1雅各知道埃及有糧食，就對兒子們說：「你們為什麼還在這兒互相觀望呢？ 2我聽說埃及有糧食，你們快到埃及去買些糧食回來吧，免得我們餓死。」 3於是，約瑟的十個哥哥下到埃及買糧。 4雅各不肯讓約瑟的弟弟便雅憫與他們同去，恐怕他會遭害。 5以色列的兒子們加入了買糧的行列，因為迦南也鬧饑荒。
6那時，約瑟治理埃及，負責賣糧。約瑟的哥哥們來到他面前，向他俯伏下拜。 7約瑟一眼就認出了他們，卻不動聲色。他疾言厲色地問道：「你們從哪裡來？」他們回答說：「我們是從迦南來買糧食的。」 8約瑟認得他哥哥們，但他哥哥們卻認不出他來。 9約瑟想起了自己從前做的兩個夢，就對他們說：「你們是奸細，是來探聽我們虛實的！」 10他們說：「我主啊，不是的！僕人們是來買糧的。 11僕人們都是弟兄，是誠實人，不是奸細。」
12約瑟說：「不對，你們是來探聽我們虛實的。」 13他們說：「僕人們共有弟兄十二人，父親住在迦南，最年幼的弟弟留在父親身邊，還有一個已經去世。」 14約瑟說：「我說你們是奸細一點不錯。 15我以法老的性命起誓，你們最小的弟弟不來這裡，你們都不能走，這是對你們的驗證。 16你們派一個人回去把你們的弟弟帶來，其他人都要被囚禁在這裡，我要看看你們說的是真還是假。要是你們說的是假話，我以法老的性命起誓，你們一定是奸細。」 17於是，約瑟把他們囚禁了三天。
18到了第三天，約瑟對他們說：「我是敬畏上帝的人，你們照我的話做就能活命。 19如果你們是誠實人，就把一個人留在監裡，其他人帶糧食回去接濟你們的家人。 20但你們一定要帶你們最小的弟弟回來，以證實你們說的是實話，這樣你們就不會被處死。」他們同意了， 21彼此議論說：「我們一定是在遭報應。從前我們的弟弟苦苦地哀求我們，我們卻不理會，現在這場痛苦臨到我們了。」 22呂便說：「我不是勸你們不要犯罪害那孩子嗎？你們不聽，現在我們必須償還血債了。」 23他們不知道約瑟聽得懂他們的話，因為約瑟是通過翻譯跟他們談話。 24約瑟聽後轉身出去哭了，然後又回來跟他們談話，從他們中間選了西緬，當著他們的面把西緬捆綁起來。
25約瑟又吩咐人把他們的袋子裝滿糧食，把各人買糧的錢放在他們的口袋中，還為他們預備了路上的食物。僕人一一辦妥了。 26約瑟的哥哥們把糧食馱在驢上，啟程回去了。 27他們來到一處住宿的地方，其中一人打開口袋拿飼料餵驢，卻發現裡面有錢， 28就對其他弟兄說：「你們看，我的錢又回來了，在我的口袋裡！」他們心驚膽戰地彼此議論說：「上帝這樣對待我們是什麼意思呢？」
29他們回到迦南父親雅各那裡，把事情的經過告訴了他， 30說：「埃及的宰相對我們說話很凶，還把我們當成奸細。 31我們對他說，『我們是誠實人，不是奸細。 32我們有十二個同胞弟兄，其中有一個已經去世，年紀最小的跟父親留在迦南。』 33那人卻對我們說，『我要看看你們是不是誠實人，你們把一個弟兄留在我這裡，其他人帶糧食回去接濟家人吧。 34但你們要把最小的弟弟帶來見我，這樣我便知道你們不是奸細，是誠實人。我就會釋放你們的弟兄，你們也可以在這裡自由地買賣。』」
35後來他們倒口袋時，發現每個人買糧的錢袋都在自己的口袋裡，他們和父親見此情形，都害怕起來。 36雅各說：「你們使我連連失去兒子，約瑟沒了，西緬沒了，你們還要帶走便雅憫！災禍都落在了我頭上！」 37呂便對父親說：「要是我不把便雅憫帶回你身邊，你就殺了我的兩個兒子吧！請你把便雅憫放心地交給我，我一定會把他帶回你身邊。」 38雅各說：「我的兒子不可跟你們去。他哥哥已經死了，現在只剩下他。要是他在路上遇到什麼意外，你們會使我這白髮蒼蒼的老人淒淒慘慘地進墳墓。」
Joseph’s Brothers Go Down to Egypt
1Jacob found out that there was grain in Egypt. So he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at one another?” 2He continued, “I’ve heard there’s grain in Egypt. Go down there. Buy some for us. Then we’ll live and not die.”
