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Genesis 41:17-42:17; Matthew 13:24-46; Psalms 18:1-15; Proverbs 4:1-6 (Good News Translation)

Genesis 41:17-42

17 The king said, “I dreamed that I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the river and began feeding on the grass. 19 Then seven other cows came up which were thin and bony. They were the poorest cows I have ever seen anywhere in Egypt. 20 The thin cows ate up the fat ones, 21 but no one would have known it, because they looked just as bad as before. Then I woke up. 22 I also dreamed that I saw seven heads of grain which were full and ripe, growing on one stalk. 23 Then seven heads of grain sprouted, thin and scorched by the desert wind, 24 and the thin heads of grain swallowed the full ones. I told the dreams to the magicians, but none of them could explain them to me.”

25 Joseph said to the king, “The two dreams mean the same thing; God has told you what he is going to do. 26 The seven fat cows are seven years, and the seven full heads of grain are also seven years; they have the same meaning. 27 The seven thin cows which came up later and the seven thin heads of grain scorched by the desert wind are seven years of famine. 28 It is just as I told you—God has shown you what he is going to do. 29 There will be seven years of great plenty in all the land of Egypt. 30 After that, there will be seven years of famine, and all the good years will be forgotten, because the famine will ruin the country. 31 The time of plenty will be entirely forgotten, because the famine which follows will be so terrible. 32 The repetition of your dream means that the matter is fixed by God and that he will make it happen in the near future.

33 “Now you should choose some man with wisdom and insight and put him in charge of the country. 34 You must also appoint other officials and take a fifth of the crops during the seven years of plenty. 35 Order them to collect all the food during the good years that are coming, and give them authority to store up grain in the cities and guard it. 36 The food will be a reserve supply for the country during the seven years of famine which are going to come on Egypt. In this way the people will not starve.”

Joseph Is Made Governor over Egypt

37 The king and his officials approved this plan, 38 and he said to them, “We will never find a better man than Joseph, a man who has God's spirit in him.” 39 The king said to Joseph, “God has shown you all this, so it is obvious that you have greater wisdom and insight than anyone else. 40 I will put you in charge of my country, and all my people will obey your orders. Your authority will be second only to mine. 41 I now appoint you governor over all Egypt.” 42 The king removed from his finger the ring engraved with the royal seal and put it on Joseph's finger. He put a fine linen robe on him, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43 He gave him the second royal chariot to ride in, and his guard of honor went ahead of him and cried out, “Make way! Make way!” And so Joseph was appointed governor over all Egypt. 44 The king said to him, “I am the king—and no one in all Egypt shall so much as lift a hand or a foot without your permission.” 45-46 He gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath Paneah, and he gave him a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of Heliopolis.

Joseph was thirty years old when he began to serve the king of Egypt. He left the king's court and traveled all over the land. 47 During the seven years of plenty the land produced abundant crops, 48 all of which Joseph collected and stored in the cities. In each city he stored the food from the fields around it. 49 There was so much grain that Joseph stopped measuring it—it was like the sand of the sea.

50 Before the years of famine came, Joseph had two sons by Asenath. 51 He said, “God has made me forget all my sufferings and all my father's family”; so he named his first son Manasseh.[a] 52 He also said, “God has given me children in the land of my trouble”; so he named his second son Ephraim.[b]

53 The seven years of plenty that the land of Egypt had enjoyed came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every other country, but there was food throughout Egypt. 55 When the Egyptians began to be hungry, they cried out to the king for food. So he ordered them to go to Joseph and do what he told them. 56 The famine grew worse and spread over the whole country, so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians. 57 People came to Egypt from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.

Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt to Buy Grain

42 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why don't you do something? I hear that there is grain in Egypt; go there and buy some to keep us from starving to death.” So Joseph's ten half brothers went to buy grain in Egypt, but Jacob did not send Joseph's full brother Benjamin with them, because he was afraid that something might happen to him.

The sons of Jacob came with others to buy grain, because there was famine in the land of Canaan. Joseph, as governor of the land of Egypt, was selling grain to people from all over the world. So Joseph's brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he acted as if he did not know them. He asked them harshly, “Where do you come from?”

“We have come from Canaan to buy food,” they answered.

Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. He remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them and said, “You are spies; you have come to find out where our country is weak.”

10 “No, sir,” they answered. “We have come as your slaves, to buy food. 11 We are all brothers. We are not spies, sir, we are honest men.”

