New International Version

Genesis 42

Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt

1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan also.

Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked.

“From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”

Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”

10 “No, my lord,” they answered. “Your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.”

12 “No!” he said to them. “You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”

13 But they replied, “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”

14 Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 And he put them all in custody for three days.

18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’

33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade[a] in the land.’”

35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”

37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.”

38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”


  1. Genesis 42:34 Or move about freely

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

创世记 42


1雅各知道埃及有粮食,就对儿子们说:“你们为什么还在这儿互相观望呢? 我听说埃及有粮食,你们快到埃及去买些粮食回来吧,免得我们饿死。” 于是,约瑟的十个哥哥下到埃及买粮。 雅各不肯让约瑟的弟弟便雅悯与他们同去,恐怕他会遭害。 以色列的儿子们加入了买粮的行列,因为迦南也闹饥荒。

那时,约瑟治理埃及,负责卖粮。约瑟的哥哥们来到他面前,向他俯伏下拜。 约瑟一眼就认出了他们,却不动声色。他疾言厉色地问道:“你们从哪里来?”他们回答说:“我们是从迦南来买粮食的。” 约瑟认得他哥哥们,但他哥哥们却认不出他来。 约瑟想起了自己从前做的两个梦,就对他们说:“你们是奸细,是来探听我们虚实的!” 10 他们说:“我主啊,不是的!仆人们是来买粮的。 11 仆人们都是弟兄,是诚实人,不是奸细。”

12 约瑟说:“不对,你们是来探听我们虚实的。” 13 他们说:“仆人们共有弟兄十二人,父亲住在迦南,最年幼的弟弟留在父亲身边,还有一个已经去世。” 14 约瑟说:“我说你们是奸细一点不错。 15 我以法老的性命起誓,你们最小的弟弟不来这里,你们都不能走,这是对你们的验证。 16 你们派一个人回去把你们的弟弟带来,其他人都要被囚禁在这里,我要看看你们说的是真还是假。要是你们说的是假话,我以法老的性命起誓,你们一定是奸细。” 17 于是,约瑟把他们囚禁了三天。

18 到了第三天,约瑟对他们说:“我是敬畏上帝的人,你们照我的话做就能活命。 19 如果你们是诚实人,就把一个人留在监里,其他人带粮食回去接济你们的家人。 20 但你们一定要带你们最小的弟弟回来,以证实你们说的是实话,这样你们就不会被处死。”他们同意了, 21 彼此议论说:“我们一定是在遭报应。从前我们的弟弟苦苦地哀求我们,我们却不理会,现在这场痛苦临到我们了。” 22 吕便说:“我不是劝你们不要犯罪害那孩子吗?你们不听,现在我们必须偿还血债了。” 23 他们不知道约瑟听得懂他们的话,因为约瑟是通过翻译跟他们谈话。 24 约瑟听后转身出去哭了,然后又回来跟他们谈话,从他们中间选了西缅,当着他们的面把西缅捆绑起来。

25 约瑟又吩咐人把他们的袋子装满粮食,把各人买粮的钱放在他们的口袋中,还为他们预备了路上的食物。仆人一一办妥了。 26 约瑟的哥哥们把粮食驮在驴上,启程回去了。 27 他们来到一处住宿的地方,其中一人打开口袋拿饲料喂驴,却发现里面有钱, 28 就对其他弟兄说:“你们看,我的钱又回来了,在我的口袋里!”他们心惊胆战地彼此议论说:“上帝这样对待我们是什么意思呢?”

29 他们回到迦南父亲雅各那里,把事情的经过告诉了他, 30 说:“埃及的宰相对我们说话很凶,还把我们当成奸细。 31 我们对他说,‘我们是诚实人,不是奸细。 32 我们有十二个同胞弟兄,其中有一个已经去世,年纪最小的跟父亲留在迦南。’ 33 那人却对我们说,‘我要看看你们是不是诚实人,你们把一个弟兄留在我这里,其他人带粮食回去接济家人吧。 34 但你们要把最小的弟弟带来见我,这样我便知道你们不是奸细,是诚实人。我就会释放你们的弟兄,你们也可以在这里自由地买卖。’”

35 后来他们倒口袋时,发现每个人买粮的钱袋都在自己的口袋里,他们和父亲见此情形,都害怕起来。 36 雅各说:“你们使我连连失去儿子,约瑟没了,西缅没了,你们还要带走便雅悯!灾祸都落在了我头上!” 37 吕便对父亲说:“要是我不把便雅悯带回你身边,你就杀了我的两个儿子吧!请你把便雅悯放心地交给我,我一定会把他带回你身边。” 38 雅各说:“我的儿子不可跟你们去。他哥哥已经死了,现在只剩下他。要是他在路上遇到什么意外,你们会使我这白发苍苍的老人凄凄惨惨地进坟墓。”