [personally] responsible for him. If I do not bring him [back] to you and place him [safely] before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever. 10 For if we had not delayed like this, surely by now we would have returned the second time.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this; take some of the choicest products of the land in your sacks, and carry it as a present [of tribute] to the man [representing Pharaoh], a little balm and a little honey, aromatic spices or gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the [amount of] money with you, and take back the money that was returned in the opening of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother [Benjamin] also, and get up, and go to the man; 14 and may [f]God Almighty grant you compassion and favor before the man, so that he will release to you your other brother [Simeon] and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children [Joseph, Simeon, and Benjamin], I am bereaved.” 15 Then the men took the present, and they took double the [amount of] money with them, and Benjamin; then they left and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and kill an animal and make [a meal] ready; for the men will dine with me at noon.” 17 So the man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and [expecting the worst] they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time [we came] that we are being brought in, so that he may find a reason to accuse us and assail us, and take us as slaves, and seize our donkeys.” 19 So they approached the steward of Joseph’s house, and talked with him at the entrance of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down here the first time to buy food; 21 and when we arrived at the inn [after leaving here], we opened our sacks and there was each man’s money [with which he had paid for grain], in full, returned in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back [this time]. 22 We have also brought down with us additional money to buy food; we do not know who put our money [back] in our sacks [last time].” 23 But the steward [encouraged them and] said, “Peace be to you, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father has [miraculously] given you treasure in your sacks. I [already] had your money [which you paid to us].” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 Then the steward brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed [the dust off] their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25 So they prepared the present [of tribute] for Joseph before his arrival at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.
26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present [of tribute] which they had with them and bowed to the ground before him. 27 He asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed down [their heads before Joseph] in respect. 29 And he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s [only other] son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” And Joseph said, “God be gracious to you and show you favor, my son.” 30 Then Joseph hurried out [of the room] because his heart was deeply touched over his brother, and he sought privacy to weep; so he entered his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out, and, restraining himself, said, “Let the meal be served.” 32 So the servants served Joseph by himself [in honor of his rank], and his brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because [according to custom] the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is [g]loathsome to the Egyptians. 33 Now Joseph’s brothers were seated [by the steward] before him [in the order of their birth]—the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked at one another in astonishment [because so much was known about them]. 34 Joseph selected and sent portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely and celebrated with him.
The Brothers Are Brought Back
44 And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s [grain] money in the mouth of the sack. 2 Put my [personal] cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his grain money.” And the steward did as Joseph had told him. 3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4 When they had left the city, and were not yet far away, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil [to us] for good [paid to you]? 5 Is this not my lord’s drinking cup and the one which he uses for divination? You have done [a great and unforgivable] wrong in doing this.’”
6 So the steward overtook them and he said these words to them. 7 They said to him, “Why does my lord speak these things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8 Please remember, the money which we found in the mouths of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Is it likely then that we would steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9 With whomever of your servants your master’s cup is found, let him die, and the rest of us will be my lord’s slaves.” 10 And the steward said, “Now let it be as you say; he with whom the cup is found will be my slave, but the rest of you shall be blameless.” 11 Then every man quickly lowered his sack to the ground and each man opened his sack [confident the cup would not be found among them]. 12 The steward searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they tore their clothes [in grief]; and after each man had loaded his donkey again, they returned to the city.
14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there; and they fell to the ground before him. 15 Joseph spoke harshly to them, “What is this thing that you have done? Do you not realize that such a man as I can indeed practice divination and foretell [everything you do without outside knowledge of it]?” 16 So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we reply? Or how can we clear ourselves, since God has exposed the sin and guilt of your servants? Behold, we are my lord’s slaves, the rest of us as well as he with whom the cup is found.” 17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me that I should do that; but the man in whose hand the cup has been found, he will be my servant; and as for [the rest of] you, get up and go in peace to your father.”
18 Then Judah approached him, and said, “O my lord, please let your servant say a word to you in private, and do not let your anger blaze against your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh [so I speak as if directly to him]. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20 We said to my lord, ‘We have an old father and a young [brother, Benjamin, the] child of his old age. Now his brother [Joseph] is dead, and he alone is left of [the two sons born of] his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I may actually see him.’ 22 But we said to my lord, ‘The [h]young man cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you shall not see my face again.’ 24 So when we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said. 25 Our father said, ‘Go back [to Egypt], and buy us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down [to Egypt]. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down [there]; for we [were sternly told that we] cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife [Rachel] bore me [only] two sons. 28 And one [son] went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces,” and I have not seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm or an accident happens to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.’ 30 Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the young man is not with us, since [i]his life is bound up in the young man’s life, 31 when he sees that the young man is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in [great] sorrow. 32 For your servant became security for the young man to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33 Now, therefore, please let your servant (Judah) remain here instead of the youth [to be] a slave to my lord, and let the young man go home with his brothers. 34 How can I go up to my father if the young man is not with me—for fear that I would see the tragedy that would overtake my [elderly] father [if Benjamin does not return]?”
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.