Daily Chumash, Wednesday, 1st Teves: The famine & Yosef meeting his brothers



  1. The years of famine:
    • After the end of the seven years of plenty began the seven years of famine, as Yosef had said would occur. There was a famine in all the lands, although in Egypt there was plenty of bread.
    • The people of Egypt screamed to Pharaoh for bread and he sent them to Yosef, and instructed them to do as he commands. Yosef opened all his storehouses and sold grain to Egyptians. The famine was in all the lands of the earth and intensified in the land of Egypt.
    • People from all lands came to Egypt to buy food
  1. The brothers travel to Mitzrayim to buy produce:
    • Yaakov sends his sons to Mitzrayim: Yaakov saw that there is food in Egypt and told his children to travel there and buy food, so they live and not die. The brothers of Yosef did as they were instructed, and traveled to Egypt to buy food. Binyamin was not sent with them as he feared a tragedy may fall upon him.
    • The brothers meet Yosef the viceroy and are accused of espionage: The brothers of Yosef arrived in Egypt and came to buy grain amongst the other customers. Yosef was the ruler of the land and he was the one who sold the grain to all the people of the earth. The brothers came to Yosef and prostrated themselves on the ground before him. Yosef saw his brothers and recognized them, although they did not recognize him. He acted to them like a stranger and spoke to them harshly. He asked them “From where have you come?” and they replied from the land of Canaan to buy produce. Yosef then remembered his dreams and said to them “You are spies who have come to survey the land.” The brothers denied any such wrongdoing saying that they are all brothers, the son of one father, and are being honest. They are 12 brothers in total and the younger one has remained home, and one is missing. Yosef refused to accept their denial and continued to accuse them of being spies. He gave them an ultimatum to prove their innocence “Either bring me your younger brother, or I swear by Pharaoh’s life that you are spies.” One of you will go back to the land of Canaan to bring him, and the remainder of you will remain in prison. The brothers were imprisoned for three days. On the third day, he took them out and reinstructed them to go home and bring back their youngest brother.

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