12 Joseph said to them, “No! You have come to find out where our country is weak.”

13 They said, “We were twelve brothers in all, sir, sons of the same man in the land of Canaan. One brother is dead, and the youngest is now with our father.”

14 “It is just as I said,” Joseph answered. “You are spies. 15 This is how you will be tested: I swear by the name of the king that you will never leave unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 One of you must go and get him. The rest of you will be kept under guard until the truth of what you say can be tested. Otherwise, as sure as the king lives, you are spies.” 17 With that, he put them in prison for three days.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 41:51 This name sounds like the Hebrew for “cause to forget.”
  2. Genesis 41:52 This name sounds like the Hebrew for “give children.”
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Matthew 13:24-46

The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man sowed good seed in his field. 25 One night, when everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 When the plants grew and the heads of grain began to form, then the weeds showed up. 27 The man's servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, it was good seed you sowed in your field; where did the weeds come from?’ 28 ‘It was some enemy who did this,’ he answered. ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’ they asked him. 29 ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because as you gather the weeds you might pull up some of the wheat along with them. 30 Let the wheat and the weeds both grow together until harvest. Then I will tell the harvest workers to pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them, and then to gather in the wheat and put it in my barn.’”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

31 Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches.”

The Parable of the Yeast

33 Jesus told them still another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.”

Jesus' Use of Parables

34 Jesus used parables to tell all these things to the crowds; he would not say a thing to them without using a parable. 35 He did this to make come true what the prophet had said,

“I will use parables when I speak to them;
    I will tell them things unknown since the creation of the world.”

Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds

36 When Jesus had left the crowd and gone indoors, his disciples came to him and said, “Tell us what the parable about the weeds in the field means.”

37 Jesus answered, “The man who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world; the good seed is the people who belong to the Kingdom; the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One; 39 and the enemy who sowed the weeds is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvest workers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of the age: 41 the Son of Man will send out his angels to gather up out of his Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things, 42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth. 43 [a]Then God's people will shine like the sun in their Father's Kingdom. Listen, then, if you have ears!

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44 “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man happens to find a treasure hidden in a field. He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has, and then goes back and buys that field.

The Parable of the Pearl

45 “Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls, 46 and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:43 2Esd 7:97
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Psalm 18:1-15

David's Song of Victory[a]

18 How I love you, Lord!
    You are my defender.

The Lord is my protector;
    he is my strong fortress.
My God is my protection,
    and with him I am safe.
He protects me like a shield;
    he defends me and keeps me safe.
I call to the Lord,
    and he saves me from my enemies.
Praise the Lord!

The danger of death was all around me;
    the waves of destruction rolled over me.
The danger of death was around me,
    and the grave set its trap for me.
In my trouble I called to the Lord;
    I called to my God for help.
In his temple he heard my voice;
    he listened to my cry for help.

Then the earth trembled and shook;
    the foundations of the mountains rocked and quivered,
    because God was angry.
Smoke poured out of his nostrils,
    a consuming flame and burning coals from his mouth.
He tore the sky open and came down
    with a dark cloud under his feet.
10 He flew swiftly on his winged creature;[b]
    he traveled on the wings of the wind.
11 He covered himself with darkness;
    thick clouds, full of water, surrounded him.
12 Hailstones and flashes of fire
    came from the lightning before him
    and broke through the dark clouds.

13 Then the Lord thundered from the sky;
    and the voice of the Most High was heard.[c]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
    with flashes of lightning he sent them running.
15 The floor of the ocean was laid bare,
    and the foundations of the earth were uncovered,
when you rebuked your enemies, Lord,
    and roared at them in anger.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 18:1 HEBREW TITLE: The words that David, the Lord's servant, sang to the Lord on the day the Lord saved him from Saul and all his other enemies.
  2. Psalm 18:10 See Word List.
  3. Psalm 18:13 One ancient translation (and see 2 S 22.14) was heard; Hebrew was heard hailstones and flashes of fire.
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Proverbs 4:1-6

The Benefits of Wisdom

My children, listen to what your father teaches you. Pay attention, and you will have understanding. What I am teaching you is good, so remember it all. When I was only a little boy, my parents' only son, my father would teach me. He would say, “Remember what I say and never forget it. Do as I tell you, and you will live. Get wisdom and insight! Do not forget or ignore what I say. Do not abandon wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will keep you safe.

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