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brethren, that his brethren bowed themselves before him.
Thus was Joseph's dream fulfilled.
Now Joseph knew his brethren, but he did not tell them that he knew them. He seemed as if he did not know them. He spoke roughly to them, and asked them where they came from? And they said, that they had come from the land of Canaan to buy food. Then Joseph said to them, "Ye are spies."
He meant that they had not really come to buy food, but to spy the land, and see whether the people of Egypt were weak or strong, that they might know whether their own people were able to come, and take their land and their goods from the Egyptians. Joseph told his brethren that they were spies, that he might put them in prison, that in their distress they might think of their sin in selling him to be a slave.
And Joseph's brethren said, that they were true men, and not spies; and that they had really come to buy food. They said, "We are twelve
brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not." They meant that one was dead. It was many years since they had sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites, and they thought he was dead.
But Joseph said he did not believe them; and he put them in prison for three days.
THE DISTRESS OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN, AND THEIR FEAR.
JOSEPH had put his brethren in prison, that he might make them think of the evil which they had done to him many years before; but he did not wish to treat them cruelly. So on the third day he commanded that his brethren should be taken out of prison.
Now Joseph wished very much to see his bro
ther Benjamin. So when his brethren had been brought out of prison, Joseph told them that he would prove whether they had spoken the truth or not, and then he should know whether they were spies or true men. Then Joseph said, that he would keep one of them in prison, and that the rest should go and carry corn for their father and his house, and bring their youngest brother back.
When Joseph's brethren knew that one of them must be kept in prison, they were very
Then they remembered their wickedness in selling their brother Joseph to be a slave. They thought that this distress was God's punishment for that wicked deed. They said one to another, "We are verily guilty concerning this our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." And Reuben said to them, "Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child?"
When Joseph had been cast into prison, he was
not sad or afraid. He had refused to sin against God, and he trusted that God would still be with him; so he was happy even in his trouble. But Joseph's brethren knew that they had sinned, and therefore they were afraid.
Joseph's brethren did not know that he understood what they were saying. They thought that he was an Egyptian, and they did not think that he could understand their language; they spoke in the Hebrew language. When Joseph spoke to them, he spoke in the Egyptian language, and an interpreter explained what he said to them in the Hebrew language.
When Joseph heard his brethren speaking of him, he was sorry for them, and turned away from them, and wept. But he did not tell them then, that he was Joseph, whom they had sold, for he knew that it was good for them to be in distress, that they might think more of their sin, and repent.
So he took Simeon, and bound him before eyes, and let the others go. And he com
manded their sacks to be filled with corn, and gave them provision for the way; and he told them that they should not see his face again, except they brought Benjamin their brother with
So Joseph's nine brethren returned to the land of Canaan, and brought the corn to Jacob their father. But Simeon their brother remained a prisoner in Egypt.
Anguish, is very great sorrow.
Besought, means begged; to beseech, is to beg very earnestly.
THE SECOND JOURNEY OF JACOB'S SONS INTO EGYPT.
WHEN Joseph's brethren had come again to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob, they told