Jacob’s kids: “Daaaaaad, there’s no food.”
Jacob: “Well, go the store in Egypt and buy some.”
Jacob’s kids: “But we don’t have any money.”
Jacob: “I gave you $50 last week. What happened to it?”
Jacob’s kids: “Stuff…”
Judah: “Definitely not random prostitute stuff…”
Jacob’s other kids: “Shut up, Judah!”
Jacob: “Just… just go… go… now…”
So Jacob’s kids (minus Benjamin who is Jacob’s new favorite) head down to Egypt to buy food and Joe’s there selling the food to people. Food that he took from them as taxes to prepare for the famine. Again… Joe is still a jerk. Joe’s brother show up and he recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him, so he starts an elaborate and overcomplicated plot to discover whether or not they’re still jackasses, and also… because he’s a jerk.
He accuses them of being spies. They say, we’re not spies, we’re brothers. Joe’s like go get your younger brother.
Jacob’s sons: “Man, this is totally karma for how we beat up and sold our brother to slavers.”
Levi: “Yeah, that was bad, but didn’t we also kill an entire town and enslave their women and children?”
Jacob’s sons: “It makes for a better narrative if it’s just the whole brother selling thing, Levi.”
Joe has Simeon thrown into jail as a hostage and sends the brothers away, but not before hiding their money into their grain sacks, because while it’s okay to charge an Egyptian farmer money to buy grain that you took from him, doing that to family is simply not to be done.
The brothers discover the money and freak out a bit, then return to Jacob and tell him what happened and how they need to go back with Benjamin to Egypt to get Simeon sprung from jail. Jacob says no. He’s worried about Ben dying, and Reuben says, “Hey, dad… look, if I don’t bring him back safe and sound, you can kill my kids… I never really liked them and they’ve been pissing me off lately with their long hair and lava lamps…”
Jacob’s not down with that, so they sit around and eat bread until the grain runs out.
The grain runs out.
Jacob and his sons argue about going back to Egypt with Benjamin. Judah talks Jacob into it and they go back to Egypt. When Joe sees Ben with them, he invites them all over for lunch. Simeon finally gets out of jail. Probably a bit of awkward conversation ensued:
Simeon: “Oh, thanks guys. Glad you came back… wish you would have done it MONTHS AGO!”
“Dude, dad was all like, “No, Ben can’t go.” And we’re like, “Yeah… but Simeon” totally had your back, bro…”
“Screw you guys. Do you know what I had to do in prison to survive? No… you don’t…”
Joe asks about dad and talks to Ben a bit and cries a lot. They have lunch and ancient Egyptians were racist, I guess since they refused to eat with Jews… or maybe the author was just projecting at that point…
Chapter 44: In which this pointless jerking around of his brothers continues…
Joe has his steward put his family’s money back into their sacks and puts a silver cup into Ben’s sack. (I will not make obvious jokes… I will not make obvious jokes…)
The kids ride off, and Joe sends the army to stop them accusing them of stealing the silver cup. They deny it and say you can kill whoever you find it with. The steward says, “Okay, but I won’t kill him, he’ll be my slave.” Everyone’s cool with that, but then they find the silver cup with Ben. Uh-oh….
The brothers go, okay, we’ll be your slaves. Joe says, no. Ben will be my slave. Judah stands up and repeats the whole story of getting Jacob to agree to let Ben come and offers to be a slave if Ben can go free.
Joe says, “Hi, brothers! Remember me!”
Brothers: “Ooooooooh…. Craaaaaaaaaaaaaap.”
Joe says, “Eh, it’s all good now. I’m vice-Pharaoh. Hey remember that dream where you all bowed to me. Heh heh…” because Joe is still a bit of a jerk.
Okay, he didn’t say that last part, but he did tell them to go and bring Jacob and the family up to Egypt to live so he can take care of them, because what’s the use of having a high government office if you can’t use it to take care of you and your own?
Joe: “Come on up to Egypt. There are literally yooouge tracks of land for you. Beautiful. The best lands.”
So Pharaoh sends people to help move Jacob and the rest of his family. And the rest of Jacob’s sons get to have an even more awkward conversation with their dad.
“Hey, dad… remember when we sent you Joe’s robe and told you he was eaten by animals?”
“Every day of my life.”
“Yeah, turns out… kind of a funny story actually… he wasn’t so much eaten by wild animals as he was… thrown into a pit by us, sold into slavery, and is now the vice Pharaoh of Egypt. “
“I am going to beat you with my cane now, okay?”
“Yeah… yeah, that’s probably fair.”