Even though Joseph recognizes his brothers, he still pretends that they are spies and continues holding one of them hostage. I guess he’s just trying to get back at them!
- The famine was still severe, and soon enough Joseph’s brothers were about to be sent down to Egypt once more to buy grain.
2. But Judah warned his father that they would not get their brother back until they had somehow proven that they were not spies by bringing their youngest brother down to Egypt.
3. Now it seems that everybody had remembered that Jacob had been renamed ‘Israel’ twice, so in this chapter he is called by his new name, not his original one.
4. Israel was annoyed that his sons had caused so much trouble, and asked them why they had told the man in Egypt why they had another brother.
5. “He asked a lot of questions, how were we to know what he was going to say?” They replied.
6. After taking a long time to decide, Israel finally agreed, and he gave the brothers gifts to give to the man in Egypt. The brothers headed off to Egypt, taking with them the silver that had been mysteriously placed in their sacks when they left Egypt the first time.
7. When they arrived at Egypt they presented themselves before Joseph, who wanted to have tea and cookies with them and have a nice chat, so he told his steward to slaughter an animal and prepare a meal.
8. Now the brothers were suspicious, and immediately assumed the man would somehow overpower all of them and take them as slaves because they thought that he thought that they had stolen the silver. And yes, I wrote that sentence like that on purpose.
9. So the brothers talked to the steward and told him about the silver. “Don’t worry,” the steward replied, “your God – not my God, but your God, gave you that silver as a gift. Maybe he’s messing with you, maybe I’m assuming everything I can’t immediately explain is God’s fault, I don’t know.”
10. The steward then brought out Simeon – the brother that they had imprisoned – and took them all into Joseph’s house.
11. They all bowed before Joseph and presented their gifts. Joseph asked them how hey were, saying, “How is your father, is he still alive?” To which they replied, “Yep, he’s still not dead yet.”
12. Joseph spotted Benjamin, Israel’s youngest son, and was apparently so deeply ‘moved’ that he hurried off to find a place to cry – Well, that’s normal behavior, isn’t it?
13. When he returned he sat at the table with the brothers, and they were served, but the Egyptians ate by themselves, because they would not eat with the Hebrews, because they were racist.
14. And it looked as if Joseph was trying to fatten Benjamin up for some reason, because he gave him five times as much food as everybody else.
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