Bible Gateway The Daily Audio Bible Reading Plan (VOICE) 2017-01-20T00:00:00-05:00 Powered by Bible Gateway The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday January 20, 2017 (VOICE)

Genesis 41:17-42

Pharaoh: 17 In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile River, 18 and seven healthy, fat cows came up out of the Nile River and grazed in the grassy reeds at the river’s edge. 19 Then seven other cows came up after them. They were miserable, very ugly and thin. Never had I seen such horrible-looking cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 Anyway, the thin, ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows. 21 But after they had eaten them, no one would have known they had done so because they were still as ugly as before. Then I woke up. 22 I fell asleep and dreamed a second time. I saw in this dream seven ears of grain, all plump and fine, growing on one stalk. 23 And then seven ears that were withered, shriveled up, and burnt by the east wind sprouted after them. 24 The thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. When I told the magicians about these dreams, there was no one who could explain them to me.

Joseph (to Pharaoh): 25 Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same. God is revealing to Pharaoh what He is going to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years and the seven good ears are the same seven years—years of plenty. Both dreams tell one story. 27 The seven thin and ugly cows that came up after them are also seven years, as are the seven thin ears burnt by the east wind. These are seven years of famine. 28 As I told Pharaoh, God is showing Pharaoh what He means to do and what will come. 29 There will be seven years of great abundance throughout all the land of Egypt. 30 But after that, there will be seven years of famine. Whatever abundance was once enjoyed will be totally forgotten, because the famine will consume the land. 31 The famine will be so severe that no one will know what it is like to have enough of anything. 32 The doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means this future is fixed by God, and He will make it happen very soon.

33 My advice is that Pharaoh should select someone who is wise and discerning and put him in charge of the land of Egypt during this time. 34 Pharaoh should appoint officers over the land and direct them to take one-fifth of all that the land of Egypt produces during the seven abundant years, 35 gather it together, store it up, and guard it under Pharaoh’s authority. That way each city will have a supply of food. 36 The food would then be held in reserve for the people during the seven years of famine that are sure to come to Egypt. In this way, the people of Egypt will not starve to death during the famine.

37 Pharaoh and all his advisors liked Joseph’s suggestion.

Pharaoh (to his advisors): 38 Is there anyone else you know like Joseph who has the Spirit of God within him?

39 (to Joseph) Since God has shown all of this to you, I can’t imagine anyone wiser and more discerning than you. 40 Therefore you will be in charge of my household. All of my people will report to you and do as you say. Only I, because I sit on the throne, will be greater than you. 41 I hereby appoint you head over all of the land of Egypt.

42 As a symbol of his power, Pharaoh removed the signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s. Then he dressed him in fine linens and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command, and servants ordered everyone, “Kneel!” as he rode by. So this was how Pharaoh appointed Joseph head over all of the land of Egypt. 44 But Pharaoh had one more declaration.

Pharaoh (to Joseph): I am Pharaoh, and I decree that no one may do anything in the land of Egypt without your consent.

45 Then Pharaoh gave Joseph an Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah, and arranged for him to marry an Egyptian woman, Asenath (daughter of Potiphera, priest of On). So this was how Joseph gained authority over all the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh wants there to be no doubt that Joseph is his second-in-command. So he holds a formal ceremony and presents Joseph with special gifts, symbols of high office and power. He gives Joseph his signet ring, mounted with Pharaoh’s personal seal. He dresses him in royal garb and provides him with the finest chariot available. He issues decrees that put Joseph in charge of all affairs in Egypt. Finally, to top it off and to make sure this son of Israel would be fully accepted into Egyptian society, he gives him an Egyptian name and arranges a marriage with a high-profile priestly family. Just a few hours before, Joseph was a prisoner. Now he is in charge of all the land.

46 Now Joseph was 30 years old when he entered into Pharaoh’s service. He left the king of Egypt’s presence to travel throughout the land. 47 For seven years—the years of plenty—the land produced abundantly. 48 Joseph gathered up all of the food he could during those seven years of plenty in the land of Egypt and stored the grain in the cities. He arranged for every city to store the food grown in local fields. 49 And he stored up so much grain—as much as the grains of sand on the seashore—that he stopped measuring it. It was more than anyone could measure!

