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Genesis 44:1-45:28; Matthew 14:13–36; Psalms 18:35-50; Proverbs 4:11-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Genesis 44-45

The Missing Cup

44 1-2 Later, Joseph told the servant in charge of his house, “Fill the men’s grain sacks with as much as they can hold and put their money in the sacks. Also put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother.” The servant did as he was told.

Early the next morning, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. But they had not gone far from the city when Joseph told the servant, “Go after those men! When you catch them, say, ‘My master has been good to you. So why have you stolen his silver cup? Not only does he drink from his cup, but he also uses it to learn about the future. You have done a terrible thing.’”

When the servant caught up with them, he said exactly what Joseph had told him to say. But they replied, “Sir, why do you say such things? We would never do anything like that! We even returned the money we found in our grain sacks when we got back to Canaan. So why would we want to steal any silver or gold from your master’s house? If you find that one of us has the cup, then kill him, and the rest of us will become your slaves.”

10 “Good!” the man replied, “I’ll do what you have said. But only the one who has the cup will become my slave. The rest of you can go free.”

11 Each of the brothers quickly put his sack on the ground and opened it. 12 Joseph’s servant started searching the sacks, beginning with the one that belonged to the oldest brother. When he came to Benjamin’s sack, he found the cup. 13 This upset the brothers so much that they began tearing their clothes in sorrow. Then they loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers got there, Joseph was still at home. So they bowed down to Joseph, 15 who asked them, “What have you done? Didn’t you know I could find out?”

16 “Sir, what can we say?” Judah replied. “How can we prove we are innocent? God has shown that we are guilty. And now all of us are your slaves, especially the one who had the cup.”

17 Joseph told them, “I would never punish all of you. Only the one who was caught with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to go home to your father.”

Judah Pleads for Benjamin

18 Judah went over to Joseph and said:

Sir, you have as much power as the king[a] himself, and I am only your slave. Please don’t get angry if I speak. 19 You asked us if our father was still alive and if we had any more brothers. 20 So we told you, “Our father is a very old man. In fact, he was already old when Benjamin was born. Benjamin’s brother is dead. Now Benjamin is the only one of the two brothers who is still alive, and our father loves him very much.”

21 You ordered us to bring him here, so you could see him for yourself. 22 We told you that our father would die if Benjamin left him. 23 But you warned us that we could never see you again, unless our youngest brother came with us. 24 So we returned to our father and reported what you had said.

25 Later our father told us to come back here and buy more grain. 26 But we answered, “We can’t go back to Egypt without our youngest brother. We will never be let in to see the governor, unless he is with us.”

27 Sir, our father then reminded us that his favorite wife had given birth to two sons. 28 One of them was already missing and had not been seen for a long time. My father thinks the boy was torn to pieces by some wild animal, 29 and he said, “I am an old man. If you take Benjamin from me, and something happens to him, I will die of a broken heart.”

30 That’s why Benjamin must be with us when I go back to my father. He loves him so much 31 that he will die if Benjamin doesn’t come back with me. 32 I promised my father that I would bring him safely home. If I don’t, I told my father he could blame me the rest of my life.

33 Sir, I am your slave. Please let me stay here in place of Benjamin and let him return home with his brothers. 34 How can I face my father if Benjamin isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father in such sorrow.

Joseph Tells His Brothers Who He Is

45 Since Joseph could no longer control his feelings in front of his servants, he sent them out of the room. When he was alone with his brothers, he told them, “I am Joseph.” Then he cried so loudly that the Egyptians heard him and told about it in the king’s[b] palace.

Joseph asked his brothers if his father was still alive, but they were too frightened to answer. Joseph told them to come closer to him, and when they did, he said:

Yes, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. Don’t worry or blame yourselves for what you did. God is the one who sent me ahead of you to save lives.

There has already been a famine for two years, and for five more years no one will plow fields or harvest grain. But God sent me on ahead of you to keep your families alive and to save you in this wonderful way. After all, you weren’t really the ones who sent me here—it was God. He made me the highest official in the king’s court and placed me over all Egypt.

Now hurry back and tell my father that his son Joseph says, “God has made me ruler of Egypt. Come here as quickly as you can. 10 You will live near me in the region of Goshen with your children and grandchildren, as well as with your sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else you own. 11 I will take care of you there during the next five years of famine. But if you don’t come, you and your family and your animals will starve to death.”

12 All of you, including my brother Benjamin, can tell by what I have said that I really am Joseph. 13 Tell my father about my great power here in Egypt and about everything you have seen. Hurry and bring him here.

14 Joseph and Benjamin hugged each other and started crying. 15 Joseph was still crying as he kissed each of his other brothers. After this, they started talking with Joseph.

