Old Testament

The Pentateuch

What was Joseph’s plan to test his brothers?

Joseph pretended that he thought his brothers were spies. The brothers denied it, but Joseph insisted. In trying to establish their identity for Joseph, the brothers told him that they were ten of twelve brothers belonging to a man in Canaan. One brother was dead, and the other was still with their father. Joseph decreed that unless one of the brothers brought the absent brother to Egypt, all of them would die in an Egyptian prison. A few days later, Joseph changed his mind and came up with a different plan. He had Simeon stay imprisoned in Egypt while the other brothers went back to Canaan with food, and the understanding that they were to bring Benjamin back. Reuben, Joseph’s lukewarm champion back in the old days, scolded his brothers, “Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? Therefore, behold, also his blood is required.” (KJV, Genesis 42:22)


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