The Brothers Return Home to Jacob

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After three  days Joseph told his brothers that he was going to keep one of them in prison and let the others go to carry food to their families (vv. 18-20). This experience caused the brothers to discuss their guilt concerning Joseph (verses 21-22), not realizing that he could understand them because he had been speaking to them through an interpreter (v. 23). They concurred that this was a punishment for the way they had treated Joseph. Hearing their conversation he turned from them and wept (v. 24). He then kept Simeon as a hostage and told them to bring back their younger brother Benjamin and then Simeon would be released. 

After this Joseph had his servants fill all of their sacks with grain and he put their money back in the sacks with the grain (v. 25) He also gave orders for them to be given food for their journey home. They each loaded the grain on their donkeys and left (v. 26). On the way they stopped for the night and one of the brothers found the money in his sack; and they were afraid (vv. 27-28). When the brothers told their father what had happened and how they had to leave Simeon in prison he grieved because he thought another son was dead (vv. 29-34). When they told him that they couldn’t go again for food or to get Simeon released unless Benjamin went with them, Jacob said,” I cannot let Benjamin go. Joseph is gone and if anything happens to Benjamin, I shall die (vv. 35-38).”


It is evident that Jacob and his family were going through severe trials because of previous wrongs committed and not made right. Is there anything in my life that needs to be made right with anyone?

Genesis 42:18-38 (English Standard Version)

On the third day Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die." And they did so. Then they said to one another, "In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us." And Reuben answered them, "Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood." They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them. Then they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed. And as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. He said to his brothers, "My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!" At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, "What is this that God has done to us?" When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, "The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly to us and took us to be spies of the land. But we said to him, 'We are honest men; we have never been spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One is no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.' Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, 'By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way. Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men, and I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall trade in the land.'" As they emptied their sacks, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack. And when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. And Jacob their father said to them, "You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me." Then Reuben said to his father, "Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you." But he said, "My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. If harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol."

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