ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 79

G enesis
But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. This will prove that
you are telling the truth, and you will not die.” To this they agreed.
Speaking 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.”
“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!”
Of course, they didn’t know that Joseph understood them, for he had
been speaking to them through an interpreter. Now he turned away from
them and began to weep. When he regained his composure, he spoke to
them again. Then he chose Simeon from among them and had him tied
up right before their eyes.
Joseph 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. So the brothers loaded their donkeys with the grain and headed for home.
But 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. “Look!”
he exclaimed to his brothers. “My money has been returned; it’s here in my
sack!” Then their hearts sank. Trembling, they said to each other, “What
has God done to us?”
When the brothers came to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan,
they told him everything that had happened to them. “The man who is
governor of the land spoke very harshly to us,” they told him. “He accused
us of being spies scouting the land. But we said, ‘We are honest men, not
spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One brother is no longer
with us, and the youngest is at home with our father in the land of Canaan.’
“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. But you must
bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know you are honest
men and not spies. Then I will give you back your brother, and you may
trade freely in the land.’”
As 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. Jacob exclaimed, “You are robbing
me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to
take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!”
Then 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.”

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