ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 78


severe throughout the land of Egypt. And people from all around came to
Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout
the world.
When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons,
“Why are you standing around looking at one another? I have heard there
is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive.
Otherwise we’ll die.”
So Joseph’s ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain. But
Jacob wouldn’t let Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, for
fear some harm might come to him. So Jacob’s sons arrived in Egypt along
with others to buy food, for the famine was in Canaan as well.
Since 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. Joseph recognized
his brothers instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly
to them. “Where are you from?” he demanded.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We have come to buy food.”
Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him.
And he remembered the dreams he’d had about them many years before.
He said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our
land has become.”
“No, my lord!” they exclaimed. “Your servants have simply come to buy
food. We are all b­ rothers—­members of the same family. We are honest
men, sir! We are not spies!”
“Yes, you are!” Joseph insisted. “You have come to see how vulnerable
our land has become.”
“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.”
But Joseph insisted, “As I said, you are spies! This is how I will test your
story. I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you will never leave Egypt unless your youngest brother comes here! One of you must go and get your
brother. I’ll keep the rest of you here in prison. Then we’ll find out whether
or not your story is true. By the life of Pharaoh, if it turns out that you don’t
have a younger brother, then I’ll know you are spies.”
So Joseph put them all in prison for three days. On the third day Joseph
said to them, “I am a G
­ od-­fearing man. If you do as I say, you will live.
If you really are honest men, choose one of your brothers to remain in
prison. The rest of you may go home with grain for your starving families.

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