16 When it was told in the palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, the king and his officials were happy. 17 So the king said to Joseph:

Tell your brothers to load their donkeys and return to Canaan. 18 Have them bring their father and their families here. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they can eat and enjoy everything that grows on it. 19 Also tell your brothers to take some wagons from Egypt for their wives and children to ride in. And be sure to have them bring their father. 20 They can leave their possessions behind, because they will be given the best of everything in Egypt.

21 Jacob’s sons agreed to do what the king had said. And Joseph gave them wagons and food for their trip home, just as the king had ordered. 22 Joseph gave some new clothes to each of his brothers, but to Benjamin he gave five new outfits and three hundred pieces of silver. 23 To his father he sent ten donkeys loaded with the best things in Egypt, and ten other donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other food for the return trip. 24 Then he sent his brothers off and told them, “Don’t argue on the way home!”

25 Joseph’s brothers left Egypt, and when they arrived in Canaan, 26 they told their father that Joseph was still alive and was the ruler of Egypt. But their father was so surprised that he could not believe them. 27 Then they told him everything Joseph had said. When he saw the wagons Joseph had sent, he felt much better 28 and said, “Now I can believe you! My son Joseph must really be alive, and I will get to see him before I die.”

Footnotes:

  1. 44.18; 45.2; 46.5-7 the king: See the note at 12.15.
  2. 44.18; 45.2; 46.5-7 the king: See the note at 12.15.
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Matthew 14:13-36

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

13 After Jesus heard about John, he crossed Lake Galilee[a] to go to some place where he could be alone. But the crowds found out and followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed everyone who was sick.

15 That evening the disciples came to Jesus and said, “This place is like a desert, and it is already late. Let the crowds leave, so they can go to the villages and buy some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They don’t have to leave. Why don’t you give them something to eat?”

17 But they said, “We have only five small loaves of bread[b] and two fish.” 18 Jesus asked his disciples to bring the food to him, 19 and he told the crowd to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and handed it to his disciples, and they gave it to the people.

20 After everyone had eaten all they wanted, Jesus' disciples picked up twelve large baskets of leftovers.

21 There were about five thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children.

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Right away, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and start back across the lake.[c] But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away. 23 Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later that evening, he was still there.

24 By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves. 25 A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples. 26 When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming.

27 At once, Jesus said to them, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.”

28 Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

30 But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31 Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don’t have much faith. Why do you doubt?”

32 When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. 33 The men in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!”

Jesus Heals Sick People in Gennesaret

34 Jesus and his disciples crossed the lake and came to shore near the town of Gennesaret. 35 The people found out that he was there, and they sent word to everyone who lived in that part of the country. So they brought all the sick people to Jesus. 36 They begged him just to let them touch his clothes, and everyone who did was healed.

Footnotes:

  1. 14.13 crossed Lake Galilee: To the east side.
  2. 14.17 small loaves of bread: These would have been flat and round or in the shape of a bun.
  3. 14.22 back across the lake: To the west side.
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Psalm 18:35-50

35 You alone are my shield.
    Your right hand supports me,
    and by coming to help me,
    you have made me famous.
36 You clear the way for me,
    and now I won’t stumble.

37 I kept chasing my enemies,
    until I caught them
    and destroyed them.
38 I stuck my sword
    through my enemies,
    and they were crushed
    under my feet.
39 You helped me win victories,
    and you forced my attackers
    to fall victim to me.

40 You made my enemies run,
    and I killed them.
41 They cried out for help,
    but no one saved them;
    they called out to you,
    but there was no answer.
42 I ground them to dust
    blown by the wind,
    and I poured them out
    like mud in the streets.

43 You rescued me
    from stubborn people,
and you made me the leader
of foreign nations,
    who are now my slaves.
44 They obey and come crawling.
45     They have lost all courage,
    and from their fortresses,
    they come trembling.

46 You are the living Lord!
    I will praise you.
You are a mighty rock.[a]
    I will honor you
    for keeping me safe.
47 You took revenge for me,
    and you put nations
    in my power.
48 You protected me
    from violent enemies
    and made me much greater
    than all of them.

49 I will praise you, Lord,
    and I will honor you
    among the nations.
50 You give glorious victories
    to your chosen king.
Your faithful love for David
    and for his descendants
    will never end.

Footnotes:

  1. 18.31,46; 19.14 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
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Proverbs 4:11-13

11 I have shown you the way
    that makes sense;
    I have guided you
    along the right path.
12 Your road won’t be blocked,
    and you won’t stumble
    when you run.
13 Hold firmly to my teaching
and never let go.
    It will mean life for you.

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