By Mary Vee
A servant approached Joseph. "My lord, you requested the ten foreign men to be released today. The guards have them outside. Do you wish to speak with them?"
Joseph walked to the balcony overlooking the grain storage buildings. Hundreds of people stood in line waiting to buy food in the court area. "More have come to buy food today."
The servant nodded. "The famine is severe, as you said it would. Had the grain not been stored, all of Egypt would have died."
Joseph stroke his beard. "Not only Egypt--but God revealed to me that the famine has reached the entire world." He sighed. "Tell the Guard to bring the foreign men to me."
"Yes, my lord."
Joseph returned to his seat as his brothers were escorted in the room. They immediately bowed before him and kept their heads toward the ground. He watched his brothers remain still. I wonder what they talked about in the jail.
He rubbed his forehead. "You are to obey what I'm about to tell you to do, for I fear God." Joseph took a sip of his drink. "If you are the honest men you say you are, let one of your brothers remain in the prison house from which you were released while the others take grain back to your homes. Bring back your youngest brother to me to prove your honesty. They you shall not die."
One brother spoke to the others first. "We've been talking about this the past three days. You see, this is all happening because we are guilty for what happened to Joseph."
Another spoke, "I still hear his voice crying out for help. We did nothing."
A third one shook his head. "Oh we did something, all right. We laughed at him. We mocked him."
A fourth covered his ears. "I've lived with the nightmare of that day all these years. He pleaded with us to help him! All we did was sell him as a slave."
A fifth one spoke. "He's dead. He was so frail. He would never have lived as a slave in Egypt. What were we thinking?"
A sixth sighed. "We have brought this distress upon us. What will father say when we return home to say one remained in prison?"
Reuben stepped closer to his brothers. "Didn't I tell you not to hurt him? Didn't I? But no, you wouldn't listen. You had to sell him as a slave when I left to tend the sheep. And now, we all must pay for Joseph's blood."
As the brothers continued to argue Joseph walk out to the balcony where they couldn't see him. I can't believe what I'm hearing. Tears dripped down his face. They didn't know I could understand what they've said since I used an interpreter. They're upset with what they did--but are they sorry?
Joseph wiped his tears and returned to the room. He look at each brother then pointed to Simeon. "You shall return to prison while your brothers return to their homes. When they bring the youngest brother, you will be released."
Joseph called for a guard. "Bind this man and return him to prison."
Well, it seems the brothers realized their troubles in Egypt came from the bad things they did to Joseph, but are they sorry? Joseph isn't sure yet. What do you think? Will the brothers bring Benjamin back to save Simeon, or will they decide to leave him in prison? What will their father say when he learns Simeon stayed in prison? Click on the comment button to tell what you think then come back next Wednesday to find out what happens next.