When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, “The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly to us and took us to be spies of the land. But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One is no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.’ Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way. Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men, and I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall trade in the land.’”
by: Dorothy Noel.
The brothers faithfully told their father what happened in Egypt. Notice how they were truthful now, as opposed to when they last saw Joseph and returned to their father with lies of his death. This time, there was no benefit to them for lying, and they knew the only way to free Simeon was to tell the truth and take Benjamin with them to Egypt. They also needed to prove their honesty to Joseph so he would allow them to continue to feed their families. In the end, honesty was the key to how the family of Jacob survived this famine.