Despite Jacob’s feelings, the reality is that there’s no food. The brothers need to return to Egypt, and they need to take Benjamin. Of course, it can’t be that straightforward as Joseph is really into manipulating his brothers.
On seeing Benjamin, Joseph states he believes that the brothers are not spies and relinquishes Simeon, but now the scheme is directly against Benjamin. Yes, he sells the grain to the brothers, but also has his silver cup slipped into Benjamin’s bags. Then he accuses the brothers of stealing, and, look at that! Benjamin stole the cup. So now Benjamin is being held over as Joseph demands the brothers return home and bring back Dad to gain Benjamin’s release.
It certainly seems that Joseph is really getting into revenge on his brothers, making them sweat at every turn. This is more drawn out than any plan to execute James Bond, even. Surely Joseph could submit an application to the Evil League of Evil and gain entry just on his revenge scheme.
Yet, something’s wrong, here. Is this the same Joseph who turned down Potiphar’s wife? The same one who speaks blatantly honest, if unpopular, truth no matter what? The revenge doesn’t feel right, not from what we know of Joseph. This is not in character for him. So what’s going on?