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Genesis 41:17-42Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

17 So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when seven well-fed, healthy-looking cows came up from the Nile and began to graze among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows—ugly, very sickly, and thin—came up. I’ve never seen such ugly ones as these in all the land of Egypt. 20 Then the thin, ugly cows ate the first seven well-fed cows. 21 When they had devoured them, you could not tell that they had devoured them; their appearance was as bad as it had been before. Then I woke up. 22 In my dream I had also seen seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, coming up on one stalk. 23 After them, seven heads of grain—withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind—sprouted up. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven plump ones. I told this to the magicians, but no one can tell me what it means.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads are seven years. The dreams mean the same thing. 27 The seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven worthless, scorched heads of grain are seven years of famine.

28 “It is just as I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Seven[a] years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt. 30 After them, seven years of famine will take place, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will devastate the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered because of the famine that follows it, for the famine will be very severe. 32 Since the dream was given twice to Pharaoh, it means that the matter has been determined by God, and He will carry it out soon.

33 “So now, let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this: Let him appoint overseers over the land and take a fifth of the harvest of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 Let them gather all the excess food during these good years that are coming. Under Pharaoh’s authority, store the grain in the cities, so they may preserve it as food. 36 The food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine that will take place in the land of Egypt. Then the country will not be wiped out by the famine.”

Joseph Exalted

37 The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has God’s spirit[b] in him?” 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as intelligent and wise as you are. 40 You will be over my house, and all my people will obey your commands.[c] Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I am placing you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, and servants called out before him, “Abrek!”[d] So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will be able to raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt without your permission.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah and gave him a wife, Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest at On.[e] And Joseph went throughout[f] the land of Egypt.

Joseph’s Administration

46 Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout the land of Egypt.

47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced outstanding harvests. 48 Joseph gathered all the excess food in the land of Egypt during the seven years and put it in the cities. He put the food in every city from the fields around it. 49 So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance—like the sand of the sea—that he stopped measuring it because it was beyond measure.

50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the years of famine arrived. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest at On,[g] bore them to him. 51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, meaning, “God has made me forget all my hardship in my father’s house.” 52 And the second son he named Ephraim, meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

53 Then the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every country, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 55 Extreme hunger came to all the land of Egypt, and the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh told all Egypt, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” 56 Because the famine had spread across the whole country, Joseph opened up all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Every nation came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, for the famine was severe in every land.

Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt

42 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at each other? Listen,” he went on, “I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us so that we will live and not die.” So 10 of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he thought, “Something might happen to him.”

The sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. Joseph was in charge of the country; he sold grain to all its people. His brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them.

“Where do you come from?” he asked.

“From the land of Canaan to buy food,” they replied.

Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Joseph remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies. You have come to see the weakness[h] of the land.”

10 “No, my lord. Your servants have come to buy food,” they said. 11 “We are all sons of one man. We are honest; your servants are not spies.”

12 “No,” he said to them. “You have come to see the weakness of the land.”

13 But they replied, “We, your servants, were 12 brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now[i] with our father, and one is no longer living.”

14 Then Joseph said to them, “I have spoken:[j] ‘You are spies!’ 15 This is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one from among you to get your brother. The rest of you will be imprisoned so that your words can be tested to see if they are true. If they are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 So Joseph imprisoned them together for three days.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 41:29 Lit Look! Seven
  2. Genesis 41:38 Or the spirit of the gods, or a god’s spirit
  3. Genesis 41:40 Lit will kiss your mouth
  4. Genesis 41:43 Perhaps an Egyptian word meaning “Attention” or a Hb word meaning “Kneel.”
  5. Genesis 41:45 Or Heliopolis
  6. Genesis 41:45 Or Joseph gained authority over
  7. Genesis 41:50 Or Heliopolis
  8. Genesis 42:9 Lit nakedness
  9. Genesis 42:13 Or today
  10. Genesis 42:14 Lit “That which I spoke to you saying

Matthew 13:24-46Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds

24 He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds[a] among the wheat, and left. 26 When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. 27 The landowner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this!’ he told them.

“‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up?’ the slaves asked him.

29 “‘No,’ he said. ‘When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn.’”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Yeast

31 He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.”

33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into 50 pounds[b] of flour until it spread through all of it.”[c]

Using Parables Fulfills Prophecy

34 Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and He would not speak anything to them without a parable, 35 so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:

I will open My mouth in parables;
I will declare things kept secret
from the foundation of the world.[d]

Jesus Interprets the Wheat and the Weeds

36 Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, “Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.”

37 He replied: “The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world; and the good seed—these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin[e] and those guilty of lawlessness.[f] 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears[g] should listen!

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and of the Priceless Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. 46 When he found one priceless[h] pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:25 Or darnel, a weed similar in appearance to wheat in the early stages
  2. Matthew 13:33 Lit 3 sata; about 40 quarts
  3. Matthew 13:33 Or until all of it was leavened
  4. Matthew 13:35 Ps 78:2
  5. Matthew 13:41 Or stumbling
  6. Matthew 13:41 Or those who do lawlessness
  7. Matthew 13:43 Other mss add to hear
  8. Matthew 13:46 Or very precious

Psalm 18:1-15Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 18

Praise for Deliverance

For the choir director. Of the servant of the Lord, David, who spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

I love You, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock,
my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my mountain where I seek refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I was saved from my enemies.

The ropes of death were wrapped around me;
the torrents of destruction terrified me.
The ropes of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
I called to the Lord in my distress,
and I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice,
and my cry to Him reached His ears.

Then the earth shook and quaked;
the foundations of the mountains trembled;
they shook because He burned with anger.
Smoke rose from His nostrils,
and consuming fire came from His mouth;
coals were set ablaze by it.[a]
He parted the heavens and came down,
a dark cloud beneath His feet.
10 He rode on a cherub and flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness His hiding place,
dark storm clouds His canopy around Him.
12 From the radiance of His presence,
His clouds swept onward with hail and blazing coals.
13 The Lord thundered from[b] heaven;
the Most High projected His voice.[c]
14 He shot His arrows and scattered them;
He hurled[d] lightning bolts and routed them.
15 The depths of the sea became visible,
the foundations of the world were exposed,
at Your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 18:8 Or ablaze from Him
  2. Psalm 18:13 Some Hb mss, LXX, Tg, Jer; other Hb mss read in
  3. Psalm 18:13 Some Hb mss read voice, with hail and fiery coals
  4. Psalm 18:14 Or multiplied

Proverbs 4:1-6Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

A Father’s Example

Listen, my sons, to a father’s discipline,
and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,
for I am giving you good instruction.
Don’t abandon my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
tender and precious to my mother,
he taught me and said:
“Your heart must hold on to my words.
Keep my commands and live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth.
Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you;
love her, and she will guard you.

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