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Genesis 42:18-43:34; Matthew 13:47-14:12; Psalms 18:16-34; Proverbs 4:7-10 (Common English Bible)

Genesis 42:18-43:34

18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I’m a God-fearing man. 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay in prison, and the rest of you, go, take grain back to those in your households who are hungry. 20 But bring your youngest brother back to me so that your words will prove true and you won’t die.”

So they prepared to do this. 21 The brothers said to each other, “We are clearly guilty for what we did to our brother when we saw his life in danger and when he begged us for mercy, but we didn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this danger now.”

22 Reuben responded to them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t do anything wrong to the boy’? But you wouldn’t listen. So now this is payback for his death.” 23 They didn’t know that Joseph was listening to them because they were using an interpreter. 24 He stepped away from them and wept. When he returned, he spoke with them again. Then he took Simeon from them and tied him up in front of them.

25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put back each man’s silver into his own sack, and to give them provisions for their trip, and it was done. 26 They loaded their grain onto their donkeys, and they set out. 27 When they stopped to spend the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey, and he saw his silver at the top of his sack. 28 He said to his brothers, “My silver’s been returned. It’s right here in my sack.” Their hearts stopped. Terrified, they said to each other, “What has God done to us?”

29 When they got back to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they described to him everything that had happened to them: 30 “The man, the country’s governor, spoke to us with a harsh tone and accused us of being spies in the country. 31 We told him, ‘We’re honest men, not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, all our father’s sons. One of us is gone, but the youngest is right now with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33 The man, the country’s governor, told us, ‘This is how I will know you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers with me, take grain for those in your households who are hungry, and go. 34 But bring back your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you are not spies but honest men. I will give your brother back to you, and you may travel throughout the country.’”

35 When they opened their sacks, each man found a pouch of his silver in his sack. When they and their father saw their pouches of silver, they were afraid. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You’ve taken my children from me. Joseph’s gone. Simeon’s gone. And you are taking Benjamin. All this can’t really be happening to me!”

37 Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I don’t bring him back to you. Make him my responsibility, and I will make sure he returns to you.”

38 But Jacob said to him, “My son won’t go down with you because his brother’s dead and he’s been left all alone. If anything were to happen to him on the trip you are taking, you would send me—old as I am—to my grave in grief.”

Joseph’s brothers return with Benjamin

43 The famine was severe in the land, and when they had eaten all the grain that they brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little food.”

Judah said to him, “The man was absolutely serious when he said, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’ If you agree to send our brother with us, then we will go down and buy you food. But if you don’t agree to send him, then we can’t go down because the man said to us, ‘You may not see me again without your brother with you.’”

Israel said, “Why have you caused me such pain by telling the man you had another brother?”

They said, “The man asked us pointedly about our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have a brother?’ So we told him just what we’ve said. How were we to know he’d say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”

Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the young man with me. Let’s get ready to leave so that we can stay alive and not die—we, you, and our children. I will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible. If I don’t bring him back to you and place him here in front of you, it will be my fault forever. 10 If we hadn’t waited so long, we would’ve returned twice by now.”

11 Their father Israel said to them, “If it has to be, then do this. Take in your bags some of the land’s choice produce, and bring it down to the man as a gift: a little medicinal resin, a little honey, gum, resin, pistachios, and almonds. 12 Take twice as much silver with you, and take back the silver returned in the top of your sacks. It might have been a mistake. 13 And take your brother, get ready, and go back to the man. 14 May God Almighty[a] make the man compassionate toward you so that he may send back our other brother and Benjamin with you. But me, if I’m left childless, then I’m left childless.”

15 So the men took this gift. They took twice as much silver with them, together with Benjamin. They left, traveled down to Egypt, and received an audience with Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “Bring the men to the house and slaughter an animal and prepare it because the men will have dinner with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.

18 When they were brought to Joseph’s house, the men were frightened and said, “We’ve been brought here because of the silver put back in our sacks on our first trip so he can overpower us, capture us, make slaves of us, and take our donkeys.”

