Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house?
At first, things seemed to be getting better for the brothers. They had brought their younger brother Benjamin to the man in Egypt (Joseph). After that, things went well. Simeon was released from prison. They enjoyed a feast in which Benjamin seemed to be the guest of honor. And they had just started on their return home with bags full of grain.
Imagine their shock when a servant of the Egyptian official stopped them and accused them of stealing an expensive silver cup. After the brothers thoroughly denied any wrongdoing, the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack of grain. Devastated, they returned to the city for their punishment (verse 13).
Behind the scenes, we know that this had been devised by Joseph. He instructed his servant to plant the cup and money in Benjamin’s bag. Perhaps Joseph was arranging an excuse to keep Benjamin with him or perhaps he was testing the brothers to see how they would react to Benjamin’s impending punishment. In doing this, Joseph (and his servant) did practice deception and even used Egyptian divination as a cover! Regardless of who we are, lying is wrong.
What happened next revealed that Joseph’s brothers no longer had the same selfish attitudes and intentions they had displayed years earlier. Judah stepped up and begged to take the punishment for Benjamin (verses 30-34). He truthfully explained that his father had already lost another son and that losing Benjamin would be too much for him to bear.
Joseph could now see that his brothers no longer had the calloused disregard for their father and the sons of Rachel that they had shown years ago. Their jealousy had abated and had been replaced by true love and concern for their father.
Apparently, the brothers had learned they were to be their brother’s keeper—literally. To read more about how we are to care for and protect others, read our Daily Bible Verse Blog post “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “I Am Joseph.”