50 Now before the famine began, Joseph had two sons by his wife Asenath (daughter of Potiphera, priest of On). 51 Joseph named his firstborn son Manasseh because he said, “God has made me forget all about my hardship and all of my father’s family.” 52 He named the second son Ephraim, because as he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortune.”

53 Eventually, the seven years of plenty in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine settled in, just as Joseph had predicted. Although the famine extended to all the surrounding lands, in Egypt there was still food stored away in the cities. 55 When the people in Egypt became famished, they appealed to Pharaoh for food; and Pharaoh directed them all to Joseph.

Pharaoh: Go to Joseph, and do what he tells you to do.

56 So when the famine had spread across the land of Egypt, Joseph opened up the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians. But he waited until the famine had become severe in the land. 57 When the surrounding peoples heard Egypt still had food, they journeyed to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because by this time the entire world was in the grip of a severe famine.

Famine in this part of the world normally involves a drought that extends for years. Only those with access to bodies of fresh water can survive. The Egyptians are perfectly positioned to use the Nile River to irrigate their crops during a drought. Most of the land of Canaan, on the other hand—where Jacob and his sons still live—has little fresh water even when there is no drought. Although some grain can be moved up and down the Nile or across the Mediterranean over established trade routes, the amount of grain needed to keep large populations alive cannot be moved across land or sea. So people have to go where the food is, or they starve to death. Israel knows he is out of options at home, so he has to look abroad.

42 Now when Jacob found out there was grain to be had in Egypt, he talked to his sons about it.

Jacob: Why do you just keep sitting here looking at each other? Listen! I’ve heard they have grain for sale in Egypt! Go down there, and buy grain for us so that we have enough to live and won’t die of hunger.

So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob didn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with the others, because he was afraid something might happen to him. So the sons of Israel decided to go down and buy grain along with many others, because the famine had reached the land of Canaan.

Since Joseph was in charge of Egypt, he was the one responsible for selling the grain to the people who came from the various lands. When it was their turn, Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. The moment Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them even though nearly 20 years had passed since last he saw them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke gruffly to them.

Joseph: Where do you come from?

Joseph’s Brothers: We come from the land of Canaan to buy food.

Although Joseph recognized them, they did not recognize him. He then remembered the dreams he had as a young man regarding his brothers.

Joseph: You are spies! You have come to see how this famine has weakened our defenses so you can attack us.

Joseph’s Brothers: 10 No, my lord. We, your servants, have only come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man, and we are honest men. We are not spies.

Joseph: 12 No. I think you have come to scout out our land and defenses.

Joseph’s Brothers: 13 My lord, we are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest, however, is with our father back home, and one brother is no longer with us.

Joseph: 14 I don’t believe you. My accusation is true; you are surely spies! 15-16 But let’s see if your story is true. Here is how you will be tested: as surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here! Choose one of you to go and bring your brother to me while the rest of you remain locked up in prison. I want to see if you are telling me the truth. If he doesn’t come back with your brother, as Pharaoh lives, then I know you are truly spies.

17 Then Joseph put all ten of his brothers in prison for three days.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Matthew 13:24-46

Our Father in heaven plants many seeds in order to ensure that some seeds bear fruit. The final harvest, however, is worth any amount of hard work.

24 Jesus told them another parable.

Jesus: The kingdom of heaven is like this: Once there was a farmer who sowed good seeds in his field. 25 While the farmer’s workers were sleeping, his enemy crept into the field and sowed weeds among all the wheat seeds. Then he snuck away again. 26 Eventually the crops grew—wheat, but also weeds. 27 So the farmer’s workers said to him, “Sir, why didn’t you sow good seeds in your field? Where did these weeds come from?”

28 “My enemy must have done this,” replied the farmer.

“Should we go pull up all the weeds?” asked his workers.

29 “No,” said the farmer. “It’s too risky. As you pull up the weeds, you would probably pull up some wheat as well. 30 We’ll let them both grow until harvesttime. I will tell the harvesters to collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, and only then to harvest the wheat and bring it to my barn.”

31 Jesus told them another parable.

Jesus: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a sower took and planted in his field. 32 Mustard seeds are minute, tiny—but the seeds grow into trees. Flocks of birds can come and build their nests in the branches.

