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The Brothers Return to Egypt
43Â But the famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan.Â 2Â When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, â€œGo back and buy us a little more food.â€
3Â But Judah said, â€œThe man was serious when he warned us, â€˜You wonâ€™t see my face again unless your brother is with you.â€™4Â If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy more food.Â 5Â But if you donâ€™t let Benjamin go, we wonâ€™t go either. Remember, the man said, â€˜You wonâ€™t see my face again unless your brother is with you.â€™â€
6Â â€œWhy were you so cruel to me?â€ JacobÂ moaned. â€œWhy did you tell him you had another brother?â€
7Â â€œThe man kept asking us questions about our family,â€ they replied. â€œHe asked, â€˜Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?â€™ So we answered his questions. How could we know he would say, â€˜Bring your brother down hereâ€™?â€
8Â Judah said to his father, â€œSend the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvationâ€”and not only we, but you and our little ones.Â 9Â I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me responsible if I donâ€™t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame forever.Â 10Â If we hadnâ€™t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now.â€
11Â So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, â€œIf it canâ€™t be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as giftsâ€”balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds.12Â Also take double the money that was put back in your sacks, as it was probably someoneâ€™s mistake.Â 13Â Then take your brother, and go back to the man.Â 14Â May God AlmightyÂ give you mercy as you go before the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if I must lose my children, so be it.â€
15Â So the men packed Jacobâ€™s gifts and double the money and headed off with Benjamin. They finally arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph.Â 16Â When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, â€œThese men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside the palace. Then go slaughter an animal, and prepare a big feast.â€Â 17Â So the man did as Joseph told him and took them into Josephâ€™s palace.
18Â The brothers were terrified when they saw that they were being taken into Josephâ€™s house. â€œItâ€™s because of the money someone put in our sacks last time we were here,â€ they said. â€œHe plans to pretend that we stole it. Then he will seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.â€
A Feast at Josephâ€™s Palace
19Â The brothers approached the manager of Josephâ€™s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the palace.Â 20Â â€œSir,â€ they said, â€œwe came to Egypt once before to buy food.Â 21Â But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each manâ€™s moneyâ€”the exact amount paidâ€”was in the top of his sack! Here it is; we have brought it back with us.Â 22Â We also have additional money to buy more food. We have no idea who put our money in our sacks.â€
23Â â€œRelax. Donâ€™t be afraid,â€ the household manager told them. â€œYour God, the God of your father, must have put this treasure into your sacks. I know I received your payment.â€ Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them.
24Â The manager then led the men into Josephâ€™s palace. He gave them water to wash their feet and provided food for their donkeys.Â 25Â They were told they would be eating there, so they prepared their gifts for Josephâ€™s arrival at noon.
26Â When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him.27Â After greeting them, he asked, â€œHow is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?â€
28Â â€œYes,â€ they replied. â€œOur father, your servant, is alive and well.â€ And they bowed low again.
29Â Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. â€œIs this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?â€ Joseph asked. â€œMay God be gracious to you, my son.â€Â 30Â Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept.Â 31Â After washing his face, he came back out, keeping himself under control. Then he ordered, â€œBring out the food!â€
32Â The waiters served Joseph at his own table, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians who ate with Joseph sat at their own table, because Egyptians despise Hebrews and refuse to eat with them.Â 33Â Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them according to age, from oldest to youngest.Â 34Â And Joseph filled their plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
Josephâ€™s Silver Cup
44Â When his brothers were ready to leave, Joseph gave these instructions to his palace manager: â€œFill each of their sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each manâ€™s money back into his sack.Â 2Â Then put my personal silver cup at the top of the youngest brotherâ€™s sack, along with the money for his grain.â€ So the manager did as Joseph instructed him.
3Â The brothers were up at dawn and were sent on their journey with their loaded donkeys.Â 4Â But when they had gone only a short distance and were barely out of the city, Joseph said to his palace manager, â€œChase after them and stop them. When you catch up with them, ask them, â€˜Why have you repaid my kindness with such evil?Â 5Â Why have you stolen my masterâ€™s silver cup,Â which he uses to predict the future? What a wicked thing you have done!â€™â€
6Â When the palace manager caught up with the men, he spoke to them as he had been instructed.
7Â â€œWhat are you talking about?â€ the brothers responded. â€œWe are your servants and would never do such a thing!Â 8Â Didnâ€™t we return the money we found in our sacks? We brought it back all the way from the land of Canaan. Why would we steal silver or gold from your masterâ€™s house?Â 9Â If you find his cup with any one of us, let that man die. And all the rest of us, my lord, will be your slaves.â€
10Â â€œThatâ€™s fair,â€ the man replied. â€œBut only the one who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go free.â€
11Â They all quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and opened them.Â 12Â The palace manager searched the brothersâ€™ sacks, from the oldest to the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjaminâ€™s sack!Â 13Â When the brothers saw this, they tore their clothing in despair. Then they loaded their donkeys again and returned to the city.
