Genèse 42

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French: Louis Segond (1910)         

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1 Jacob, voyant qu'il y avait du blé en Egypte, dit à ses fils: Pourquoi vous regardez-vous les uns les autres?

2 Il dit: Voici, j'apprends qu'il y a du blé en Egypte; descendez-y, pour nous en acheter là, afin que nous vivions et que nous ne mourions pas.

3 Dix frères de Joseph descendirent en Egypte, pour acheter du blé.

4 Jacob n'envoya point avec eux Benjamin, frère de Joseph, dans la crainte qu'il ne lui arrivât quelque malheur.

5 Les fils d'Israël vinrent pour acheter du blé, au milieu de ceux qui venaient aussi; car la famine était dans le pays de Canaan.

6 Joseph commandait dans le pays; c'est lui qui vendait du blé à tout le peuple du pays. Les frères de Joseph vinrent, et se prosternèrent devant lui la face contre terre.

7 Joseph vit ses frères et les reconnut; mais il feignit d'être un étranger pour eux, il leur parla durement, et leur dit: D'où venez-vous? Ils répondirent: Du pays de Canaan, pour acheter des vivres.

8 Joseph reconnut ses frères, mais eux ne le reconnurent pas.

9 Joseph se souvint des songes qu'il avait eus à leur sujet, et il leur dit: Vous êtes des espions; c'est pour observer les lieux faibles du pays que vous êtes venus.

10 Ils lui répondirent: Non, mon seigneur, tes serviteurs sont venus pour acheter du blé.

11 Nous sommes tous fils d'un même homme; nous sommes sincères, tes serviteurs ne sont pas des espions.

12 Il leur dit: Nullement; c'est pour observer les lieux faibles du pays que vous êtes venus.

13 Ils répondirent: Nous, tes serviteurs, sommes douze frères, fils d'un même homme au pays de Canaan; et voici, le plus jeune est aujourd'hui avec notre père, et il y en a un qui n'est plus.

14 Joseph leur dit: Je viens de vous le dire, vous êtes des espions.

15 Voici comment vous serez éprouvés. Par la vie de Pharaon! vous ne sortirez point d'ici que votre jeune frère ne soit venu.

16 Envoyez l'un de vous pour chercher votre frère; et vous, restez prisonniers. Vos paroles seront éprouvées, et je saurai si la vérité est chez vous; sinon, par la vie de Pharaon! vous êtes des espions.

17 Et il les mit ensemble trois jours en prison.

18 Le troisième jour, Joseph leur dit: Faites ceci, et vous vivrez. Je crains Dieu!

19 Si vous êtes sincères, que l'un de vos frères reste enfermé dans votre prison; et vous, partez, emportez du blé pour nourrir vos familles,

20 et amenez-moi votre jeune frère, afin que vos paroles soient éprouvées et que vous ne mouriez point. Et ils firent ainsi.

21 Ils se dirent alors l'un à l'autre: Oui, nous avons été coupables envers notre frère, car nous avons vu l'angoisse de son âme, quand il nous demandait grâce, et nous ne l'avons point écouté! C'est pour cela que cette affliction nous arrive.

22 Ruben, prenant la parole, leur dit: Ne vous disais-je pas: Ne commettez point un crime envers cet enfant? Mais vous n'avez point écouté. Et voici, son sang est redemandé.

23 Ils ne savaient pas que Joseph comprenait, car il se servait avec eux d'un interprète.

24 Il s'éloigna d'eux, pour pleurer. Il revint, et leur parla; puis il prit parmi eux Siméon, et le fit enchaîner sous leurs yeux.

25 Joseph ordonna qu'on remplît de blé leurs sacs, qu'on remît l'argent de chacun dans son sac, et qu'on leur donnât des provisions pour la route. Et l'on fit ainsi.

26 Ils chargèrent le blé sur leurs ânes, et partirent.

27 L'un d'eux ouvrit son sac pour donner du fourrage à son âne, dans le lieu où ils passèrent la nuit, et il vit l'argent qui était à l'entrée du sac.

28 Il dit à ses frères: Mon argent a été rendu, et le voici dans mon sac. Alors leur coeur fut en défaillance; et ils se dirent l'un à l'autre, en tremblant: Qu'est-ce que Dieu nous a fait?

29 Ils revinrent auprès de Jacob, leur père, dans le pays de Canaan, et ils lui racontèrent tout ce qui leur était arrivé. Ils dirent:

30 L'homme, qui est le seigneur du pays, nous a parlé durement, et il nous a pris pour des espions.

31 Nous lui avons dit: Nous sommes sincères, nous ne sommes pas des espions.

32 Nous sommes douze frères, fils de notre père; l'un n'est plus, et le plus jeune est aujourd'hui avec notre père au pays de Canaan.

