Genesis 46-48 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Jacob and His Family Go to Egypt
46 Jacob 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 worshiped. 2 That night, God spoke to him and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”
“Here I am,” Jacob answered.
3 God said, “I am God, the same God your father worshiped. Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt. I will give you so many descendants that one day they will become a nation. 4 I 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.”
5-7 Jacob and his family set out from Beersheba and headed for Egypt. His sons put him in the wagon that the king[a] 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.
8-15 When Jacob went to Egypt, his children who were born in northern Syria[b] 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 oldest 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,[c] and Shimron.
Their son Zebulun took his sons Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
Their daughter Dinah also went.
16-18 Jacob 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.
19-22 Jacob 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.[d] 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.
23-25 Jacob 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.
26 Sixty-six members of Jacob’s family went to Egypt with him, not counting his daughters-in-law. 27 Jacob’s two grandsons who were born there made it a total of seventy members of Jacob’s family in Egypt.
28 Jacob had sent his son Judah ahead of him to ask Joseph to meet them in Goshen. 29 So 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. 30 Jacob said to Joseph, “Now that I have seen you and know you are still alive, I am ready to die.”
31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to everyone who had come with them:
I must go and tell the king[e] that you have arrived from Canaan. 32 I will tell him that you are shepherds and that you have brought your sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else you own. 33 The king will call you in and ask what you do for a living. 34 When 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 be around anyone who raised sheep.
47 1-2 Joseph 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, 3 who asked them, “What do you do for a living?”
“Sir, we are shepherds,” was their answer. “Our families have always raised sheep. 4 But 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.”
5 The king said to Joseph, “It’s good that your father and brothers have arrived. 6 I 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 for your finest shepherds to watch after my own sheep and goats.”
7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and introduced him to the king. Jacob gave the king his blessing, 8 and the king asked him, “How old are you?”
9 Jacob answered, “I have lived only a hundred 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.” 10 Then Jacob gave the king his blessing once again and left. 11 Joseph obeyed the king’s orders and gave his father and brothers some of the best land in Egypt near the city of Rameses. 12 Joseph also provided food for their families.
A Famine in Egypt
13 The famine was bad everywhere in Egypt and Canaan, and the people were suffering terribly. 14 So Joseph sold them the grain that had been stored up, and he put the money[f] in the king’s treasury. 15 But 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.” 17 From 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. 18 Then 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. 19 Don’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.[g] We’ll become his slaves.
20 The famine became so severe that Joseph finally bought every piece of land in Egypt for the king 21 and made everyone the king’s slaves,[h] 22 except the priests. The king gave the priests a regular food allowance, so they did not have to sell their land. 23 Then Joseph said to the people, “You and your land now belong to the king. I’m giving you seed to plant, 24 but 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.” 26 Then 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
27 The people of Israel made their home in the land of Goshen, where they became prosperous and had large families. 28 Jacob himself lived there for seventeen years, before dying at the age of one hundred forty-seven. 29 When 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. 30 Instead, 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.
Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Two Sons
48 Joseph was told that his father Jacob had become very sick. So Joseph went to see him and took along his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 When Joseph arrived, someone told Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Jacob sat up in bed, but it took almost all his strength.
3 Jacob told Joseph:
God All-Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, where he gave me his blessing 4 and promised, “I will give you a large family with many descendants that will grow into a nation. And I am giving you this land that will belong to you and your family forever.”
5 Then Jacob went on to say:
Joseph, your two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were born in Egypt, but I accept them as my own, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children you have later will be considered yours, but their inheritance will come from Ephraim and Manasseh. 7 Unfortunately, your mother Rachel died in Canaan after we had left northern Syria[i] and before we reached Bethlehem.[j] And I had to bury her along the way.
8-10 Jacob was very old and almost blind. He did not recognize the two boys, and so he asked Joseph, “Who are these boys?”
Joseph answered, “They are my sons. God has given them to me here in Egypt.”
“Bring them to me,” Jacob said. “I want to give them my blessing.” Joseph brought the boys to him, and he hugged and kissed them.
11 Jacob turned to Joseph and told him, “For many years I thought you were dead and that I would never see you again. But now God has even let me live to see your children.” 12 Then Joseph made his sons move away from Jacob’s knees,[k] and Joseph bowed down in front of him with his face to the ground.
13 After Joseph got up, he brought his two sons over to Jacob again. He led his younger son Ephraim to the left side of Jacob and his older son Manasseh to the right. 14 But before Jacob gave them his blessing, he crossed his arms, putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Manasseh. 15 Then he gave Joseph his blessing and said:
My grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac worshiped the Lord God. He has been with me all my life, 16 and his angel has kept me safe. Now I pray that he will bless these boys and that my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac will live on because of them. I ask God to give them many children and many descendants as well.
17 Joseph did not like it when he saw his father place his right hand on the head of the younger son. So he tried to move his father’s right hand from Ephraim’s head and place it on Manasseh. 18 Joseph said, “Father, you have made a mistake. This is the older boy. Put your right hand on him.”
19 But his father said, “Son, I know what I am doing. It’s true that Manasseh’s family will someday become a great nation. But Ephraim will be even greater than Manasseh, because his descendants will become many great nations.”
20 Jacob told him that in the future the people of Israel would ask God’s blessings on one another by saying, “I pray for God to bless you as much as he blessed Ephraim and Manasseh.” Jacob put Ephraim’s name first to show that he would be greater than Manasseh. 21 After that, Jacob said, “Joseph, you can see that I won’t live much longer. But God will be with you and will lead you back to the land he promised our family long ago. 22 Meanwhile, I’m giving you the hillside[l] I captured from the Amorites.”
Matthew 13:1-30 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Story about a Farmer
13 That same day Jesus left the house and went out beside Lake Galilee, where he sat down to teach.[a] 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he had to sit in a boat, while the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said:
A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. 4 While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds. 5 Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. 7 Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. 8 But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered. 9 If you have ears, pay attention!
Why Jesus Used Stories
10 Jesus' disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you use nothing but stories when you speak to the people?”
11 Jesus answered:
I have explained the secrets about the kingdom of heaven to you, but not to others. 12 Everyone who has something will be given more. But people who don’t have anything will lose even what little they have. 13 I use stories when I speak to them because when they look, they cannot see, and when they listen, they cannot hear or understand. 14 So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said,
“These people will listen
16 But God has blessed you, because your eyes can see and your ears can hear! 17 Many prophets and good people were eager to see what you see and to hear what you hear. But I tell you that they did not see or hear.
Jesus Explains the Story about the Farmer
18 Now listen to the meaning of the story about the farmer:
19 The seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message about the kingdom, but don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the message from their hearts. 20 The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away. 21 But they don’t have deep roots, and they don’t last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.
22 The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message. But they start worrying about the needs of this life and are fooled by the desire to get rich. So the message gets choked out, and they never produce anything. 23 The seeds that fell on good ground are the people who hear and understand the message. They produce as much as a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was planted.
Weeds among the Wheat
24 Jesus then told them this story:
The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a farmer scattered good seed in a field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed seeds in the field and then left.
26 When the plants came up and began to ripen, the farmer’s servants could see the weeds. 27 The servants came and asked, “Sir, didn’t you scatter good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?”
28 “An enemy did this,” he replied.
His servants then asked, “Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?”
29 “No!” he answered. “You might also pull up the wheat. 30 Leave the weeds alone until harvest time. Then I’ll tell my workers to gather the weeds and tie them up and burn them. But I’ll have them store the wheat in my barn.”
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