Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
When Jacob heard grain was available in Egypt, he told his sons, “Break up the circle jerk. Go get some grain from Egypt. So we don’t die.”
All of Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt except his younger brother Benjamin. Jacob was afraid for him.
When they arrived, they bowed to Joseph. He immediately recognized them but pretended he didn’t.
He was an asshole to them. They deserved it. “Where are you from?” he demanded.
They replied “From Canaan. We’ve come to buy food.” They didn’t recognize him.
“Liars! You’re spies!”
“No, my lord! Your servants have simply come for food. We are all brothers and honest men.”
“Promise. There are actually 12 of us. Our youngest brother stayed in Canaan with our father and one of our brothers is no longer with us.”
“Pants on fire! How about a test? One of you will fetch your younger brother while the rest of you are imprisoned. If your younger brother doesn’t arrive, you’ll never leave Egypt.”
Then he put them in prison instead. Joseph went soft on the third day. He told his brothers, “I am a God-fearing man. Listen and you will live. If you’re being honest, choose a brother to remain in prison. The rest may take the grain to your families. But you must bring your younger brother back. Prove this and you won’t die.” They agreed.
Speaking amongst themselves, they said “Karma’s a bitch. Clearly we’re being punished for what we did to Joseph.”
“Told you,” Reuben said. “Now we have to answer for it.”
Joseph heard them and cried. He regained his composure and chose Simeon to be tied up and remain in prison.
Joseph ordered his servants to fill the men’s sacks with grain, but he also had them secretly return each brother’s payment at the top of each sack. He also gave them supplies for the journey home.
When they stopped for the night they found the returned money. For some reason, they were upset. “What has God done to us?”
They told Jacob everything that had happened to them. They were all terrified when they saw the bags of money. Jacob said “You’re robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too!”
Then Reuben said “You can kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back. I promise to bring him back.”
Jacob replied “My son will not go with you. He’s all I have left.” (That must have made the others feel great). “If anything happened to him, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.”