19 They approached the man who was Joseph’s household manager and spoke to him at the house’s entrance: 20 “Please, Master, we came down the first time just to buy food, 21 but when we stopped to spend the night and opened our sacks, there was the exact amount of each man’s silver at the top of his sack. We’ve brought it back with us, 22 and we’ve brought down with us additional silver to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”

23 He said, “You are fine. Don’t be afraid. Your God and your father’s God must have hidden a treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

24 The manager brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and feed for their donkeys. 25 They prepared the gift, anticipating Joseph’s arrival at noon, since they had heard that they would have a meal there. 26 When Joseph came into the house, they presented him the gift they had brought with them into the house, and they bowed low in front of him. 27 He asked them how they were and said, “How is your elderly father, about whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”

28 They said, “Your servant our father is fine. He’s still alive.” And they bowed down again with deep respect.

29 Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, and he said, “Is this your youngest brother whom you told me about? God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Joseph’s feelings for his brother were so strong he was about to weep, so he rushed to another room and wept there. 31 He washed his face, came back, pulled himself together, and said, “Set out the dinner.” 32 So they set out his food by himself, their food by themselves, and the Egyptians’ who ate with him by themselves because Egyptians don’t allow themselves to eat with Hebrews; the Egyptians think it beneath their dignity. 33 They were seated in front of him from the oldest to the youngest in their exact birth order, and the men looked at each other with amazement. 34 Portions of food from Joseph’s table were brought to them, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as large as theirs. So they drank together and were at ease.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 43:14 Heb El Shaddai or God of the Mountain
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Matthew 13:47-14:12

Parable of the net

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that people threw into the lake and gathered all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, they pulled it to the shore, where they sat down and put the good fish together into containers. But the bad fish they threw away. 49 That’s the way it will be at the end of the present age. The angels will go out and separate the evil people from the righteous people, 50 and will throw the evil ones into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.

Treasures new and old

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

They said to him, “Yes.”

52 Then he said to them, “Therefore, every legal expert who has been trained as a disciple for the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings old and new things out of their treasure chest.”

Jesus in his hometown

53 When Jesus finished these parables, he departed. 54 When he came to his hometown, he taught the people in their synagogue. They were surprised and said, “Where did he get this wisdom? Where did he get the power to work miracles? 55 Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother named Mary? Aren’t James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? 56 And his sisters, aren’t they here with us? Where did this man get all this?” 57 They were repulsed by him and fell into sin.

But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns and in their own households.” 58 He was unable to do many miracles there because of their disbelief.

Death of John the Baptist

14 At that time Herod the ruler[a] heard the news about Jesus. He said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He’s been raised from the dead. This is why these miraculous powers are at work through him.” Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother Philip.

That’s because John told Herod, “It’s against the law for you to marry her.”

Although Herod wanted to kill him, he feared the crowd because they thought John was a prophet. But at Herod’s birthday party Herodias’ daughter danced in front of the guests and thrilled Herod. Then he swore to give her anything she asked.

At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a plate.” Although the king was upset, because of his solemn pledge and his guests he commanded that they give it to her. 10 Then he had John beheaded in prison. 11 They brought his head on a plate and gave it to the young woman, and she brought it to her mother. 12 But John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 14:1 Or tetrarch, which refers to a prince over a small region
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Psalm 18:16-34

16 From on high God reached down and grabbed me;
    he took me out of all that water.
17 God saved me from my powerful enemy,
    saved me from my foes,
    who were too much for me.
18 They came at me on the very day of my distress,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out to wide-open spaces;
    he pulled me out safe
    because he is pleased with me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for my righteousness;
    he restored me because my hands are clean,
21     because I have kept the Lord’s ways.
    I haven’t acted wickedly against my God.
22 All his rules are right in front of me;
    I haven’t turned away from any of his laws.
23 I have lived with integrity before him;
    I’ve kept myself from wrongdoing.
24 And so the Lord restored me for my righteousness
    because my hands are clean in his eyes.

25 You deal faithfully with the faithful;
    you show integrity
        toward the one who has integrity.
26 You are pure toward the pure,
    but toward the crooked, you are tricky.
27 You are the one who saves people who suffer
    and brings down those with proud eyes.
28 You are the one who lights my lamp—
    the Lord my God illumines my darkness.
29 With you I can charge into battle;
    with my God I can leap over a wall.
30 God! His way is perfect;
    the Lord’s word is tried and true.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

31 Now really, who is divine except the Lord?
    And who is a rock but our God?
32 Only God! The God who equips me with strength
    and makes my way perfect,
33     who makes my step as sure as the deer’s,
    who lets me stand securely on the heights,
34     who trains my hands for war
    so my arms can bend a bronze bow.

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Proverbs 4:7-10

The beginning of wisdom:
Get wisdom!
    Get understanding before anything else.
Highly esteem her, and she will exalt you.
    She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place a graceful wreath on your head;
    she will give you a glorious crown.”

Stay on the path of wisdom

10 Listen, my son, and take in my speech,
    then the years of your life will be many.

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Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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