Genesis 42:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected."

New Living Translation
And he remembered the dreams he'd had about them many years before. He said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become."

English Standard Version
And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.”

New American Standard Bible
Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them, and said to them, "You are spies; you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land."

King James Bible
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Joseph remembered his dreams about them and said to them, "You are spies. You have come to see the weakness of the land.""

International Standard Version
Furthermore, Joseph remembered the dreams that he had about them. So he accused them, "You're spies! You've come here to spy on our undefended territories!"

NET Bible
Then Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them, and he said to them, "You are spies; you have come to see if our land is vulnerable!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then he remembered the dreams he once had about them. "You're spies!" he said to them, "And you've come to find out where our country is unprotected."

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.

King James 2000 Bible
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, You are spies; to see the nakedness of the land you are come.

American King James Version
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said to them, You are spies; to see the nakedness of the land you are come.

American Standard Version
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And remembering the dreams, which formerly he had dreamed, he said to them: You are spies. You are come to view the weaker parts of the land.

Darby Bible Translation
And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamt of them; and he said to them, Ye are spies: to see the exposed places of the land ye are come.

English Revised Version
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said to them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land have ye come.

World English Bible
Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed about them, and said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land."

Young's Literal Translation
and Joseph remembereth the dreams which he dreamed of them, and saith unto them, 'Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye have come.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

42:7-20 Joseph was hard upon his brethren, not from a spirit of revenge, but to bring them to repentance. Not seeing his brother Benjamin, he suspected that they had made away with him, and he gave them occasion to speak of their father and brother. God, in his providence, sometimes seems harsh with those he loves, and speaks roughly to those for whom yet he has great mercy in store. Joseph settled at last, that one of them should be left, and the rest go home and fetch Benjamin. It was a very encouraging word he said to them, I fear God; as if he had said, You may be assured I will do you no wrong; I dare not, for I know there is one higher than I. With those that fear God, we may expect fair dealing.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - And Joseph remembered (i.e. the sight of his brethren prostrating themselves before him recalled to his mind) the dreams which he dreamed (or had dreamed) of them (vide Genesis 37:5) and said unto them, Ye are spies (literally, ye are spying, or going about, so as to find out, the verb רָגַל signifying to move the feet); to see the nakedness of the land - not its present impoverishment from the famine (Murphy), but is unprotected and unfortified state (Keil). Cf. urbs nuda praesidio (Cic., 'Att.,' 7:13); taurus nudatus defensoribus (Caes., 'Bell. Gall.,' 2:6); τεῖχος ἐυμνώθη (Homer, 'Iliad,' 12:399) - ye are come. The Egyptians were characteristically distrustful of strangers, - AEgyptii prae aliis gentibus diffi-dere solebant peregrinis (Rosenmüller), - whom they prevented, when possible, from penetrating into the interior of their country (Wilkinson's 'Ancient Egyptians,' vol 1.p. 328, ed. 1878). In particular Joseph's suspicion of his Canaanitish brethren was perfectly natural, since Egypt was peculiarly open to attacks from Palestine (Herodotus, 3:5). Verss. 10-12. - And they said unto him. Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. "They were not filled with resentment at the imputation" cast upon them by Joseph; "or, ff they were angry, their pride was swallowed up by fear" (Lawson). We are all one man's sons; we are true men, i.e. upright, honest, viri bonae fidei (Rosenmüller), rather than εἰρηνικοὶ (LXX.), pacifici (Vulgate) - thy servants are no spies. It was altogether improbable that one man should send ten sons at the same time and to the same place on the perilous business of a spy, hence the simple mention of the fact that they were ten brethren was sufficient to establish their sincerity. Yet Joseph affected still to doubt them. And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come - assuming a harsh and almost violent demeanor hot out of heartless cruelty (Kalisch), but in order to hide the growing weakness of his heart (Candlish).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them,.... Their bowing and prostrating themselves before him brought to his remembrance his dreams of their sheaves making obeisance to his, and of the sun, moon, and eleven stars, doing the same to him, Genesis 37:7,

and said unto them, ye are spies; not believing they were, nor absolutely asserting that they were such; but this he said to try them, and what they would say for themselves, and in order to lead on to further discourse with them, and to get knowledge of his father and brother Benjamin, whether living or not: he dealt with them as a judge on the bench, when examining persons, whose charges have the nature of an interrogation, as this has: "ye are spies"; are ye not? surely ye must be, and unless you give a better account of yourselves, I must take you up as such:

to see the nakedness of the land ye are come: what parts of it are weakest, most defenceless, and less fortified, and most easy to break in at, and invade the land; and it was not without reason that the Egyptians might suspect the neighbouring nations round about them, being in distress, and hearing of corn in Egypt, of forming a design of coming upon them and taking away their corn by force, and might be the reason why foreigners that came to buy corn were brought before Joseph and examined by him.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9-14. Ye are spies—This is a suspicion entertained regarding strangers in all Eastern countries down to the present day. Joseph, however, who was well aware that his brethren were not spies, has been charged with cruel dissimulation, with a deliberate violation of what he knew to be the truth, in imputing to them such a character. But it must be remembered that he was sustaining the part of a ruler; and, in fact, acting on the very principle sanctioned by many of the sacred writers, and our Lord Himself, who spoke parables (fictitious stories) to promote a good end.

Genesis 42:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Joseph's Brothers Sent to Egypt
8But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him. 9Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them, and said to them, "You are spies; you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land." 10Then they said to him, "No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food.…
Cross References
Genesis 37:6
He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had:

Genesis 37:7
We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it."

2 Samuel 10:3
the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn't David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?"
Treasury of Scripture

And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said to them, You are spies; to see the nakedness of the land you are come.

remembered.

Genesis 37:5-9 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brothers: and they …

Ye are spies. Persons who, under the pretence of wishing to buy corn, desire only to find out whether the land be so defenceless that the tribes to which you belong may attack it successfully, drive out the inhabitants, and settle themselves in it; or, having plundered it, retire into their deserts. This is a frequent custom among the Arabs to the present day.

Genesis 42:9,16,30,31,34 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said …

Numbers 13:2,16-20 Send you men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give …

Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, …

Joshua 6:23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, …

Judges 1:24 And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said …

1 Samuel 26:4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

Luke 20:20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves …

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, …

nakedness.

Exodus 32:35 And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

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