Joseph (of the coat of many colors) has made it big in Egypt. He has risen from slave to Pharaoh’s right hand man.
Now, there’s a famine in Egypt and the area around Egypt. After seven years of plenty, the people have nothing to eat. But at Joseph’s urging, during the years of plenty, the Egyptian government had stored up their extra wheat. And Joseph is giving it out to anyone who comes to see him.
One day, who walks into the palace but ten of his brothers! Now, Joseph recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him.
Joseph gives them a hard time. “Where do you come from? You’re spies!”
Of course the brothers swear they’re not spies (which they are not). But Joseph orders them to leave one of the brothers in Egypt as a prisoner while the rest of them go home and bring back their youngest brother Benjamin.
The brothers say to each other, thinking Joseph can’t understand them: “We shouldn’t have dealt so badly with Joseph. We saw his heart’s distress and we did not listen.”
When Joseph hears that they are truly sorry, he is so choked up he has to turn away from everyone until he can get his tears under control.
Still he sends them off to get Benjamin. It’s either that or starve. So the brothers go home and come back with their little brother.
Joseph gives them one more test. He hides a cup in Benjamin’s backpack. Then he accuses Benjamin of stealing the cup and demands that the other brothers leave him in Egypt as a slave!
“Oh no”, cry the brothers. “Take us as slaves instead of Benjamin!
When the brothers tell him that losing Benjamin will kill their father, Joseph cannot stand it anymore. Crying, he says to them “I am Joseph. God has sent me before you to keep you alive!”
He invites them to move to Egypt and be near him and that’s the end of the story.
Don’t worry. There are lots more stories to come.