You are reading a tafsir for the group of verses 12:58 to 12:61

There were bumper crops during the first seven years of Joseph’s power. He had big granaries constructed throughout the whole country in which he stored surplus corn bought from the farmers every year. Thereafter when the years of famine commenced, he arranged to have this corn stored in the capital and started selling it at a fair price. This famine prevailed not only in Egypt but also in the surrounding areas, that is, in Syria, Palestine. Transjordan, etc. When the news spread far and wide that corn was being sold at a fair price in Egypt, Joseph’s brothers also came to Egypt to purchase corn. Although they were seeing Joseph after twenty years, they saw a resemblance to their brother in him. But immediately this thought vanished from their minds, because they could not understand how someone whom they had pushed into a dry well could assume the highest office of Egypt. Joseph arranged one camel-load of corn per head for his brothers. Now they wanted to have one more camel-load of corn in Benjamin’s name too. They said that one of their brothers had been detained by their old father to be with him, therefore they said that it would be very kind of him if Benjamin’s share could also be given to them. Joseph said that it was against his principles to hand over the share of an absentee. He also said that when they came again, they should bring their brother with them and then only could they have his share. Joseph added, ‘You have experienced my generosity. Even after this, are you reluctant to bring your brother with you? If you are unable to bring this brother the next time, it will be presumed that you were telling a lie and only wanted to get one more camel-load of corn by deceit. The punishment for this will be that in future you will be deprived of even your own share of corn.’