This Week's Story

Jacob's ten guilty sons are falsely charged, imprisoned, and strangely sent home.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Joseph: The Guilt of Ten Brothers, part six

The ten brothers stared at each other. Finally! The words had been spoken, “We murdered him.”

Reuben’s words ripped off their masks. He’d said what they all had been feeling for years. They hadn’t talked about what they had done to Joseph. We all are to blame for Joseph’s death. This is our punishment. We come to Egypt to get food for ourselves and families and we’re arrested on false charges.

Pharaoh’s official calls us spies and imprisons us for three days. He announces, “Because I fear God, you will live, if you do what I say. You do not need to all stay in prison, but one of you will remain. The rest of you can go home. Take the food you came to buy. If you are honest and not spies, bring back your youngest brother.”

The brothers talked together. “Will Father let us bring Benjamin to Egypt? He is father’s comfort since we gave Joseph’s bloody coat to Father.”

As they talked, the official listened. Earlier he had spoken to them through an interpreter, but he understood their language. Abruptly he left the room and found a private place. He cried, and then returned to the brothers. He pointed to Simeon. “You will stay here in prison. Guard, tie him up.” The brothers watched silently.

The official left the brothers and ordered his servants, “Fill the men’s sacks with grain. Put the money each man paid on top of his grain. Also, give them supplies for their trip home.”

The brothers loaded their sacks of grain on their donkeys and left for home. When night came, they stopped. One brother opened his sack to get grain to feed the donkeys. Inside he found his money for buying grain. The brothers were terrified. What should they do? “We will be accused of being thieves and spies.”

When they reached their home in Canaan, about 200 miles from Egypt, they told Father Jacob what had happened. “The man who is ruler said that if we bring Benjamin back, then Simeon will be given back to us. We can buy grain whenever we need it.”

They opened their sacks of grain. To their horror on the top of each sack was a bag with the money paid for that sack’s grain.

Jacob was overcome and cried out, “Joseph has disappeared. Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin!”

Reuben promised Jacob, “I will be responsible for Benjamin and bring him back to you.”

Jacob could not be persuaded. “Benjamin will not go with you. Joseph is dead and only Benjamin is left of his mother’s two children. If anything happens to him, I will not be able to bear the grief.”

In the following weeks, the famine continued. No food could grow and the grain from Egypt was almost gone. Jacob’s sons and their families were desperate. Jacob told his sons, “Go to Egypt and buy a little food.”

Judah said, “Father, if we do not take Benjamin with us, we might as well stay home. The official who imprisoned us was clear. He told us, ‘You will not be allowed to see me unless you bring your youngest brother.’ Father, the official is responsible for Egypt’s grain. We must see him.”

In the next chapter based on the story of Joseph from the Bible follow the brothers on their trip to Egypt. This is Barbara Steiner. Enjoy checking out:

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