Ellen G. White Writings

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one of them would go and bring their youngest brother. If they would not agree, they were to be treated as spies. But the sons of Jacob could not agree to this arrangement, since the time required would cause their families to suffer for food, and which one of them would set out on the journey alone, leaving his brothers in prison? It seemed likely that they were to be put to death or made slaves, and if Benjamin were brought, it might be only to share their fate. They decided to remain and suffer together rather than bring additional sorrow on their father by the loss of his only remaining son, and so they were thrown into prison.

Wicked Men Had Learned Repentance

These sons of Jacob had changed in character. They had been envious, hot-headed, deceptive, cruel, and revengeful they had been; but now, tested by adversity, they were unselfish, true to one another, devoted to their father, and, even now as middle-aged men, subject to his authority.

Three days in the Egyptian prison were days of bitter sorrow as the brothers thought about their sins. Unless Benjamin could be brought, their conviction as spies appeared certain.

On the third day, Joseph had the brothers brought before him. He dared not detain them longer. Already his father and the families with him might be suffering for food. “Do this, and live,” he said; “for I fear God: If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined to your prison house; but you, go and carry grain for the famine of your houses. And bring your youngest brother to me; so your words will be verified, and you shall not die.”

Joseph had communicated with them through an interpreter. Having no idea that the governor understood them, they talked freely with one another in his presence. “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.” Reuben, who had formed the plan for delivering Joseph at Dothan, added, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy,’ and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.”

Joseph, listening, could not control his emotions, and he went out and wept. When he returned, he commanded that Simeon be bound before their eyes and again committed to prison. Simeon had been the instigator and chief actor in the cruel treatment of their brother Joseph.

Before permitting his brothers to leave, Joseph gave directions that they should be supplied with grain and that each man’s money should be secretly placed in the mouth of his sack. On the way, one of the group, opening his sack, was surprised to find his bag of silver. The others were alarmed and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

Jacob was anxiously awaiting the return of his sons, and when they arrived the whole encampment gathered

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