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Genesis 48:1-49:33; Matthew 15:29-16:12; Psalms 20:1-9; Proverbs 4:20-27 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Genesis 48-49

Jacob [Israel] Blesses Joseph’s Two Sons

48 Later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim to see Jacob. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph is here to see you,” Israel gathered his strength and sat up in bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in Canaan and blessed me. He said to me, ‘I will make you fertile and increase the number of your descendants so that you will become a community of people. I will give this land to your descendants as a permanent possession.’

“So your two sons, who were born in Egypt before I came here, are my sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine just as Reuben and Simeon are. Any other children you have after them will be yours. They will inherit the land listed under their brothers’ names. As I was coming back from Paddan, Rachel died in Canaan when we were still some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are they?”

“They are my sons, whom God has given me here in Egypt,” Joseph answered his father.

Then Israel said, “Please bring them to me so that I may bless them.”

10 Israel’s eyesight was failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to his father, and Israel hugged them and kissed them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see you again, and now God has even let me see your sons.”

12 Joseph took them off his father’s lap and bowed with his face touching the ground. 13 Then Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right, facing Israel’s left, and Manasseh on his left, facing Israel’s right, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel crossed his hands and reached out. He put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, although Ephraim was the younger son. He put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was older.

15 Then Jacob blessed Joseph,

“May God, in whose presence my grandfather Abraham
    and my father Isaac walked,
may God, who has been my shepherd all my life to this very day,
16 may the Messenger, who has rescued me from all evil,
    bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
    and by the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac.
May they have many children on the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he didn’t like it. So he took his father’s hand in order to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18 Then he said to his father, “That’s not right, Father! This is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

19 His father refused and said, “I know, Son, I know! Manasseh, too, will become a nation, and he, too, will be important. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be more important than he, and his descendants will become many nations.”

20 That day he blessed them. He said,

“Because of you, Israel will speak this blessing,
    ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!’”

In this way Israel put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now I’m about to die, but God will be with you. He will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 I’m giving you one more mountain ridge than your brothers. I took it from the Amorites with my own sword and bow.”

Jacob [Israel] Blesses His 12 Sons

49 Jacob called for his sons and said, “Come here, and let me tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.

“Gather around and listen, sons of Jacob.
    Listen to your father Israel.

Reuben, you are my firstborn,
    my strength, the very first son I had,
        first in majesty and first in power.
You will no longer be first
    because you were out of control like a flood
        and you climbed into your father’s bed.
            Then you dishonored it.
        He climbed up on my couch.

Simeon and Levi are brothers.
    Their swords[a] are weapons of violence.
Do not let me attend their secret meetings.
Do not let me join their assembly.
    In their anger they murdered men.
    At their whim they crippled cattle.
May their anger be cursed because it’s so fierce.
May their fury be cursed because it’s so cruel.
    I will divide them among the sons of Jacob
        and scatter them among the tribes of Israel.

Judah, your brothers will praise you.
    Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies.
Your father’s sons will bow down to you.
Judah, you are a lion cub.
    You have come back from the kill, my son.
He lies down and rests like a lion.
He is like a lioness. Who dares to disturb him?
10 A scepter will never depart from Judah
    nor a ruler’s staff from between his feet
        until Shiloh comes
            and the people obey him.
11 He will tie his donkey to a grapevine,
    his colt to the best vine.
He will wash his clothes in wine,
    his garments in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine.
His teeth are whiter than milk.

13 Zebulun will live by the coast.
He will have ships by the coast.
    His border will go as far as Sidon.

14 Issachar is a strong donkey,
    lying down between the saddlebags.
15 When he sees that his resting place is good
    and that the land is pleasant,
        he will bend his back to the burden
            and will become a slave laborer.

16 Dan will hand down decisions[b] for his people
        as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan will be a snake on a road,
    a viper on a path,
        that bites a horse’s heels
            so that its rider falls off backwards.

18 “I wait with hope for you to rescue me, O Lord.

19 Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,
    but he will strike back at their heels.

