THE TESTING OF JOSEPH'S BROTHERS 33
servants have come to buy food. We are all sons of one man; we are honest men; your servants are not spies." But he again said to them, "No, you have come to see how defenseless the land is." They answered, "We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one father in the land of Canaan. The youngest is to-day with our father, and one is dead." Joseph said to them, "It is just as I said to you, 'You are spies.' By this you shall be tested: as sure as Pharaoh lives you shall not go away unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain in prison, that it may be proved whether you are telling the truth or not. Or else, as sure as Pharaoh lives, you are indeed spies. So he put them all into prison for three days.
Then Joseph said to them on the third day, "Do this and live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay in prison, but you go, carry grain for the needs of your households and bring your youngest brother to me. So you will prove that you have told the truth and you shall not die."
They did as Joseph commanded, but they said to one another, "We are indeed guilty because of the way we treated our brother, for when we saw his trouble and when he pleaded with us, we would not listen. That is why this trouble has come upon us." Reuben added, "Did I not say to you, 'Do not sin against the boy,' but you would not listen?"
They did not know, however, that Joseph understood them, for he had spoken to them through an interpreter. But he turned away from them and wept. Then he came back and spoke to them, and taking Simeon from among them, bound him before their eyes. Then Joseph gave orders to fill their vessels with grain and to put every man's money back in his sack and to give them food for the journey; and thus it was done to them. So they loaded their asses with their grain and went away.
When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened, saying, "The man who is master in that land spoke harshly to us and put us in prison as spies. We said to him, 'We are honest men; we are not spies; we are twelve brothers, sons of the same father; one is no longer living, and the youngest is to-day with our father in the land of Canaan.' But the man who is master in that land said to us, 'This is how I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take the grain to supply the needs of your households and go. Bring your youngest brother to me; then I shall know