Through the Bible – Day 18

Bible text(s)

Joseph tells his brothers who he is

1Since Joseph could no longer control his feelings in front of his servants, he sent them out of the room. When he was alone with his brothers, he told them, “I am Joseph.” 2Then he cried so loudly that the Egyptians heard him and told about it in the king's palace.

3Joseph asked his brothers if his father was still alive, but they were too frightened to answer. 4Joseph told them to come closer to him, and when they did, he said:

Yes, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. 5Don't worry or blame yourselves for what you did. God is the one who sent me ahead of you to save lives.

6There has already been a famine for two years, and for five more years no one will plough fields or harvest grain. 7But God sent me on ahead of you to keep your families alive and to save you in this wonderful way. 8After all, you weren't really the ones who sent me here—it was God. He made me the highest official in the king's court and placed me over all Egypt.

9Now hurry back and tell my father that his son Joseph says, “God has made me ruler of Egypt. Come here as quickly as you can. 10You will live near me in the region of Goshen with your children and grandchildren, as well as with your sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else you own. 11I will take care of you there during the next five years of famine. But if you don't come, you and your family and your animals will starve to death.”

12All of you, including my brother Benjamin, can tell by what I have said that I really am Joseph. 13Tell my father about my great power here in Egypt and about everything you have seen. Hurry and bring him here.

14Joseph and Benjamin hugged each other and started crying. 15Joseph was still crying as he kissed each of his other brothers. After this, they started talking with Joseph.

16When it was told in the palace that Joseph's brothers had come, the king and his officials were happy. 17So the king said to Joseph:

Tell your brothers to load their donkeys and return to Canaan. 18They must bring their father and their families here. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they can eat and enjoy everything that grows on it. 19Also tell your brothers to take some wagons from Egypt for their wives and children to ride in. And they must be sure to bring their father. 20They can leave their possessions behind, because they will be given the best of everything in Egypt.

21Jacob's sons agreed to do what the king had said. And Joseph gave them wagons and food for their trip home, just as the king had ordered. 22Joseph gave some new clothes to each of his brothers, but to Benjamin he gave five new outfits and three hundred pieces of silver. 23To his father he sent ten donkeys loaded with the best things in Egypt, and ten other donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other food for the return trip. 24Then he sent his brothers off and told them, “Don't argue on the way home!”

25Joseph's brothers left Egypt, and when they arrived in Canaan, 26they told their father that Joseph was still alive and was the ruler of Egypt. But their father was so surprised that he could not believe them. 27Then they told him everything Joseph had said. When he saw the wagons Joseph had sent, he felt much better 28and said, “Now I can believe you! My son Joseph must really be alive, and I will get to see him before I die.”

Jacob and his family go to Egypt

1Jacob packed up everything he owned and left for Egypt. On the way he stopped near the town of Beersheba and offered sacrifices to the God his father Isaac had worshipped. 2That night, God spoke to him and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”

“Here I am,” Jacob answered.

3God said, “I am God, the same God your father worshipped. Don't be afraid to go to Egypt. I will give you so many descendants that one day they will become a nation. 4I will go with you to Egypt, and later I will bring your descendants back here. Your son Joseph will be at your side when you die.”

5-7Jacob and his family set out from Beersheba and headed for Egypt. His sons put him in the wagon that the king had sent for him, and they put their small children and their wives in the other wagons. Jacob's whole family went to Egypt, including his sons, his grandsons, his daughters, and his granddaughters. They took along their animals and everything else they owned.

8-15When Jacob went to Egypt, his children who were born in northern Syria also went along with their families.

Jacob and his wife Leah had a total of thirty-three children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, but two of their grandchildren had died in Canaan.

Their eldest son Reuben took his sons Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

Their son Simeon took his sons Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, whose mother was a Canaanite.

Their son Levi took his sons Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

Their son Judah took his sons Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. Judah's sons Er and Onan had died in Canaan. Judah's son Perez took his sons Hezron and Hamul.

Their son Issachar took his sons Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron.

Their son Zebulun took his sons Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.

Their daughter Dinah also went.

16-18Jacob and Zilpah, the servant woman Laban had given his daughter Leah, had a total of sixteen children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Their son Gad took his sons Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.

Their son Asher took his sons Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, who took his sons, Heber and Malchiel.

Serah, the daughter of Asher, also went.

19-22Jacob and Rachel had fourteen children and grandchildren.

Their son Joseph was already in Egypt, where he had married Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, the priest of Heliopolis. Joseph and Asenath had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Jacob and Rachel's son Benjamin took his sons Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.

23-25Jacob and Bilhah, the servant woman Laban had given his daughter Rachel, had seven children and grandchildren.

Their son Dan took his son Hushim.

Their son Naphtali took his sons Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.

26Sixty-six members of Jacob's family went to Egypt with him, not counting his daughters-in-law. 27Jacob's two grandsons who were born there made it a total of seventy members of Jacob's family in Egypt.

28Jacob had sent his son Judah ahead of him to ask Joseph to meet them in Goshen. 29So Joseph got in his chariot and went to meet his father. When they met, Joseph hugged his father around the neck and cried for a long time. 30Jacob said to Joseph, “Now that I have seen you and know you are still alive, I am ready to die.”

