37Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. 2This is the story of the family of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his fathers wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves.* 4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
5 Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, Listen to this dream that I dreamed. 7There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf. 8His brothers said to him, Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us? So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.
9 He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me. 10But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you? 11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
12 Now his brothers went to pasture their fathers flock near Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them. He answered, Here I am. 14So he said to him, Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me. So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.
He came to Shechem, 15and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, What are you seeking? 16I am seeking my brothers, he said; tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock. 17The man said, They have gone away, for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. 18They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. 19They said to one another, Here comes this dreamer. 20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams. 21But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, Let us not take his life. 22Reuben said to them, Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on himthat he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. 23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves* that he wore; 24and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25 Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh. And his brothers agreed. 28When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.
29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes. 30He returned to his brothers, and said, The boy is gone; and I, where can I turn? 31Then they took Josephs robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. 32They had the long robe with sleeves* taken to their father, and they said, This we have found; see now whether it is your sons robe or not. 33He recognized it, and said, It is my sons robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces. 34Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son for many days. 35All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning. Thus his father bewailed him. 36Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaohs officials, the captain of the guard.
38It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and settled near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her. 3She conceived and bore a son; and he named him Er. 4Again she conceived and bore a son whom she named Onan. 5Yet again she bore a son, and she named him Shelah. She* was in Chezib when she bore him. 6Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judahs firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death. 8Then Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brothers wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother. 9But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brothers wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother. 10What he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, Remain a widow in your fathers house until my son Shelah grows upfor he feared that he too would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her fathers house.
12 In course of time the wife of Judah, Shuas daughter, died; when Judahs time of mourning was over,* he went up to Timnah to his sheep-shearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13When Tamar was told, Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep, 14she put off her widows garments, put on a veil, wrapped herself up, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. She saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him in marriage. 15When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16He went over to her at the roadside, and said, Come, let me come in to you, for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, What will you give me, that you may come in to me? 17He answered, I will send you a kid from the flock. And she said, Only if you give me a pledge, until you send it. 18He said, What pledge shall I give you? She replied, Your signet and your cord, and the staff that is in your hand. So he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19Then she got up and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
20 When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to recover the pledge from the woman, he could not find her. 21He asked the townspeople, Where is the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the wayside? But they said, No prostitute has been here. 22So he returned to Judah, and said, I have not found her; moreover, the townspeople said, No prostitute has been here. 23Judah replied, Let her keep the things as her own, otherwise we will be laughed at; you see, I sent this kid, and you could not find her.
24 About three months later Judah was told, Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her out, and let her be burned. 25As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, It was the owner of these who made me pregnant. And she said, Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff. 26Then Judah acknowledged them and said, She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah. And he did not lie with her again.
27 When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb. 28While she was in labour, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a crimson thread, saying, This one came out first. 29But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, What a breach you have made for yourself! Therefore he was named Perez.* 30Afterwards his brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.*
39Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. 2The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands. 4So Joseph found favour in his sight and attended him; he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. 5From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptians house for Josephs sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. 6So he left all that he had in Josephs charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate.
Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking. 7And after a time his masters wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, Lie with me. 8But he refused and said to his masters wife, Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand. 9He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her. 11One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house, 12she caught hold of his garment, saying, Lie with me! But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. 13When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, 14she called out to the members of her household and said to them, See, my husband* has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; 15and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside. 16Then she kept his garment by her until his master came home, 17and she told him the same story, saying, The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; 18but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.
19 When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, This is the way your servant treated me, he became enraged. 20And Josephs master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the kings prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison. 21But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favour in the sight of the chief jailer. 22The chief jailer committed to Josephs care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Josephs care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I bear pain* in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
4 and my enemy will say, I have prevailed;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
13That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears* listen!
10 Then the disciples came and asked him, Why do you speak to them in parables?
11He answered, To you it has been given to know the secrets* of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
13The reason I speak to them in parables is that seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.
14With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
15 For this peoples heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn
and I would heal them.
16But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.
18 Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.* 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.
24 He put before them another parable: The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from? 28He answered, An enemy has done this. The slaves said to him, Then do you want us to go and gather them? 29But he replied, No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.
31 He put before them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.
33 He told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with* three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.
34 Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing.
35This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet:*
I will open my mouth to speak in parables;
I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.*
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field. 37He answered, The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears* listen!
44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 Have you understood all this? They answered, Yes. 52And he said to them, Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old. 53When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.
54 He came to his home town and began to teach the people* in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55Is not this the carpenters son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this? 57And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house. 58And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011