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Genesis 47The Message (MSG)

47 Joseph went to Pharaoh and told him, “My father and brothers with their flocks and herds and everything they own have come from Canaan. Right now they are in Goshen.”

2-3 He had taken five of his brothers with him and introduced them to Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked them, “What kind of work do you do?”

3-4 “Your servants are shepherds, the same as our fathers were. We have come to this country to find a new place to live. There is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine has been very bad there. Please, would you let your servants settle in the region of Goshen?”

5-6 Pharaoh looked at Joseph. “So, your father and brothers have arrived—a reunion! Egypt welcomes them. Settle your father and brothers on the choicest land—yes, give them Goshen. And if you know any among them that are especially good at their work, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

7-8 Next Joseph brought his father Jacob in and introduced him to Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How old are you?”

9-10 Jacob answered Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are 130—a short and hard life and not nearly as long as my ancestors were given.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left.

11-12 Joseph settled his father and brothers in Egypt, made them proud owners of choice land—it was the region of Rameses (that is, Goshen)—just as Pharaoh had ordered. Joseph took good care of them—his father and brothers and all his father’s family, right down to the smallest baby. He made sure they had plenty of everything.

13-15 The time eventually came when there was no food anywhere. The famine was very bad. Egypt and Canaan alike were devastated by the famine. Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan to pay for the distribution of food. He banked the money in Pharaoh’s palace. When the money from Egypt and Canaan had run out, the Egyptians came to Joseph. “Food! Give us food! Are you going to watch us die right in front of you? The money is all gone.”

16-17 Joseph said, “Bring your livestock. I’ll trade you food for livestock since your money’s run out.” So they brought Joseph their livestock. He traded them food for their horses, sheep, cattle, and donkeys. He got them through that year in exchange for all their livestock.

18-19 When that year was over, the next year rolled around and they were back, saying, “Master, it’s no secret to you that we’re broke: our money’s gone and we’ve traded you all our livestock. We’ve nothing left to barter with but our bodies and our farms. What use are our bodies and our land if we stand here and starve to death right in front of you? Trade us food for our bodies and our land. We’ll be slaves to Pharaoh and give up our land—all we ask is seed for survival, just enough to live on and keep the farms alive.”

20-21 So Joseph bought up all the farms in Egypt for Pharaoh. Every Egyptian sold his land—the famine was that bad. That’s how Pharaoh ended up owning all the land and the people ended up slaves; Joseph reduced the people to slavery from one end of Egypt to the other.

22 Joseph made an exception for the priests. He didn’t buy their land because they received a fixed salary from Pharaoh and were able to live off of that salary. So they didn’t need to sell their land.

23-24 Joseph then announced to the people: “Here’s how things stand: I’ve bought you and your land for Pharaoh. In exchange I’m giving you seed so you can plant the ground. When the crops are harvested, you must give a fifth to Pharaoh and keep four-fifths for yourselves, for seed for yourselves and your families—you’re going to be able to feed your children!”

25 They said, “You’ve saved our lives! Master, we’re grateful and glad to be slaves to Pharaoh.”

26 Joseph decreed a land law in Egypt that is still in effect, A Fifth Goes to Pharaoh. Only the priests’ lands were not owned by Pharaoh.

27-28 And so Israel settled down in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property and flourished. They became a large company of people. Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years. In all, he lived 147 years.

29-30 When the time came for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said, “Do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh, a sign that you’re loyal and true to me to the end. Don’t bury me in Egypt. When I lie down with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me alongside them.”

“I will,” he said. “I’ll do what you’ve asked.”

31 Israel said, “Promise me.” Joseph promised.

Israel bowed his head in submission and gratitude from his bed.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Genesis 48The Message (MSG)

48 1-2 Some time after this conversation, Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” He took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to Jacob. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come,” he roused himself and sat up in bed.

3-7 Jacob said to Joseph, “The Strong God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said, ‘I’m going to make you prosperous and numerous, turn you into a congregation of tribes; and I’ll turn this land over to your children coming after you as a permanent inheritance.’ I’m adopting your two sons who were born to you here in Egypt before I joined you; they have equal status with Reuben and Simeon. But any children born after them are yours; they will come after their brothers in matters of inheritance. I want it this way because, as I was returning from Paddan, your mother Rachel, to my deep sorrow, died as we were on our way through Canaan when we were only a short distance from Ephrath, now called Bethlehem.”

Just then Jacob noticed Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these?”

9-11 Joseph told his father, “They are my sons whom God gave to me in this place.”

“Bring them to me,” he said, “so I can bless them.” Israel’s eyesight was poor from old age; he was nearly blind. So Joseph brought them up close. Old Israel kissed and embraced them and then said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has let me see your children as well!”

12-16 Joseph took them from Israel’s knees and bowed respectfully, his face to the ground. Then Joseph took the two boys, Ephraim with his right hand setting him to Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand setting him to Israel’s right, and stood them before him. But Israel crossed his arms and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim who was the younger and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. Then he blessed them:

The God before whom walked
    my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
The God who has been my shepherd
    all my life long to this very day,
The Angel who delivered me from every evil,
    Bless the boys.
May my name be echoed in their lives,
    and the names of Abraham and Isaac, my fathers,
And may they grow
    covering the Earth with their children.

