1. When Jacob heard there was wheat in Egypt he said to his sons, "Why do you stand looking at one another?
2. I've heard there is grain in Egypt, so go down and buy some for us so that we may stay alive and not die!"
3. Joseph's brothers - ten of them - went down to Egypt to buy wheat
4. but Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, for he said, "Something might happen to him."
5. So the sons of Israel were among those going to buy grain, for there was famine in Canaan.
6. It was Joseph, as governor of the land, who sold the grain to all the people. When his brothers arrived they bowed before him, with their faces to the ground.
7. Joseph recognized his brothers but did not make himself known and, instead, said harshly to them, "Where do you come from?" And they answered, "We come from the land of Canaan to buy grain for food."
8. Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him.
9. And he remembered the dreams he once had concerning them. He told them, "You are spies, and it is to discover the weak points of the land that you have come."
10. They said, "No, my lord, your servants have come to buy grain for food.
11. We are all sons of the same man. We are honest men; your servants are not spies."
12. Joseph replied, "No, it is to find out the weak points of the country that you have come."
13. They said, "Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; the youngest is today with our father and the other is no more."
14. But Joseph insisted, "It's just as I said, you are spies!
15. And this will be proved. By the life of Pharaoh you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.
16. One of you is to go and fetch your brother. The others will be imprisoned while I verify whether you are telling the truth. If not, then as true as Pharaoh lives, you are spies."
17. And so he put them all in prison for three days.
18. On the third day Joseph said to them, "I will help you to save yourselves, for I am a man who fears God.
19. If you are sincere, let one of your brothers remain prisoner in the house of the guard where you now are, and the rest of you take the grain to save your families from famine.
20. Then you will bring back your youngest brother; so the truth of what you say will be proved and your lives spared." They did as they were ordered
21. and said among themselves, "Alas! We are guilty because of the way we treated our brother when he pleaded with us for mercy, but we didn't listen. That is why this trouble has come upon us."
22. Reuben answered them, "Didn't I tell you not to sin against the boy. But you did not listen and now we are brought to account for his blood."
23. Now they did not know that Joseph understood them as there was an interpreter between them.
24. As for Joseph, he withdrew and wept. When he came back, he spoke to them and took Simeon and had him bound and put in prison while they looked on.
25. Joseph ordered their sacks to be filled with wheat and their money replaced in the sack of each one and provisions be given them for the journey. All this was done;
26. they loaded the grain on their donkeys and set off.
27. But in the evening one of them emptied his sack to feed his donkey at the lodging place, and he saw his money at the mouth of the sack, so he said,
28. "My money has been put back: here it is in my sack;" Their hearts failed them and they trembled and turned to each other and said, "What is this that God has done to us!"
29. When they came back to Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him about all their adventures:
30. "The man who is governor of the country spoke harshly to us and treated us as spies,
31. but we said: 'We are honest men, not spies.
32. We were twelve brothers, sons of the same father; one is no more and the youngest is with our father in the land of Canaan.'
33. Then the man who is lord of the land said: By this I will know if you are honest. Leave one of your brothers here; take grain to save your families from the famine and go.
34. Bring back your youngest brother and let me see you are not spies but honest men. Then I shall release your brother and you can trade in the land."
35. Now, when they emptied their sacks, each one found his money bag in his sack. When they saw this, they were afraid and their father as well.
36. Jacob their father said to them, "You are taking my children from me. Joseph has gone; Simeon has gone and now you are taking Benjamin. I have all this to bear!"
37. Then Reuben said to his father, "You may have the lives of my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to me and I shall see that he comes back."
38. But Jacob said, "My son will not go with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If he were to meet with some misfortune on the way, you would send my gray head to the land of Shadows in sorrow."