Joseph uses a strategy to persuade Benjamin, and all of his brothers gather in Egypt during the famine.
Benjamin is the youngest son of Jacob and Rachel, born after his older brother Joseph. According to the Scripture, Joseph and his brothers had a tumultuous relationship, with the older brothers being jealous of Joseph’s favored position in their father’s eyes. They sold Joseph into slavery, telling their father that he had been killed by wild animals.
Years later, during a severe famine, Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy grain. They did not recognize Joseph, who had risen to a position of power in the Egyptian government. Joseph tested his brothers by accusing them of being spies and demanding that they bring their youngest brother, Benjamin, to him as proof of their honesty.
Jacob was initially hesitant to let Benjamin go with his brothers, fearing that something bad might happen to him as had happened to Joseph. However, when the famine continued and the family’s food supply ran low, Jacob agreed to send Benjamin with his brothers to Egypt.
When the brothers arrived in Egypt, Joseph arranged for them to dine with him in his home. He seated them according to their birth order, with Benjamin being given the honor of the seat of honor. During the meal, Joseph gave Benjamin five times as much food as he gave the other brothers, showing favoritism to him just as Jacob had shown favoritism to Joseph years before.
After the meal, Joseph instructed his steward to put his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain. When the brothers set out to return home, Joseph sent his men after them to accuse them of stealing the cup. The brothers denied the accusation and offered to have their sacks searched, confident that they would not be found guilty. However, when Benjamin’s sack was opened, the cup was found inside.
The brothers were arrested and brought back to Joseph’s house. Joseph demanded that Benjamin be kept as his prisoner, while the other brothers were allowed to return home. Judah, one of the older brothers, pleaded with Joseph to release Benjamin and offered to take his place as a slave in return. Judah’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his brother, and his acknowledgment of the brothers’ past sins against Joseph, moved Joseph to reveal his true identity to them.
Joseph forgave his brothers and sent them back to their father with gifts of grain and money. He invited Jacob and his whole family to come and live in Egypt, where they were given land and prospered. Benjamin, who had been the cause of the reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers, played an important role in the story of their redemption and reunion.