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.”

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 42:34 Or move about freely

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

創世記 42

約瑟的哥哥們到埃及買糧

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? 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。」 於是,約瑟的十個哥哥下到埃及買糧。 雅各不肯讓約瑟的弟弟便雅憫與他們同去,恐怕他會遭害。 以色列的兒子們加入了買糧的行列,因為迦南也鬧饑荒。

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。 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。」 約瑟認得他哥哥們,但他哥哥們卻認不出他來。 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。」