The New Book of Genesis Chapter 42


42:1     Once Jacob learned 

there was grain in Egypt

he said to his sons:

What are you doing

just looking at one other?


42:2     Then he said:

Look, I hear there is grain in Egypt.

Go over there and buy some for us

so we may survive and not pass away.


42:3     Then ten of Joseph's brothers

left to buy grain from Egypt.


42:4     Yet Joseph's brother Benjamin

Was not sent with his brothers

as he feared he might be harmed.


42:5     Thus Israel's sons went as did others

to buy grain for there was famine in Canaan.


42:6     Joseph was governor of the land

and so he sold grain to all its people.

So when Joseph's brothers arrived

they bowed down to him

with their heads on the ground.


42:7     When Joseph saw his brothers

he recognized them

but pretended to be a stranger.

He spoke sternly to them:

Where do you come from?

They replied:

We are from the land of Canaan

Here to buy food.


42:8     While Joseph recognized his brothers

they recognized him not.


42:9     Then Joseph remembered his dreams

concerning them and spoke to them:

You are spies!

You have come to see

our people’s weaknesses.


42:10   They replied to him:

No my sir.

Your servants come to buy food.


42:11   We are all the sons of the same man.

We are honest – your servants are not spies.


42:12   He responded to them:

No. you have come to see our weaknesses.


42:13   Then they said:

Your servants were twelve brothers

the sons of the same man

from the land of Canaan.

Today the youngest is with our father

and one of us is not with us.


42:14   Then Joseph said to them:

Just as I said you are spies!


42:15   This is how you will prove yourselves:

By the life of Pharaoh

you will not be able to leave

until your youngest brother arrives.


42:16   Send one of you

and get your brother

while the others are retained.

Thus your words will be proven

to see if you speak the truth.

If not by the life of Pharaoh

you are surely spies!


42:17   Then he put them together

in custody for three days.


42:18   On the third day

Joseph told them:

Do this to survive

for I revere God:


42:19   If you men are truly honest

let one brother stay here

in house arrest

and go take some grain

to your hungry families.


42:20   But then you must bring

your youngest brother back

so that what you said is confirmed

and you won’t pass away.

This is what they did.


42:21   They said to one another:

Surely we are to blame

regarding our brother.

We knew his anguish

as he pleaded for his life

but we didn’t listen.

This is why this trouble

has happened to us.


42:22   Then Reuben responded:

Didn’t I say not to harm the boy?

But you would just not listen.

Now we have to pay for his blood.


42:23   They didn’t realize

Joseph could understand them

since he spoke to them

through an interpreter.


42:24   He turned around from them

and began to weep

but then returned and spoke

to them once again.

He had Simeon removed from them

and was bound before their eyes.


42:25   Then Joseph ordered them

to fill their bags with grain

and put their money back in their packs

and give them provisions

for their journey back.

After this was done for them


42:26   they loaded the grain

on to their donkeys and departed.


42:27   When they stopped at an inn

and opened the sack to feed their donkey

he saw his money in the sack’s pouch.


42:28   He then said to his brothers:

My money was returned to me.

It is here in my sack.

Their hearts were astonished

as they turned to each other and said:

My God what is happening to us?


42:29   When they got to their father

Jacob in the land of Canaan

they told him everything

that had happened to them.

They said:


42:30   The man who is the ruler

over the region spoke harshly to us

and treated us like we were spying

on the country.


42:31   We told him we are honest men

and we are not spies.


42:32   That we are twelve brothers

the sons of the same father.

One is gone and the youngest

is now in Canaan with our father.


42:33   Then the man who governs

the people said to us:

If you men are truly honest

leave one of your brothers here.

Go and deliver food

to your hungry families.


42:34   And bring your youngest brother

back to me so I shall know

you are not spies but honest men.

Then I will give you your brother

and you can travel freely.


42:35   Once they emptied their packs

they found their money

packed away.

When they and their father

saw the money

they were astonished.


42:36   Their father Jacob said to them:

I am losing some of my children.

Joseph is gone

and Simeon is gone

and now you want to take Benjamin.

All these things are beyond me.


42:37   Then Reuben told his father:

I swear on the lives of my sons

I will bring him back to you.

Trust him to come with me

and I will return him to you.


42:38   But Jacob told him:

My son shall not go with you.

His brother is dead

and he is the only one left.

If he is harmed during the journey

you will take my gray hair

down to the grave in sorrow