Joseph Challenges His Brothers to Bring Closure to their Separation
Again Joseph gave his brothers as many sacks of grain as they could carry. He also replaced the silver they used to buy the grain back into their sacks. But the trick he pulled that really caused them to have genuine fear is that he had one of his servants hide his own silver cup inside Benjamin's sack of grain.
After the brothers left for home, Joseph sent his servants out after them and charged them for stealing his silver divinity cup. The cup was discovered in Benjamin's sack. Joseph demanded Benjamin to remain behind as his slave. This really frightened his other brothers who had promised their father Israel that they would protect Benjamin from harm. They fell on their knees and begged for the release of Benjamin for fear that his loss would kill their father for grief.
Judah's plea in verses 18 to 30 is one of the most passionate in the entire Old Testament. The brothers stood united and would not leave Benjamin but would become slaves with him, as well Still, they could not come out and tell the real truth of what happened to their brother Joseph -- not knowing it was Joseph that they were pleading to.
While this episode could show Joseph as getting even with his brothers, it seems more likely that it was God working through Joseph to teach us all a lesson on the importance of love, truth, loyalty and how quickly we could all lose ourselves with one moment of wrong behavior.