Verse 2 is one of those verses that is easy to skip right over. I don’t know how long it takes to travel from Hebron (35:27) to Egypt by donkey, but apparently, they didn’t turn right back around to get Simeon. They left him in the jailhouse and now that the food was running out, they decided to do something! So there had to be at least several months that Simeon sat in jail in Egypt. Verse 10 Judah says they could have gone and returned twice which is a pretty good indicator this was not a weekend in the county lock up.
I find it interesting that Jacob wouldn’t take Reuben up on his offer to sacrifice his own sons to go and save Simeon, but Jacob listened to Judah. Reuben was going to save Joseph from the well (37:29) and it was Judah’s idea to sell Joseph to the bubble gum salesmen. (37:26-27)
Jacob finally realizes there is no way out of this so he tries to make the best plans he can to secure the return of all his sons. So he prepares a bountiful bribe/gift. Verse12 is funny because it is the first time we see a government worker getting blamed for a clerical error.
This is a great story of reunion for Joseph and Benjamin. When Joseph first sees Ben he tries to compose himself and he blessed him (verse 29) and then Joseph loses it and has to run out of the room. You can feel the deep love for his brother Benjamin and when it was dinner time he gave him extra giant turkey leg and they ate, drank but none of them were Mary. Because they were all dudes, but they were merry.
I wonder if Simeon learned anything during his time in Jail like Joseph did. What about you? What have you learned about God in your suffering?
Have you ever done something bad and gotten away with it? The brothers here think they have gotten away with what they did to Joseph and all is good with the banquet, but the truth always comes out. Perhaps this passage is an chance to remind you it’s time to fess up to whatever it was you got away with before it comes to light in a bad way.