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Joseph's Call For Benjamin

Upon their return from Egypt (see Joseph's Brothers' First Journey To Egypt), Joseph's brothers told their father Jacob of their strange experience with the Prime Minister of Egypt (see Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt).

"42:29 And they came unto Jacob their father [see Jacob's Family] unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying, 42:30 The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. 42:31 And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies: 42:32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. 42:33 And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone: 42:34 And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffic in the land." (Genesis 42:34 KJV)

"The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph"

Joseph sold them just enough food to insure that they would have to return - with Joseph's full brother (Jacob had twelve sons with four wives and concubines; Joseph and Benjamin were the only children of Rachel - see Rachel Of Padanaram, Jacob's First Love and Why Did Jacob Adopt Ephraim And Manasseh?). It was becoming more apparent however that Jacob did not trust his sons after Joseph's disappearance. Jacob didn't want the same to happen to Benjamin.

Goshen

"42:37 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. 42:38 And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave." (Genesis 42:37-38 KJV)

When they nearly ran out of food again, Jacob had no alternative but to send Benjamin to Egypt as Joseph had demanded. Ironically, Joseph was probably just as concerned for Benjamin's safety as Jacob was - the reason that he wanted to get him to Egypt, away from his treacherous brothers.

"43:1 And the famine was sore in the land. 43:2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.

43:3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. 43:4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food: 43:5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.

43:6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother? 43:7 And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?"

"43:8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. 43:9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: 43:10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.

43:11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: 43:12 And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: 43:13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: 43:14 And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

43:15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph." (Genesis 43:1-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was the apostle Paul a descendant of Joseph's brother Benjamin?
Romans 11:1; see also Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?


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