3So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain there. 4But Jacob didn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with them. He was afraid Benjamin might be harmed. 5Israel’s sons were among the people who went to buy grain. There wasn’t enough food in the land of Canaan.
6Joseph was the governor of the land. He was the one who sold grain to all its people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them. But he pretended to be a stranger. He spoke to them in a mean way. “Where do you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We’ve come to buy food.”
8Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. 9Then Joseph remembered his dreams about them. So he said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the places where our land isn’t guarded very well.”
10“No, sir,” they answered. “We’ve come to buy food. 11All of us are the sons of one man. We’re honest men. We aren’t spies.”
12“No!” he said to them. “You have come to see the places where our land isn’t guarded very well.”
13But they replied, “We were 12 brothers. All of us were the sons of one man. He lives in the land of Canaan. Our youngest brother is now with our father. And one brother is gone.”
14Joseph said to them, “I still say you are spies! 15So I’m going to test you. And here’s the test. You can be sure that you won’t leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. You can be just as sure of this as you are sure that Pharaoh lives. I give you my word that you won’t leave here unless your brother comes. 16Send one of you back to get your brother. The rest of you will be kept in prison. I’ll test your words. Then we’ll find out whether you are telling the truth. You can be sure that Pharaoh lives. And you can be just as sure that if you aren’t telling the truth, we’ll know that you are spies!” 17So Joseph kept all of them under guard for three days.
18On the third day, Joseph spoke to them again. He said, “Do what I say. Then you will live, because I have respect for God. 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison. The rest of you may go and take grain back to your hungry families. 20But you must bring your youngest brother to me. That will prove that your words are true. Then you won’t die.” So they did what he said.
21They said to one another, “God is surely punishing us because of our brother. We saw how upset he was when he begged us to let him live. But we wouldn’t listen. That’s why all this trouble has come to us.”
22Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we’re being paid back for killing him.” 23They didn’t realize that Joseph could understand what they were saying. He was using someone else to explain their words to him in the Egyptian language.
24Joseph turned away from his brothers and began to weep. Then he came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken and tied up right there in front of them.
25Joseph gave orders to have their bags filled with grain. He had each man’s money put back into his sack. He also made sure they were given food for their journey. 26Then the brothers loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27When night came, they stopped. One of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey. He saw his money in the top of his sack. 28“My money has been given back,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”
They had a sinking feeling in their hearts. They began to tremble. They turned to one another and said, “What has God done to us?”
29They came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him everything that had happened to them. They said, 30“The man who is the governor of the land spoke to us in a mean way. He treated us as if we were spying on the land. 31But we said to him, ‘We’re honest men. We aren’t spies. 32We were 12 brothers. All of us were the sons of one father. But now one brother is gone. And our youngest brother is with our father in Canaan.’
33“Then the man who is the governor of the land spoke to us. He said, ‘Here’s how I will know whether you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me. Take food for your hungry families and go. 34But bring your youngest brother to me. Then I’ll know that you are honest men and not spies. I’ll give your brother back to you. And you will be free to trade in the land.’ ”
35They began emptying their sacks. There in each man’s sack was his bag of money! When they and their father saw the money bags, they were scared to death. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You have taken my children away from me. Joseph is gone. Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is going against me!”
37Then Reuben spoke to his father. He said, “You can put both of my sons to death if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. Trust me to take care of him. I’ll bring him back.”
38But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you. His brother is dead. He’s the only one left here with me. Suppose he’s harmed on the journey you are taking. Then I would die as a sad old man.”