31Then Joseph said to his brothers and to everyone who had come with them:

I must go and tell the king that you have arrived from Canaan. 32I will tell him that you are shepherds and that you have brought your sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else you own. 33The king will call you in and ask what you do for a living. 34When he does, be sure to say, “We are shepherds. Our families have always raised sheep.” If you tell him this, he will let you settle in the region of Goshen.

Joseph wanted them to say this to the king, because the Egyptians did not like to have anything to do with people who raised sheep.

1-2Joseph took five of his brothers to the king and told him, “My father and my brothers have come from Canaan. They have brought their sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else they own to the region of Goshen.”

Then he introduced his brothers to the king, 3who asked them, “What do you do for a living?”

“Sir, we are shepherds,” was their answer. “Our families have always raised sheep. 4But in our country all the pastures are dried up, and our sheep have no grass to eat. So we, your servants, have come here. Please let us live in the region of Goshen.”

5The king said to Joseph, “It's good that your father and brothers have arrived. 6I will let them live anywhere they choose in the land of Egypt, but I suggest that they settle in Goshen, the best part of our land. I would also like your finest shepherds to look after my own sheep and goats.”

7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and introduced him to the king. Jacob gave the king his blessing, 8and the king asked him, “How old are you?”

9Jacob answered, “I have lived only a hundred and thirty years, and I have had to move from place to place. My parents and my grandparents also had to move from place to place. But they lived much longer, and their life was not as hard as mine.” 10Then Jacob gave the king his blessing once again and left. 11Joseph obeyed the king's orders and gave his father and brothers some of the best land in Egypt near the city of Rameses. 12Joseph also provided food for their families.

A famine in Egypt

13The famine was bad everywhere in Egypt and Canaan, and the people were suffering terribly. 14So Joseph sold them the grain that had been stored up, and he put the money in the king's treasury. 15But when everyone had run out of money, the Egyptians came to Joseph and demanded, “Give us more grain! If you don't, we'll soon be dead, because our money's all gone.”

16“If you don't have any money,” Joseph answered, “give me your animals, and I'll let you have some grain.” 17From then on, they brought him their horses and donkeys and their sheep and goats in exchange for grain.

Within a year Joseph had collected every animal in Egypt. 18Then the people came to him and said:

Sir, there's no way we can hide the truth from you. We are broke, and we don't have any more animals. We have nothing left except ourselves and our land. 19Don't let us starve and our land be ruined. If you'll give us grain to eat and seed to plant, we'll sell ourselves and our land to the king. We'll become his slaves.

20The famine became so severe that Joseph finally bought every piece of land in Egypt for the king 21and made everyone the king's slaves, 22except the priests. The king gave the priests a regular food allowance, so they did not have to sell their land. 23Then Joseph said to the people, “You and your land now belong to the king. I'm giving you seed to plant, 24but one-fifth of your crops must go to the king. You can keep the rest as seed or as food for your families.”

25“Sir, you have saved our lives!” they answered. “We are glad to be slaves of the king.” 26Then Joseph made a law that one-fifth of the harvest would always belong to the king. Only the priests did not lose their land.

Jacob becomes an old man

27The people of Israel made their home in the land of Goshen, where they became prosperous and had large families. 28Jacob himself lived there for seventeen years, before dying at the age of one hundred and forty-seven. 29When Jacob knew he did not have long to live, he called in Joseph and said, “If you really love me, you must make a solemn promise not to bury me in Egypt. 30Instead, bury me in the place where my ancestors are buried.”

“I will do what you have asked,” Joseph answered.

31“Will you give me your word?” Jacob asked.

“Yes, I will,” Joseph promised. After this, Jacob bowed down and prayed at the head of his bed.

Genesis 45:1-47:31CEVOpen in Bible reader

God's chosen servant

15When Jesus found out what was happening, he left there and large crowds followed him. He healed all their sick, 16but warned them not to tell anyone about him. 17So God's promise came true, just as Isaiah the prophet had said,

18“Here is my chosen servant!

I love him,

and he pleases me.

I will give him my Spirit,

and he will bring justice

to the nations.

19He won't shout or yell

or call out in the streets.

20He won't break off a bent reed

or put out a dying flame,

but he will make sure

that justice is done.

21All nations will place

their hope in him.”

Jesus and the ruler of the demons

22Some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind and could not talk because he had a demon in him. Jesus healed the man, and then he was able to talk and see. 23The crowds were so amazed that they asked, “Could Jesus be the Son of David?”

24When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “He forces out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons!”

25Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said to them:

Any kingdom where people fight each other will end up ruined. And a town or family that fights will soon destroy itself. 26So if Satan fights against himself, how can his kingdom last? 27If I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons, whose power do your own followers use to force them out? Your followers are the ones who will judge you. 28But when I force out demons by the power of God's Spirit, it proves that God's kingdom has already come to you. 29How can anyone break into a strong man's house and steal his things, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can take everything.

30If you are not on my side, you are against me. If you don't gather in the harvest with me, you scatter it. 31-32I tell you that any sinful thing you do or say can be forgiven. Even if you speak against the Son of Man, you can be forgiven. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven, either in this life or in the life to come.

Jesus continued:

33A good tree produces only good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. 34You are evil snakes, so how can you say anything good? Your words show what is in your hearts. 35Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts. 36I promise you that on the day of judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken. 37On that day they will be told that they are either innocent or guilty because of the things they have said.

Matthew 12:15-37CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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