20 Asher’s food will be rich.
    He will provide delicacies fit for a king.

21 Naphtali is a doe set free
    that has beautiful fawns.

22 Joseph is a fruitful tree,
    a fruitful tree by a spring,
        with branches climbing over a wall.
23 Archers provoked him,
    shot at him,
        and attacked him.
24 But his bow stayed steady, and his arms remained limber
    because of the help of the Mighty One of Jacob,
    because of the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25     because of the God of your father who helps you,
    because of the Almighty who gives you
        blessings from the heavens above,
        blessings from the deep springs below the ground,
        blessings from breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father are greater than
    the blessings of the oldest mountains
        and the riches of the ancient hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
    on the crown of the prince among his brothers.

27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.
    In the morning he devours his prey.
    In the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 These are the 12 tribes of Israel and what their father said to them when he gave each of them his special blessing.

29 Then he gave them these instructions, “I am about to join my ancestors in death. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 Abraham bought the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, east of Mamre in Canaan, from Ephron the Hittite to use as a tomb. 31 Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there. Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there. I also buried Leah there. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”

33 When Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons, he pulled his feet into his bed. He took his last breath and joined his ancestors in death.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 49:5 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  2. Genesis 49:16 There is a play on words here between Hebrew Dan and yadin (he will hand down decisions).
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Matthew 15:29-16:12

29 Jesus moved on from there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up a mountain and sat there.

30 A large crowd came to him, bringing with them the lame, blind, disabled, those unable to talk, and many others. They laid them at his feet, and he cured them. 31 The crowd was amazed to see mute people talking, the disabled cured, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. So they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus Feeds More Than Four Thousand

32 Jesus called his disciples and said, “I feel sorry for the people. They have been with me three days now and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they may become exhausted on their way home.”

33 His disciples asked him, “Where could we get enough bread to feed such a crowd in this place where no one lives?”

34 Jesus asked them, “How many loaves of bread do you have?”

They answered, “Seven, and a few small fish.”

35 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks to God. Then he broke the bread and gave it to the disciples, and they gave the bread and fish to the people.

37 All of them ate as much as they wanted. The disciples picked up the leftover pieces and filled seven large baskets. 38 Four thousand men had eaten. (This number does not include the women and children who had eaten.)

39 After he sent the people on their way, Jesus stepped into the boat and came to the territory of Magadan.

The Pharisees Ask for a Sign from Heaven

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus. So they asked him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven.

He responded to them, “In the evening you say that the weather will be fine because the sky is red. And in the morning you say that there will be a storm today because the sky is red and overcast. You can forecast the weather by judging the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

“Evil and unfaithful people look for a miraculous sign. But the only sign they will be given is that of Jonah.”

Then he left them standing there and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees

The disciples had forgotten to take any bread along when they went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus said to them, “Be careful! Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!”

The disciples had been discussing among themselves that they had not taken any bread along.

Jesus knew about their conversation and asked, “Why are you discussing among yourselves that you don’t have any bread? You have so little faith! Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many baskets you filled? 10 Don’t you remember the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many large baskets you filled? 11 Why don’t you understand that I wasn’t talking to you about bread? Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!”

12 Then they understood that he didn’t say to watch out for the yeast in bread, but to watch out for the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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Psalm 20

Psalm 20

For the choir director; a psalm by David.

The Lord will answer you in times of trouble.
The name of the God of Jacob will protect you.
He will send you help from his holy place
    and support you from Zion.
He will remember all your grain offerings
    and look with favor on your burnt offerings. Selah
He will give you your heart’s desire
    and carry out all your plans.

We will joyfully sing about your victory.
We will wave our flags in the name of our God.
The Lord will fulfill all your requests.

Now I know that the Lord will give victory to his anointed king.
    He will answer him from his holy heaven
        with mighty deeds of his powerful hand.
Some rely on chariots and others on horses,
    but we will boast in the name of the Lord our God.
        They will sink to their knees and fall,
            but we will rise and stand firm.

Give victory to the king, O Lord.
    Answer us when we call.

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Proverbs 4:20-27

Stay Focused on Wisdom

20 My son,
    pay attention to my words.
    Open your ears to what I say.
21     Do not lose sight of these things.
    Keep them deep within your heart
22         because they are life to those who find them
            and they heal the whole body.
23     Guard your heart more than anything else,
        because the source of your life flows from it.
24     Remove dishonesty from your mouth.
    Put deceptive speech far away from your lips.
25     Let your eyes look straight ahead
        and your sight be focused in front of you.
26     Carefully walk a straight path,
        and all your ways will be secure.
27     Do not lean to the right or to the left.
    Walk away from evil.

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GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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