During the seven years of abundance, Joseph amassed for the king a great supply of grain, which he sold to both Egyptians and foreigners (Gen. xli. 48-49, 54-57). The famine, having extended to all the neighboring countries, caused Joseph's brothers, with the exception of Benjamin, to go to Egypt in search of wheat. Joseph recognized his brothers, who prostrated themselves before him and therein fulfilled, in part, his dreams. He received them roughly and accused them of being spies, thereby compelling them to give him information about their family.
Desiring to see Benjamin, Joseph demanded that they substantiate their statements by sending one of their number for Benjamin while the others remained behind. He accordingly imprisoned them for three days, and then sent them away with wheat, retaining Simeon as a hostage (Gen.xlii. 1-25).
The famine in Canaan continuing, Jacob was again obliged to send his sons to Egypt for corn. As Joseph had commanded them not to appear before him again without Benjamin, Jacob was compelled to let Benjamin go with them. He sent also a present to Joseph in order to win his favor, together with the money which had been, by Joseph's orders, put into their sacks.
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