By Mary Vee
Reuben yanked his brother Simeon from Benjamin's arms. "Great to see you, brother. How was prison?"
Simeon hugged his brother. "Terrible. To tell you the truth, I began to wonder if you'd come back for me. What took so long?"
Asher slapped his brother on the back. "You know father, he wouldn't let Benjamin leave. When the food ran out, Judah told him we wouldn't go to Egypt to buy grain with out the kid."
Dan rolled his eyes. "Can you imagine us bothering to come here without him? The governor would have turned us away in a flash."
The brothers took their turns greeting Simeon. Moments later a servant brought water in a basin and towels. Each brother washed his feet.
Reuben put his sandals on and called his brothers close. "We need to prepare the gift father sent. The guard said the governor would come at noon. Let's get busy."
They showed Simeon the fruits, balm, honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. Simeon helped them unpack the gift. "Wow! Father sent a lot."
Benjamin reached for an almond as a servant opened the door. He slid the nut back and stepped behind his brothers. A guard stepped inside. "The governor is here. You are to come with me."
Reuben signaled his brothers. "Grab the gifts."
He escorted them to a hall with three sets of tables. One table had a single chair and was set up on the dais. A second group of tables sat in a decorative side alcove. A third table was placed in the center of the hall. It had exactly eleven chairs.
The guard led the brothers to the front of the hall where the governor stood. The brothers bowed down to the floor and laid their gifts before him.
The governor turned to his interpreter to state his message. "Is your father well? Is the old man of whom you spoke still alive?"
Reuben raised his head. "Your servant, our father, is in good health. He is still alive." The brothers lowered their bodies on the floor.
The interpreter spoke for the governor again, "Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?"
The brothers all nodded. They raised their heads and noticed a tear in the governor's eye. He looked at Benjamin. "God be gracious to you, my son." Then, without warning, the governor rushed out of the hall.
The brother's raised their bodies looked at each other and whispered, "Why did he leave?" "What did we do wrong?" "Are we in trouble?"
Twenty minutes later the governor returned. He spoke to his servants then walked to his chair. The servants escorted each brother to a specific chair at the center table. Reuben looked down the row at his brothers and leaned over to Simeon. "The servants placed us in order of our birth. How did they know?"
Simeon shrugged, "I have no idea."
Reuben watched the servants serve their food. Each brother received a good portion, but Benjamin's plate had five times more. "How strange. Why did the governor give Benjamin more food?"
Levi took a sip of his drink. "I have no idea what's going on. But for now, I plan to enjoy this meal. Who knows what will happen next."
Even as the brothers enjoyed their meal, they puzzled over what happened in the banquet hall. Who was this governor? How did he know the birth order of the brothers? Why did treat Benjamin special?
Do you know the answers? Is there a secret clue? There will be times in our life when we are puzzled about things that happen. Talking with our family and friends will help us understand. God gives us many resources to figure out puzzles: His Word, our church, our family, and our friends. Do you have a question that is puzzling you?