Joseph’s brothers are forced to come to Egypt to buy provisions for all of Jacob’s camp, and he plans to find them when they do. Joseph created an ordinance so only the head of each family could buy corn in Egypt and when each man comes he must state who he is and who his father is. All the gate-keepers are commanded to bring their lists of the days arrivals to Joseph each evening.
On their way, Joseph’s brothers repent of what they did to him and resolve to find him and bring him back home.
Yasher 51:6 And while Joseph’s brothers were going on the road, they repented of what they had done to him, and they spoke to each other, saying, We know that our brother Joseph went down to Egypt, and now we will seek him where we go, and if we find him we will take him from his master for a ransom, and if not, by force, and we will die for him.
Why were Joseph’s brother declared to be spies?
Yasher 51:7 And Joseph’s brothers agreed to this thing and strengthened themselves on account of Joseph, to deliver him from the hand of his master, and Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt; and when they came near to Egypt they separated from each other, and they came through ten gates of Egypt, and the gate keepers wrote their names on that day, and brought them to Joseph in the evening.
8 And Joseph read the names from the hand of the gate-keepers of the city, and he found that his brethren had entered at the ten gates of the city, and Joseph at that time commanded that it should be proclaimed throughout the land of Egypt, saying,
9 Go forth all ye store guards, close all the corn stores and let only one remain open, that those who come may purchase from it.
Yasher 51:11 And Joseph gave the written names of his brethren to him that was set over the open store, and he said unto him, Whosoever shall come to thee to buy corn, ask his name, and when men of these names shall come before thee, seize them and send them, and they did so.
But Joseph’s brothers did not come to buy food right away; they were busy looking for him. I think where they looked suggests what they thought of him. And isn’t it suspicious that 10 men who come into the city at separate gates now meet in a place that condones anonymity?
Yasher 51:13 And they went to the houses of the harlots, and they sought Joseph in the houses of the harlots for three days, for they thought that Joseph would come in the houses of the harlots, for Joseph was very comely and well favored, and Joseph’s brothers sought Joseph for three days, and they could not find him.
Yasher 51:17 And Joseph continued to send sixteen servants to seek his brothers, and they went and spread themselves in the four corners of the city, and four of the servants went into the house of the harlots, and they found the ten men there seeking their brother.
18 And those four men took them and brought them before him, and they bowed down to him to the ground, and Joseph was sitting upon his throne in his temple, clothed with princely garments, and upon his head was a large crown of gold, and all the mighty men were sitting around him.
Yehovah always fulfills His word; in this case Joseph’s dreams about His brothers bowing to him.
Yasher 51:19 And Joseph’s brothers saw Joseph, and his figure and comeliness and dignity of countenance seemed wonderful in their eyes, and they again bowed down to him to the ground.
Yasher 51:24 And Joseph again answered them and said, That is the thing which I spoke unto you, you have come to spy through the land, therefore you all came through ten gates of the city; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.
25 Surely every one that comes to buy corn goes his way, and you are already three days in the land, and what do you do in the houses of harlots in which you have been for these three days? surely spies do like unto these things.
26 And they said unto Joseph, Far be it from our lord to speak thus, for we are twelve brothers, the sons of our father Jacob, in the land of Canaan, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the Hebrew, and behold the youngest is with our father this day in the land of Canaan, and one is not, for he was lost from us, and we thought perhaps he might be in this land, so we are seeking him throughout the land, and have come even to the houses of harlots to seek him there.
The story behind putting Simeon into the house of confinement or “ward” is an amazing one. When Simeon (at 45 years of age) yells, all Joseph’s 70 men of war run away in fear but Manasseh, Joseph eldest son (age 5), subdues him. Cool story!
Yasher 51:43 And Manasseh laid hold of Simeon and he seized him violently and he bound him and brought him into the house of confinement, and all Joseph’s brothers were astonished at the act of the youth.
44 And Simeon said unto his brethren, None of you must say that this is the smiting of an Egyptian, but it is the smiting of the house of my father.
Well, Yasher gives us lots of new light and there is much to talk about with respect to this portion in the history of Israel’s seed.
Why does Joseph keep Simeon and not one of the other brothers? Why does Joseph want to see his brother Benjamin? Are his brothers really repentant? Why, when you go to court, do you have to be represented by an attorney or represent yourself? Aren’t you, you? Find out the answers to these questions and many more right here.
2G46 Genesis 42 and Yasher 48-52.11
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