17-18 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought he had made a mistake, so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s, saying, “That’s the wrong head, Father; the other one is the firstborn; place your right hand on his head.”

19-20 But his father wouldn’t do it. He said, “I know, my son; but I know what I’m doing. He also will develop into a people, and he also will be great. But his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will enrich nations.” Then he blessed them both:

Israel will use your names to give blessings:
May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.

In that he made it explicit: he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21-22 Israel then said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. God be with you and give you safe passage back to the land of your fathers. As for me, I’m presenting you, as the first among your brothers, the ridge of land I took from Amorites with my sword and bow.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 10The Message (MSG)

10 1-2 God, are you avoiding me?
    Where are you when I need you?
Full of hot air, the wicked
    are hot on the trail of the poor.
Trip them up, tangle them up
    in their fine-tuned plots.

3-4 The wicked are windbags,
    the swindlers have foul breath.
The wicked snub God,
    their noses stuck high in the air.
Their graffiti are scrawled on the walls:
    “Catch us if you can!” “God is dead.”

5-6 They care nothing for what you think;
    if you get in their way, they blow you off.
They live (they think) a charmed life:
    “We can’t go wrong. This is our lucky year!”

7-8 They carry a mouthful of hexes,
    their tongues spit venom like adders.
They hide behind ordinary people,
    then pounce on their victims.

They mark the luckless,
    then wait like a hunter in a blind;
When the poor wretch wanders too close,
    they stab him in the back.

10-11 The hapless fool is kicked to the ground,
    the unlucky victim is brutally axed.
He thinks God has dumped him,
    he’s sure that God is indifferent to his plight.

12-13 Time to get up, God—get moving.
    The luckless think they’re Godforsaken.
They wonder why the wicked scorn God
    and get away with it,
Why the wicked are so cocksure
    they’ll never come up for audit.

14 But you know all about it—
    the contempt, the abuse.
I dare to believe that the luckless
    will get lucky someday in you.
You won’t let them down:
    orphans won’t be orphans forever.

15-16 Break the wicked right arms,
    break all the evil left arms.
Search and destroy
    every sign of crime.
God’s grace and order wins;
    godlessness loses.

17-18 The victim’s faint pulse picks up;
    the hearts of the hopeless pump red blood
    as you put your ear to their lips.
Orphans get parents,
    the homeless get homes.
The reign of terror is over,
    the rule of the gang lords is ended.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Luke 19The Message (MSG)

Zacchaeus

19 1-4 Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.

5-7 When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?”

Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.”

9-10 Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”

The Story About Investment

11 While he had their attention, and because they were getting close to Jerusalem by this time and expectation was building that God’s kingdom would appear any minute, he told this story:

12-13 “There was once a man descended from a royal house who needed to make a long trip back to headquarters to get authorization for his rule and then return. But first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Operate with this until I return.’

14 “But the citizens there hated him. So they sent a commission with a signed petition to oppose his rule: ‘We don’t want this man to rule us.’

15 “When he came back bringing the authorization of his rule, he called those ten servants to whom he had given the money to find out how they had done.

16 “The first said, ‘Master, I doubled your money.’

17 “He said, ‘Good servant! Great work! Because you’ve been trustworthy in this small job, I’m making you governor of ten towns.’

18 “The second said, ‘Master, I made a fifty percent profit on your money.’

19 “He said, ‘I’m putting you in charge of five towns.’

20-21 “The next servant said, ‘Master, here’s your money safe and sound. I kept it hidden in the cellar. To tell you the truth, I was a little afraid. I know you have high standards and hate sloppiness, and don’t suffer fools gladly.’

22-23 “He said, ‘You’re right that I don’t suffer fools gladly—and you’ve acted the fool! Why didn’t you at least invest the money in securities so I would have gotten a little interest on it?’

24 “Then he said to those standing there, ‘Take the money from him and give it to the servant who doubled my stake.’

25 “They said, ‘But Master, he already has double . . .’

26 “He said, ‘That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.

27 “‘As for these enemies of mine who petitioned against my rule, clear them out of here. I don’t want to see their faces around here again.’”

God’s Personal Visit

28-31 After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’”

32-33 The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?”

34 They said, “His Master needs him.”

35-36 They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.

37-38 Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,
    the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
    Glory in the high places!

39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”

40 But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”

41-44 When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it’s too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.”

45-46 Going into the Temple he began to throw out everyone who had set up shop, selling everything and anything. He said, “It’s written in Scripture,

My house is a house of prayer;
You have turned it into a religious bazaar.”

47-48 From then on he taught each day in the Temple. The high priests, religion scholars, and the leaders of the people were trying their best to find a way to get rid of him. But with the people hanging on every word he spoke, they couldn’t come up with anything.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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