43Now the famine was severe in the land. 2And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, Go again, buy us a little more food. 3But Judah said to him, The man solemnly warned us, saying, You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you. 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; 5but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you. 6Israel said, Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother? 7They replied, The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, Is your father still alive? Have you another brother? What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, Bring your brother down? 8Then Judah said to his father Israel, Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not dieyou and we and also our little ones. 9I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame for ever. 10If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.
11 Then their father Israel said to them, If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry them down as a present to the mana little balm and a little honey, gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man; 14may God Almighty* grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. 15So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon. 17The man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Josephs house. 18Now the men were afraid because they were brought to Josephs house, and they said, It is because of the money, replaced in our sacks the first time, that we have been brought in, so that he may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make slaves of us and take our donkeys. 19So they went up to the steward of Josephs house and spoke with him at the entrance to the house. 20They said, Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food; 21and when we came to the lodging-place we opened our sacks, and there was each ones money in the top of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it back with us. 22Moreover, we have brought down with us additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks. 23He replied, Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money. Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24When the steward* had brought the men into Josephs house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25they made the present ready for Josephs coming at noon, for they had heard that they would dine there.
26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had carried into the house, and bowed to the ground before him. 27He inquired about their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive? 28They said, Your servant our father is well; he is still alive. And they bowed their heads and did obeisance. 29Then he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mothers son, and said, Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son! 30With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room and wept there. 31Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, Serve the meal. 32They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33When they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement. 34Portions were taken to them from Josephs table, but Benjamins portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.
44Then he commanded the steward of his house, Fill the mens sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each mans money in the top of his sack. 2Put my cup, the silver cup, in the top of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain. And he did as Joseph told him. 3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. 4When they had gone only a short distance from the city, Joseph said to his steward, Go, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, Why have you returned evil for good? Why have you stolen my silver cup?* 5Is it not from this that my lord drinks? Does he not indeed use it for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.
6 When he overtook them, he repeated these words to them. 7They said to him, Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing! 8Look, the money that we found at the top of our sacks, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan; why then would we steal silver or gold from your lords house? 9Should it be found with any one of your servants, let him die; moreover, the rest of us will become my lords slaves. 10He said, Even so; in accordance with your words, let it be: he with whom it is found shall become my slave, but the rest of you shall go free. 11Then each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. 12He searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamins sack. 13At this they tore their clothes. Then each one loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
14 Judah and his brothers came to Josephs house while he was still there; and they fell to the ground before him. 15Joseph said to them, What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that one such as I can practise divination? 16And Judah said, What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; here we are then, my lords slaves, both we and also the one in whose possession the cup has been found. 17But he said, Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the one in whose possession the cup was found shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.
18 Then Judah stepped up to him and said, O my lord, let your servant please speak a word in my lords ears, and do not be angry with your servant; for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, Have you a father or a brother? 20And we said to my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead; he alone is left of his mothers children, and his father loves him. 21Then you said to your servants, Bring him down to me, so that I may set my eyes on him. 22We said to my lord, The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die. 23Then you said to your servants, Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more. 24When we went back to your servant my father we told him the words of my lord. 25And when our father said, Go again, buy us a little food, 26we said, We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother goes with us, will we go down; for we cannot see the mans face unless our youngest brother is with us. 27Then your servant my father said to us, You know that my wife bore me two sons; 28one left me, and I said, Surely he has been torn to pieces; and I have never seen him since. 29If you take this one also from me, and harm comes to him, you will bring down my grey hairs in sorrow to Sheol. 30Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boys life, 31when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring down the grey hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32For your servant became surety for the boy to my father, saying, If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame in the sight of my father all my life. 33Now therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord in place of the boy; and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the suffering that would come upon my father.
45Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, Send everyone away from me. So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph. Is my father still alive? But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, Come closer to me. And they came closer. He said, I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither ploughing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your childrens children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you theresince there are five more years of famine to comeso that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty. 12And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. 13You must tell my father how greatly I am honoured in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here. 14Then he fell upon his brother Benjamins neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
16 When the report was heard in Pharaohs house, Josephs brothers have come, Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. 17Pharaoh said to Joseph, Say to your brothers, Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of Canaan. 18Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land. 19You are further charged to say, Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.
21 The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. 22To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments. 23To his father he sent the following: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. 24Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving he said to them, Do not quarrel* along the way.
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26And they told him, Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt. He was stunned; he could not believe them. 27But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28Israel said, Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.
1 O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?
2 Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
3 who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbours;
4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honour those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
5 who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be moved.
15Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
2Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.
3He answered them, And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
4For God said,* Honour your father and your mother, and, Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.
5But you say that whoever tells father or mother, Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,* then that person need not honour the father.*
6So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word* of God.
7You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:
8 This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.
10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, Listen and understand: 11it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles. 12Then the disciples approached and said to him, Do you know that the Pharisees took offence when they heard what you said? 13He answered, Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.* And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit. 15But Peter said to him, Explain this parable to us. 16Then he said, Are you also still without understanding? 17Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.
21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon. 23But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us. 24He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, Lord, help me. 26He answered, It is not fair to take the childrens food and throw it to the dogs. 27She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters table. 28Then Jesus answered her, Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish. And her daughter was healed instantly.
29 After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. 30Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, 31so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way. 33The disciples said to him, Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd? 34Jesus asked them, How many loaves have you? They said, Seven, and a few small fish. 35Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 38Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.*
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