33 And Jesus told a fourth parable.

Jesus: Imagine a woman preparing a loaf of bread. The kingdom of heaven is like the leaven she folds into her dough. She kneads and kneads until the leaven is worked into all the dough.

Without the leaven, the dough remains flat. But the secret is the almost invisible leaven making her loaves fluff and rise.

34 Jesus gave all these teachings to the crowd in parables. Indeed, He spoke only in parables 35 in fulfillment of the prophetic words of the psalms:

I will open My mouth in parables;
I will tell them things that have been hidden and obscure since the very beginning of the world.[a]

36 Then Jesus left the crowds and returned to His house. His disciples followed Him.

Disciples: Explain to us the story You told about the weeds.

Jesus: 37 The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world; the good seed represents the children of the Kingdom. The weeds—who do you think the weeds are? They are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who threw the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the workers are God’s heavenly messengers. 40 In the parable, I told you the weeds would be pulled up and burned—well, that is how it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send His messengers out into the world, and they will root out from His kingdom everything that is poisonous, ugly, and malicious, and everyone who does evil. 42 They will throw all that wickedness into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. 43 And the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that is hidden in a field. A crafty man found the treasure buried there and buried it again so no one would know where it was. Thrilled, he went off and sold everything he had, and then he came back and bought the field with the hidden treasure part of the bargain.

45 Or the kingdom of heaven is like a jeweler on the lookout for the finest pearls. 46 When he found a pearl more beautiful and valuable than any jewel he had ever seen, the jeweler sold all he had and bought that pearl, his pearl of great price.


  1. 13:35 Psalm 78:2
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 18:1-15

Psalm 18

For the worship leader. A song of David, the Eternal One’s servant, who addressed these words to the Eternal after He had rescued him from Saul and his other enemies.

This Davidic psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22. It expresses gratitude to God for saving him.

I love You, Eternal One, source of my power.
The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation;
He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide,
my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower.
I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.

The bonds of death encircled me;
the currents of destruction tugged at me;
The sorrows of the grave wrap around me;
the traps of death lay in wait for me.

In my time of need, I called to the Eternal;
I begged my True God for help.
He heard my voice echo up to His temple,
and my cry came to His ears.

Because of His great anger, the earth shook and staggered;
the roots of the mountains shifted.
Smoke poured out from His nose,
and devouring fire burst from His mouth.
Coals glowed from Him.
He bent the heavens and descended;
inky darkness was beneath His feet.
10 He rode upon a heavenly creature,[a] flying;
He was carried quickly on the wings of the wind.
11 He took darkness as His hiding place—
both the dark waters of the seas and the dark clouds of the sky.
12 Out from His brilliance
hailstones and burning coals
broke through the clouds.
13 The Eternal thundered in the heavens;
the Highest spoke; His voice rumbled [in the midst of hail and lightning].[b]
14 He shot forth His arrows and scattered the wicked;
He flung forth His lightning and struck them.
15 Then the deepest channels of the seas were visible,
and the very foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Eternal One,
at the blast of wind from Your nostrils.


  1. 18:10 Hebrew, cherub
  2. 18:13 Greek manuscripts and some Hebrew manuscripts omit this portion.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 4:1-6

It’s perfectly natural to envy those who are successful. It’s even natural to want to imitate them. But what about those who’ve gotten ahead by doing the wrong thing? Sometimes it seems crime does pay, the good do die young, and the wicked do have more fun. But it only appears this way; it is not reality. In reality the success of wrongdoers is short-lived. God is against them, and their house is built on the sand. Even if it seems to be a grand house, it will soon come crashing down.

Gather, children, to hear your father’s instruction.
Pay close attention so you will understand,
For I am passing down to you important precepts.
Do not abandon these valuable life lessons.
Back when I was young—the very image of my father,
and yet from my mother’s view, still her only boy—
My father, with his years of experience, became my teacher.

Father: Son, grab on to every word I say to you—hold them close—
stay true to my instructions as you live, and they will serve you well.
Whatever it takes to gain Wisdom, do it.
To gain understanding, do it! Never forget this!
Never stray from what I am telling you.
If you don’t forsake Lady Wisdom, she will protect you.
Love her, and she will faithfully take care of you.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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