This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Genesis 42, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
Once upon a time, there was a man named Jacob who had many sons. One day, Jacob heard that there was food for sale in a faraway land called Egypt. There was a terrible famine in their own land, so Jacob told ten of his sons to go to Egypt and buy some food so they wouldn’t starve. But Jacob was afraid something bad might happen to his youngest son, Benjamin, so he stayed home.
When Jacob’s sons arrived in Egypt, they met a man named Joseph, who was the governor of the land. Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him, but Joseph knew who they were. Instead of being happy to see them, he pretended not to know them and accused them of being spies. He said to them, “Where do you come from?”
They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”
Joseph didn’t believe them and wanted to make sure they were honest. He put them in custody for three days. On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.”
After three days, Joseph let his brothers go back home with food, but he secretly put their money back into their bags. When they discovered the money, they were afraid and thought that God was punishing them. When they got back to their father, Jacob, they told him everything that had happened. Jacob was very sad and didn’t want to let Benjamin go to Egypt, but his son Reuben promised to bring Benjamin back safely.
Reuben said to his father, “Kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.” But Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. If harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”
- God is in control, even in difficult times.
- We should always tell the truth, even if it’s hard.
- Forgiveness is important, even when we have been hurt.
- We should trust in God’s provision and not fear.