“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. 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. 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 42:36-38 KJV.
“Joseph makes another proposition to his brethren. And he said unto them the third day, ‘This do, and live; for I fear God. 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. But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die.’ They agree to accept this proposition of Joseph’s, but express to one another little hope that their father will let Benjamin return with them. They accuse themselves, and one another, in regard to their treatment of Joseph. ‘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. 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. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. 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.’
Joseph selected Simeon to be bound, because he was the instigator and principal actor in the cruelty of his brethren toward him. He then directed that his brethren should be liberally supplied with provision, and that every man’s money should be placed in his sack. They pursued their homeward journey in sadness. As one of them opened his sack to feed his beast with provender, he found his money, just as he had brought it to Joseph. He told his brethren, and they considered that a new evil would arise; and they were afraid, and said one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us? Shall we consider this as a token of good from the Lord, or has he suffered it to occur to punish us for our sins, and plunge us still deeper in affliction? They acknowledge that God has seen their sins, and has marked their wrongs, and that he is now visiting them for their transgressions.
When they came to their father Jacob, they related to him all that had transpired, and said, ‘The man who is the lord of the land spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies. 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.’ They told their father that he would not believe their word, and said, If ye are not spies, leave one of your brethren with me, and take food for your households; and when ye come again bring your youngest brother, and then I will release you your brother that is bound, and ye shall be at liberty to trade in the land.
As they emptied their sacks, every man’s money was found in his sack, and they were all afraid. Jacob was distressed, and said unto them, ‘Me have ye bereaved of my children; Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away. All these things are against me.’ Reuben assured his father that if he would intrust Benjamin to his care, he would surely bring him again to his father; if not, he might slay his two sons. This rash speech did not relieve the mind of Jacob. 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.’
Jacob’s affections cling to Benjamin with all the strength of a mother’s love. He shows how deeply he has felt the loss of Joseph. But want presses upon Jacob and his children, and their households are calling for food. Jacob requests his sons to go again into Egypt and buy food. Judah says to his father that he cannot go down unless Benjamin is with them; for ‘the man did solemnly protest unto us saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.’ Judah assures his father that he will be surety for his brother, that if he would send him with them they would go, and if he did not bring Benjamin back, he would bear the blame of it forever.
He tells his father that while they had been lingering, because of his unwillingness to send Benjamin, they could have journeyed to Egypt and returned again. Jacob feels compelled to permit his son Benjamin to go with his brethren. He also sent a present to the ruler, hoping therewith to obtain his favor. He also directed his sons to take double money, and return the money found in their sacks; for it might have been placed there by mistake. He says to them, Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man.’
As his sons were about to leave him to go on their doubtful journey, their aged father arose, and, while standing in their midst, raised his hands to heaven, and entreated the Lord to go with them, and pronounced upon them a gracious benediction. ‘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.'” EGW, SOP, Vol 1, 1870, pp. 142-145.
STARTS TONIGHT ENDS FRIDAY: Back to the Roots Part II: Christ, Food, Health, Garden, etc. A follow up on the counsel of SCRIPTURE & SOP on these important subjects via Zoom on September 10-15, 2023 nightly 7:00-9:00pm US EDT.
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