Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt
1 Now when Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, Why do you look at one another? 2 For, he said, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; get down there and buy [grain] for us, that we may live and not die. 3 So ten of Joseph's brethren went to buy grain in Egypt. 4 But Benjamin, Joseph's [full] brother, Jacob did not send with his brothers; for he said, Lest perhaps some harm or injury should befall him. 5 So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who came, for there was hunger and general lack of food in the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was who sold to all the people of the land; and Joseph's [half] brothers came and bowed themselves down before him with their faces to the ground. 7 Joseph saw his brethren and he recognized them, but he treated them as if he were a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. He said, Where do you come from? And they replied, From the land of Canaan to buy food.
8 Joseph knew his brethren, but they did not know him. 9 And Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them and said to them, You are spies and with unfriendly purpose you have come to observe [secretly] the nakedness of the land. 10 But they said to him, No, my lord, but your servants have come [only] to buy food. 11 We are all one man's sons; we are true men; your servants are not spies. 12 And he said to them, No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land. 13 But they said, Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; the youngest is today with our father, and one is not. 14 And Joseph said to them, It is as I said to you, You are spies. 15 You shall be proved by this test: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go away from here unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you and let him bring your brother, and you will be kept in prison, that your words may be proved whether there is any truth in you; or else by the life of Pharaoh you certainly are spies. 17 Then he put them all in custody for three days.
18 And Joseph said to them on the third day, Do this and live! I reverence and fear God. 19 If you are true men, let one of your brothers be bound in your prison, but [the rest of] you go and carry grain for those weakened with hunger in your households. 20 But bring your youngest brother to me, so your words will be verified and you shall live. And they did so. 21 And they said one to another, We are truly guilty about our brother, for we saw the distress and anguish of his soul when he begged us [to let him go], and we would not hear. So this distress and difficulty has come upon us. 22 Reuben answered them, Did I not tell you, Do not sin against the boy, and you would not hear? Therefore, behold, his blood is required [of us]. 23 But they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter. 24 And he turned away from them and wept; then he returned to them and talked with them, and took from them Simeon and bound him before their eyes. 25 Then [privately] Joseph commanded that their sacks be filled with grain, every man's money be restored to his sack, and provisions be given to them for the journey. And this was done for them.
26 They loaded their donkeys with grain and left. 27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he caught sight of his money; for behold, it was in his sack's mouth. 28 And he said to his brothers, My money is restored! Here it is in my sack! And their hearts failed them and they were afraid and turned trembling one to another, saying, What is this that God has done to us?
The Return to Canaan
29 When they came to Jacob their father in Canaan, they told him all that had befallen them, saying, 30 The man who is the lord of the land spoke roughly to us and took us for spies of the country. 31 And we said to him, We are true men, not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers with the same father; one is no more, and the youngest is today with our father in the land of Canaan. 33 And the man, the lord of the country, said to us, By this test I will know whether or not you are honest men: leave one of your brothers here with me and take grain for your famishing households and be gone. 34 Bring your youngest brother to me; then I will know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. And I will deliver to you your brother [whom I have kept bound in prison], and you may do business in the land.
35 When they emptied their sacks, behold, every man's parcel of money was in his sack! When both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 And Jacob their father said to them, You have bereaved me! Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and you would take Benjamin from me. All these things are against me! 37 And Reuben said to his father, Slay my two sons if I do not bring [Benjamin] back to you. Deliver him into my keeping, and I will bring him back to you. 38 But [Jacob] said, My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left [of his mother's children]; if harm or accident should befall him on the journey you are to take, you would bring my hoary head down to Sheol (the place of the dead) with grief.