Genesis 42:1-38, NLT
Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
1When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another?
3So Joseph’s ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain.
6Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We have come to buy food.”
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him.
10“No, my lord!” they exclaimed. “Your servants have simply come to buy food.
12“Yes, you are!” Joseph insisted. “You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.”
13“Sir,” they said, “there are actually twelve of us. We, your servants, are all brothers, sons of a man living in the land of Canaan. Our youngest brother is back there with our father right now, and one of our brothers is no longer with us.”
14But Joseph insisted, “As I said, you are spies!
17So Joseph put them all in prison for three days.
21Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.”
22“Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!”
23Of course, they didn’t know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter.
25Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men’s sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each brother’s payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them supplies for their journey home.
27But when they stopped for the night and one of them opened his sack to get grain for his donkey, he found his money in the top of his sack.
29When the brothers came to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them.
33“Then the man who is governor of the land told us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your starving families and go on home.
35As they emptied out their sacks, there in each man’s sack was the bag of money he had paid for the grain! The brothers and their father were terrified when they saw the bags of money.
37Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. I’ll be responsible for him, and I promise to bring him back.”
38But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.*42:38 Hebrew to Sheol.”