GENESIS 42:1-4 "1 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?
2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.
3 And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him."
The famine was everywhere in the land except Egypt. Joseph had done a good job storing the
excess food for the past 7 years and Egypt was selling food to all the surrounding countries.
When Jacob heard about the corn in Egypt, he sent all of his sons except Benjamin to buy corn
not knowing that his lost son, Joseph, was governor over Egypt.
A TASTE OF PRISON
GENESIS 42:14-20 "And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: 15 Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. 16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. 17 And he put them all together into ward three days. 18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: 19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: 20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so."
Joseph had his 10 brothers put in prison for 3 days. He then brought them out and told them he was going to keep Simeon until they brought their youngest brother, Benjamin, who was Joseph's only full brother, back to prove that they were not spies. Some say Joseph did this to give them a taste of prison, maybe to get even. Do you think that if Joseph had told his brothers who he was, given them provisions and sent them on their way that they would have told their father what they had done? Joseph was very wise in his dealings with his brothers. He knew their treacherous nature.
A GUILTY CONSCIENCE
GENESIS 42:21-24 "21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. 23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. 24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes."
It broke Joseph's heart when he overheard his brothers talking about their guilt in his separation
from his family. He had begged them not to sell him into slavery but they had not listened to
his pleas. How callous and hardhearted they had been, and now they felt they were being punished
for their evil deed. If they had only known! Joseph knew he could not trust them to go
and bring his father and brother to Egypt so he wisely kept one and sent the others home. He knew
they would eventually have to bring Benjamin back for more food and to free Simeon. He would only
reveal himself then. He put their money back in their sacks and sent them home.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Do you think Joseph should have revealed himself to his brothers?
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