for fear something
might happen to the boy he loved, even as it had happened to his
When the brothers
arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to the governor, they
bowed down before him, just as it had been foretold in Joseph's
dream of the sheaves of what. Joseph recognized his brothers at
once, but they did not know him, for he had been only a young boy
when they had sold him into slavery. To test them, Joseph accused
them of being spies, come to see how bad the famine was in Egypt.
"No, we are twelve brothers, the sons of Jacob of Canaan. Our
youngest brother is at home with his father and the other is
dead." But Joseph, still pretending to believe they were
spies, refused to let them go unless their youngest brother were
brought before him.
"Send one of
you to fetch your brother. The rest of you I shall keep here in
prison until your words are proved true." Then he had them
all put in jail.
At the end of
three days, Joseph called them before him and said, "Do this,
for I fear God. If you be true men, let one of you stay here while
the others carry corn to allay the famine of your families. But
make sure you bring back your youngest brother to me to prove your
words are not false."
fearing that this trouble had come to them as punishment for the
way they had treated their younger brother years before, did not
dare to disobey. They left Simeon in prison and started on the
journey back to Canaan with their sacks full of corn.
overnight at an inn. Once of them opened a sack fro grain to feed
his ass, and found in the op the money he had paid the Egyptian
governor. This the brothers could not understand, for they did not
yet know that Joseph had ordered their money to be given back in
each sack of corn.
return, they related to their father all that had befallen them.
Then as they emptied their sacks, and each found his bundle of
money, they were afraid. Then Jacob refused to let them take
Benjamin back to Egypt. Joseph, his favorite, had been lost long
ago, and now Simeon was in prison. He wanted nothing more to
befall his sons.
After a time,
when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, and
there was still famine in the land, Jacob said to his sons,
"Go again, and buy us some food."
answered, "The governor of Egypt will not even see us unless
we bring our brother. Send him with me, that we and our families,
and he, too, shall not starve."
agreed and had them take presents to the governor: fruits, balm,
honey, spices, nuts, and myrrh. And he had them take double the
amount of money that had been returned in their sacks. The, with
Benjamin, the brothers set forth for Egypt.
When the steward
brought the news that the nine strangers had returned with their
younger brother, Joseph ordered them to be brought to his house.
The brothers, now more frightened than ever that they should all
be taken as slaves, explained to the steward how they had found
the money in their sacks and had brought back double the amount to
return it and to buy more grain. The steward answered,
"Peace! Fear not. It was God's will that I return your
money," and he brought Simeon to them. He gave them water to
wash their feet before entering Joseph's house, and gave them food
for their beasts.
themselves ready, and when they came before Joseph, they gave him
the presents which Jacob had sent. Then they were seated at a
separate table, for the Hebrews and the Egyptians did not eat
together, and Joseph sent them food, giving more to Benjamin than
to all the others. And they ate and drank and were merry with him.
Then Joseph commanded his steward to fill their sacks with grain,
as much as the could carry, to return their money as before, and
to put into Benjamin's sack Joseph's own silver cup.
The next morning,
soon after the brothers had left, Joseph told his steward to
follow them. When the steward caught up with them and accused them
of stealing his master's cup, they all denied it, and agreed that
if it were found, the one in whose sack it was concealed must
return as Joseph's servant. When it was found in Benjamin's sack,
the brothers were terribly frightened and all returned to Joseph.
They bowed to the
ground before him and pleaded with him not to keep Benjamin, for
it would break their father's hart. Judah spoke up, "our
father is an old man and this is his youngest son. I swore to him
that I would bring this boy back safely, that no harm should
befall him. Keep me instead to be your servant, and let the boy go
with his brothers."
At this point
Joseph was overcome with emotion. He sent away all his servants,
and weeping, called his brother near to him.
Joseph," he told them, "your brother, whom you sold into
Egypt." The brothers were greatly troubled and could not
speak a word. Seeing this, Joseph continued, "Do not grieve
or be angry with yourselves for having sold me. God sent me here
before you to save your lives. For two years there has been famine
in Egypt. There are yet five years more. It was not you, but God,
that sent me here and made me lord and ruler of the Pharaoh's
house and land.
"Hurry - go
to my father and tell him that his son, Joseph, bids him come to
Egypt. And come you, with your families and herds, so that you may
survive the famine." And he kissed his brothers, and forgave
them, and sent them home to Jacob, their asses laden with grain,
with meat and bread and clothes for the journey.
When Jacob heard
the news he could not believe it. But when the brothers told him
all that Joseph had said, he spoke, "It is enough. Joseph is
yet alive. I will go to see him before I die."
They gathered all
their goods, their families and their herds, and they traveled to
Egypt. Since the brothers were fine herdsmen, the Pharaoh welcomed
them and gave them land in Goshen, nearby, and made them keepers
of all his cattle. Thus Jacob lived near Joseph until the end of
his days, and from his twelve sons sprang the twelve tribes of
hundreds of years the descendants of Jacob's sons lived in Egypt,
and in time there were a large number of them in the land. Now a
new king ruled over Egypt, one who did not know of Joseph and the
good he had done.