18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:
20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning 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.
22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.
25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.
26 And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.
27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack’s mouth.
28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?
29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying,
K.J.V. Bible Text
By the third day, Joseph has changed his mind a little. Instead of demanding that just one of the brothers go back home to fetch the youngest, Benjamin, he now says he will hold one of them in prison while the rest go home.
The long-festering guilt of the brothers now came to the forefront. They were afraid because they were suspected of being spies and they thought it was retribution for what they had done to Joseph. They thought the circumstances that they faced in Egypt were their accounting for their brother’s blood. In a way, they were right about this. Although they did not know Joseph by sight, he knew them and was testing them specifically because of what they had done.
Joseph had his brothers’ sacks filled with grain and secretly had each man’s silver put back in his bag. He also gave them provisions for their journey.
When they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack for grain to feed his donkey and learned that the silver has been returned to him. Of course the men were frightened as anyone would have been. The silver being in their bags gave the appearance that they were thieves and I’m sure they didn’t know how they were going to get out of the situation. They of course believed they had been framed and would be seized for theft when they returned to Egypt as Joseph had commanded them to do.
So the brothers went home and told their father all that had happened.
Can you imagine the fear that must have entered Jacob’s heart when he heard this story? An “Egyptian” official had demanded that he send his beloved son Benjamin to him and it looked as if he was planning to accuse the brothers of theft when they returned. Jacob must have been concerned for all of them but most particularly for his youngest son, Benjamin.
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