Genesis 41:46 - 42:38
You remember the previous stories of Joseph, how his brothers sold him, how he went to prison in Egypt and then how the Pharaoh put him in charge of the country after he told the Pharoah what the dreams meant of the fat cows and the sick cows.
So just as Joseph said the seven years of abundance came and the land gave an extraordinary great harvest.
In that seven years, Joseph gathered so much wheat that it was as much as the sand of the sea. In every city Joseph let them stored up the grains.
After the seven years of prosperity, the seven years of starvation began just as Joseph had warned. In all the countries there was starvation, only in Egypt the people had food.
When the famine was at its worst people all over the world was forced to went to Egypt to buy food from Joseph. There was no more food in the land of Canaan where Joseph's father and his brothers remained.
When Jacob heard that there was food in Egypt. He sent only ten of his sons to Egypt.
He did not let Benjamin go with his brothers. He was afraid there might happen something with Benjamin.
Joseph was the head of the land and he sold the wheat to the people.
When his brothers came to him, they bowed low to him. He immediately recognized them but Joseph acted like he didn’t know them.
While Joseph stood before his brothers, he remembered the dreams, the dreams he had about him and his brothers long ago.
He accused them of being spies and that they only came to see where they can attack the land. His brothers tried to explain that they were not spies. They said: We are not spies we are all brothers. We were twelve brothers the youngest brother is still at home with our father, and the other brother died a long time ago.
Joseph pretended not to believe them and threw them all in jail.
On the third day, Joseph spoke to them using an interpreter to talk to his brothers, so the brothers did not know that he understood their language. He talked very hard and seriously. I'm going to keep one of you here as a hostage. The other of you can go home but there is one condition. You do not come here again to buy corn unless you bring your youngest brother.
Then the brothers said to each other, We are guilty because we did a very wrong thing to our brother. We saw how terrified he was when he was begging us for mercy. But we wouldn’t listen to him. Reuben said.: Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t hurt the boy’? But no, you wouldn’t listen. And now we’re paying for his murder.
When Joseph heard that they were very sorry because they hurt him. He just couldn't stop his tears. He turned away from them and cried.
When he was able to speak again. He took Simeon while they all watched and had him tied up, making a prisoner of him.
Joseph told his slaves to make his brothers' bags full of wheat and to put their money back in their pockets.
When they came to their father Jacob in Canaan, they told him what had happened to them. They said; The man who is the head of the land spoke fiercely to us, and he locked us in prison. He then held Simeon as a hostage and told us, I will find out if you are honest people. You must bring your youngest brother to me so that I know you are not spies. Then I will return your brother. You will not be allowed to buy wheat again unless you bring your youngest brother. Jacob's sons emptied their bags, and everybody got his wallet and his money in his pocket. When they saw it, they and their father became very afraid.
Their father Jacob said to them; You take all my children! Joseph is dead and Simeon is no longer here. Now you want to take Benjamin too! Ruben then said to his father: Father you may kill my two sons if I do not bring Benjamin back.
But Jacob said; My son Benjamin will not go with you, for his brother is dead, and he is left alone.
If something bad happens to him on the road, then I'll die, an old man, and then it'll be your fault.
So in the next story I will tell you what will happen to Simeon that was held as a hostage by Joseph and what happened when his brothers returned to Egypt.
Thank you for reading.
Sources: ERV Easy to read Bible, ICB International Children's Bible, The Message Bible, The New King James Bible.