For I read the Bible through a lens, squinting - 1 Corinthians 13:12
Genesis > Joseph

Live and Not Die

Genesis 42

During the famine, Israel, who had gone back to using the name Jacob, heard that there was food in Egypt. He told his sons, ‘There’s food in Egypt. Go down and get some, so that we may live and not die!’

2 His sons looked at each other in bemusement, so Jacob yelled, ‘Why are looking at each other like that?’

Reuben piped up, ‘“So that we may live and not die”? Who talks like that?’

‘You know your problem, Reub? You got a smart mouth! Now go get your arses down to Egypt and get us some food!’

3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to Egypt, 4 but Benjamin stayed at home, because he was Jacob’s new favourite. 5 And Israel’s sons went down to Egypt with Jacob’s sons. Oh, shit, I forgot, Jacob is Israel! If only this book would stop switching the names of the protagonists and repeating itself.

6 At this point, Joseph was the governor of Egypt, which meant that he was in charge of selling people their own grain back. 7 When Joseph’s brothers turned up, he recognised them, but they didn’t recognise him, so he decided to play a joke on them.

‘You’re not from around here, are you?’ he asked feigning suspicion.

‘We’ve come from Canaan,’ replied his brothers.

8 ‘Ergh,’ exclaimed Joseph. ‘You’re some of those filthy sheep herders, aren’t you? 9 I suppose you’ve come to steal our grain!’

10 ‘No, my lord,’ they protested. ‘We’ve come to buy some. 11 Honest.’

12 ‘We don’t take kindly to your kind in these parts, you thieving bastards.’

13 ‘We told you, we’re not here to steal. Our father is very ill, and we need to get food.’

14 ‘Oh, here comes the sob story!’ moaned Joseph. ‘If you’re not here to steal, why do you have those big sacks?’

Levi smiled and swaggered a bit. ‘I didn’t think you could tell through these jeans.’

‘He means the bags, you idiot!’ rebuked Reuben.

Levi frowned.

Reuben continued, ‘We have the sacks for the grain we intend to buy.’

15 ‘Nope, I don’t believe you,’ replied Joseph. ‘I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to send one of you home to fetch your father, and throw the rest of you in prison.’

‘We have a younger brother too,’ interjected Asher.

‘Asher, you fucking moron!’ spat Reuben. ‘Why did you tell him that?’

16 ‘Bring your younger brother down instead of your father, then,’ commanded Joseph. ‘Guards, take them away!’

17 So, Joseph had the brothers sent to prison.

18 After three days, Joseph went to the prison, and he said to his brothers, ‘I’ve decided that rather than just letting one of you go back to get your brother, I’m going to send all but one of you back. 19 You may take some grain for your family, but you must come back, or I’ll kill your brother.’

20 Simeon stepped forwards. ‘Can I be one of the ones who goes back, please? I keep getting brutally sodomised in the shower, and my arse just can’t take any more!’

21 Then the brothers began to argue. ‘This all happened because of what we did to Joseph!’ cried Issachar.

22 ‘I told you to throw him in the pit instead of killing him,’ cried Reuben, ‘but you killed him anyway!’

‘No, we didn’t, you fool!’ spat Zebulun. ‘And we were going to throw him in the pit anyway!’

‘It’s Judah’s fault!’ snapped Dan. ‘He said to sell him to the Ishmaelites!’

They began punching and kicking each other, and Gad bit Naphtali. Meanwhile, Simeon was sobbing in the corner, ‘My anus! My beautiful, beautiful anus!’

Joseph shook his head, and he yelled, ‘Boys!’

The brothers stopped fighting and looked at him.

23 He continued, ‘I’ve decided that I’m going to keep that one sobbing in the corner, and the rest of you can go.’

24 The nine brothers left with Joseph, while the guards restrained Simeon who was trying to escape and screaming about his swollen rectum. 25 Joseph gave each of the brothers a sack full of grain, 26 and they loaded their donkeys and rode off back to Canaan.

27 That night, the brothers stopped for a rest partway to Canaan.

28 Levi turned to his brothers and said, ‘Look how swollen my sack is!’

‘Will you shut up about your bloody sack!’ scolded Reuben.

‘But it’s full to bursting!’ replied Levi.

Reuben pounced on him, and started kicking seven shades of shit out of him.

29 The next day, they arrived home, and they told their father Jacob what had happened. 30 Jacob was so shocked that he fainted. 31 Benjamin ran off to get some smelling salts.

32 ‘Oh, my sack!’ whined Levi. ‘I need to empty my sack!’ 33 So, he spilled his seed all over the floor. 34 ‘Ah! That’s better!’ he sighed.

35 His brothers all looked down at the pile of grain on the floor, and they noticed something glistening. Amongst the grain, there were silver coins. Each of them looked in their own sacks, and sure enough, they also had pouches of silver coins.

36 Meanwhile, Jacob was coming round. He lay on the floor moaning, ‘Not only did Joseph get eaten by a wild animal, but now you want to take Benjamin away too. Why is everyone against me?’

37 Then Reuben went to his father to reassure him, ‘You can put both of my sons to death if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. Hell, put them to death even if I do; I’m really sick of the little bastards.’

38 This made Jacob smile, because Reuben’s sons were brats. He replied, ‘Look, just make sure you bring Benjamin back. If he dies, I’ll slit my wrists. Okay? Do you want the death of your father on your conscience?’

‘No, sir,’ replied the brothers.

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