33 Et l'homme, qui est le seigneur du pays, nous a dit: Voici comment je saurai si vous êtes sincères. Laissez auprès de moi l'un de vos frères, prenez de quoi nourrir vos familles, partez,

34 et amenez-moi votre jeune frère. Je saurai ainsi que vous n'êtes pas des espions, que vous êtes sincères; je vous rendrai votre frère, et vous pourrez librement parcourir le pays.

35 Lorsqu'ils vidèrent leurs sacs, voici, le paquet d'argent de chacun était dans son sac. Ils virent, eux et leur père, leurs paquets d'argent, et ils eurent peur.

36 Jacob, leur père, leur dit: Vous me privez de mes enfants! Joseph n'est plus, Siméon n'est plus, et vous prendriez Benjamin! C'est sur moi que tout cela retombe.

37 Ruben dit à son père: Tu feras mourir mes deux fils si je ne te ramène pas Benjamin; remets-le entre mes mains, et je te le ramènerai.

38 Jacob dit: Mon fils ne descendra point avec vous; car son frère est mort, et il reste seul; s'il lui arrivait un malheur dans le voyage que vous allez faire, vous feriez descendre mes cheveux blancs avec douleur dans le séjour des morts.

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

voyant
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Egypte
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

dit
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

fils
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

blé
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

nous
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

dix
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

Frères
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

Joseph
Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son, is one of the favorite characters in the Bible, with his troubles, his triumphs over them, and his constant trust in...

Benjamin
Also, Benjamin signifies the Word in its ultimate sense (Deut. 33:12)

Israël
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

vinrent
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

au milieu de
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

Milieu
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

Pays
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

Terre
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

souvint
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

songes
A dream, as in Genesis 20:3,signifies being somewhat obscure.

des espions
'Spies,' as in Genesis 42:9, denote people who learn the church's truth only for gain.

Seigneur
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

serviteurs
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

un
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

le plus jeune
In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...

aujourd'hui
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

père
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

comment
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

la vie
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

Pharaon
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

vérité
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

trois
'Thirteen,' between twelve and fourteen, denotes the intermediate state. 'Thirteen,' as the sum of ten and three, denotes remains.

troisième
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.

jour
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

Dieu
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

vu
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

âme
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

Ruben
'Reuben,' in the highest sense, signifies omniscience. In a spiritual sense, he signifies wisdom, intelligence, science, and faith. In a natural sense, he signifies sight....

sang
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

Siméon
In Revelation 7, 'Simeon', in the highest sense, signifies providence, in a spiritual sense, love towards our neighbor, or charity, and in a natural sense,...

yeux
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

remplît
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

sac
'A sack' in Genesis 42:25, means a receptacle, and here 'a receptacle' on the natural level, because it is a story about the truths and...

sacs
'Being clothed in sackcloth' signifies lamentation because of the devastation of truth in the church. 'Sackcloth,' as in Revelation 6:12, relates to destroyed good.

l'argent
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

route
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

Ânes
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

donner
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

fourrage
'Provender' signifies the good of scientific truths. 'To give provender to his donkey,' as in Genesis 42:27, signifies reflection upon scientific ideas, because 'provender' is...

l'homme
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

parlé
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

paquet
A bundle (Gen. 42:3) signifies orderly arrangement, because the truths ap­pertaining to man are disposed and arranged into series: those which are in the greatest...

peur
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

deux
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

mains
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

mort
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

descendre
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

douleur
'The woman condemned to 'bring forth sons in sorrow' denotes the anxieties and combats in the production of truths.

morts
'Hell,' as mentioned in Jonah 2:3, signifies the earth below.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Dramatize the Story of Joseph Receiving His Brothers
Retell the story or read selected portions from the Word as the children dramatize the story of the brothers going to Egypt and being reunited with Joseph. 
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Food for the Soul
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Good and Bad Times
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Joseph's Brother Bow - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: act out the story of Joseph's brothers traveling to Egypt and appearing before Joseph, make a sack and show that it has both grain and money in it, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph's Brother Bow - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: act out a script of Joseph's brothers traveling to Egypt and appearing before Joseph, make a Lord's Prayer book (video demonstration), scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph's Brother Bow - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: escape a maze blindfolded to show how we need the Lord to get to heaven, explore the differences between appearance and reality, read and reflect on a door handle sign about being an instrument of God, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Joseph's Brother Bow - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: escape a maze blindfolded to show how we need the Lord to get to heaven, explore the differences between civil, moral and spiritual judgments in "You Are Spies!", read and reflect on a door handle sign about being an instrument of God, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Joseph Welcomes His Family
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Overview of Joseph a Man of Integrity Levels A B C D for Ages 3-18
Overview of the Youth Journey Program "Joseph: a man of integrity", Levels A, B, C, and D for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18

 Sacks of Grain from Egypt
This project involves either letting the children make small sacks out of felt or making the sacks ahead of time and then using them to dramatize the story.
Project | Ages 4 - 10


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