Joseph’s brothers go to Egypt and stumble upon the brother they had sold all of those ears before. Somehow Joseph recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him, and he accuses them of being spies.
- Because God had decided not only to send a huge famine to Egypt, but to the rest of the world to, Jacob sent all but one of his sons down to buy some grain.
2. Upon arriving, they met Joseph, because he was in charge of selling the grain to the people he had taken it from in the first place.
3. They bowed before him, and Joseph recognized them. Obviously he was annoyed about them selling him into slavery, but instead of calling them out on it, he decided to do something different.
4. “Where are you from?” Joseph asked them. “We come from the land of Caanan” They replied.
5. Joseph remembered some dreams that he had apparently had but were never mentioned, and he accused them of being spies.
6. “You are spies!” He said, “you have come to see where our land is unprotected!”
7. “No! We are twelve brothers, sons of a man in Caanan. The youngest is with him, and we sold the other into slavery, but let’s not talk about that” They said.
8. Joseph thought for a moment, before replying, “You will stay here in custody, and one of you will be sent to fetch your brother. If he shows up, then you are obviously not spies for some reason, but if he does not, then you must be!”
9. Clearly logical reasoning was not Joseph’s strong point, but his brothers agreed. On the third day Joseph told the brothers to take grain back to their starving family, but one of them must stay behind.
10. Now Joseph’s brothers complained, saying that this was happening because they had sinned against Joseph, and Joseph, who had apparently forgotten how to speak their language, understood them because he was using an interpreter.
11. Determined to keep this little game going, Joseph watched as the men filled their sacks with grain and set off, but not before hiding the silver that they had paid back in the bags, making it look as if they had stolen the grain.
12. Joseph’s motives were a bit odd, but he was participating in one of the age old Biblical traditions – aside from renaming things that is – trickery.
13. The brothers returned home, and upon opening their bags they discovered the silver.
14. “What has God done to us?” One of them asked, blaming God for what had happened. “Hey, don’t bring me into this” God replied, getting ready to smite someone.
15. “What have you done!” Jacob said, “Now the Egyptians shall kill my son that you left behind!”
16. Now Reuben, one of his sons, said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not return with my brother. But I need you youngest son to prove we’re not spies.”
17. And there you have it! Another example of Biblical family values!
18. But Jacob said, “Fine, but if anything happens to him I’ll probably die grieving, not to be over dramatic or anything.”
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