14Â Joseph was still in his palace when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him.Â 15Â â€œWhat have you done?â€ Joseph demanded. â€œDonâ€™t you know that a man like me can predict the future?â€
16Â Judah answered, â€œOh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slavesâ€”all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack.â€
17Â â€œNo,â€ Joseph said. â€œI would never do such a thing! Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go back to your father in peace.â€
Judah Speaks for His Brothers
18Â Then Judah stepped forward and said, â€œPlease, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.
19Â â€œMy lord, previously you asked us, your servants, â€˜Do you have a father or a brother?â€™Â 20Â And we responded, â€˜Yes, my lord, we have a father who is an old man, and his youngest son is a child of his old age. His full brother is dead, and he alone is left of his motherâ€™s children, and his father loves him very much.â€™
21Â â€œAnd you said to us, â€˜Bring him here so I can see him with my own eyes.â€™Â 22Â But we said to you, â€˜My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father would die.â€™Â 23Â But you told us, â€˜Unless your youngest brother comes with you, you will never see my face again.â€™
24Â â€œSo we returned to your servant, our father, and told him what you had said.Â 25Â Later, when he said, â€˜Go back again and buy us more food,â€™Â 26Â we replied, â€˜We canâ€™t go unless you let our youngest brother go with us. Weâ€™ll never get to see the manâ€™s face unless our youngest brother is with us.â€™
27Â â€œThen my father said to us, â€˜As you know, my wife had two sons,Â 28Â and one of them went away and never returned. Doubtless he was torn to pieces by some wild animal. I have never seen him since.Â 29Â Now if you take his brother away from me, and any harm comes to him, you will send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.â€™
30Â â€œAnd now, my lord, I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our fatherâ€™s life is bound up in the boyâ€™s life.Â 31Â If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We, your servants, will indeed be responsible for sending that grieving, white-haired man to his grave.Â 32Â My lord, I guaranteed to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, â€˜If I donâ€™t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.â€™
33Â â€œSo please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.Â 34Â For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldnâ€™t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father!â€
Joseph Reveals His Identity
45Â Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, â€œOut, all of you!â€ So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was.Â 2Â Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaohâ€™s palace.
3Â â€œI am Joseph!â€ he said to his brothers. â€œIs my father still alive?â€ But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them.Â 4Â â€œPlease, come closer,â€ he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, â€œI am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt.Â 5Â But donâ€™t be upset, and donâ€™t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.Â 6Â This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.Â 7Â God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.Â 8Â So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviserÂ to Pharaohâ€”the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.
9Â â€œNow hurry back to my father and tell him, â€˜This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. So come down to me immediately!Â 10Â You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me with all your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you own.Â 11Â I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you, your household, and all your animals will starve.â€™â€
12Â Then Joseph added, â€œLook! You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that I really am Joseph!Â 13Â Go tell my father of my honored position here in Egypt. Describe for him everything you have seen, and then bring my father here quickly.â€Â 14Â Weeping with joy, he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin did the same.Â 15Â Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and after that they began talking freely with him.
Pharaoh Invites Jacob to Egypt
16Â The news soon reached Pharaohâ€™s palace: â€œJosephâ€™s brothers have arrived!â€ Pharaoh and his officials were all delighted to hear this.
17Â Pharaoh said to Joseph, â€œTell your brothers, â€˜This is what you must do: Load your pack animals, and hurry back to the land of Canaan.Â 18Â Then get your father and all of your families, and return here to me. I will give you the very best land in Egypt, and you will eat from the best that the land produces.â€™â€
19Â Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, â€œTell your brothers, â€˜Take wagons from the land of Egypt to carry your little children and your wives, and bring your father here.Â 20Â Donâ€™t worry about your personal belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.â€™â€
21Â So the sons of JacobÂ did as they were told. Joseph provided them with wagons, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he gave them supplies for the journey.Â 22Â And he gave each of them new clothesâ€”but to Benjamin he gave five changes of clothes and 300 piecesÂ of silver.Â 23Â He also sent his father ten male donkeys loaded with the finest products of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other supplies he would need on his journey.
24Â So Joseph sent his brothers off, and as they left, he called after them, â€œDonâ€™t quarrel about all this along the way!â€Â 25Â And they left Egypt and returned to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan.
26Â â€œJoseph is still alive!â€ they told him. â€œAnd he is governor of all the land of Egypt!â€ Jacob was stunned at the newsâ€”he couldnâ€™t believe it.Â 27Â But when they repeated to Jacob everything Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons Joseph had sent to carry him, their fatherâ€™s spirits revived.
28Â Then Jacob exclaimed, â€œIt must be true! My son Joseph is alive! I must go and see him before I die.â€
A Discussion about the Sabbath
12Â At about that time Jesus was walking through some grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began breaking off some heads of grain and eating them.Â 2Â But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, â€œLook, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.â€
3Â Jesus said to them,Â â€œHavenâ€™t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry?Â 4Â He went into the house of God, and he and his companions broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat.Â 5Â And havenâ€™t you read in the law of Moses that the priests on duty in the Temple may work on the Sabbath?Â 6Â I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple!Â 7Â But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: â€˜I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.â€™Â 8Â For the Son of ManÂ is Lord, even over the Sabbath!â€
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
9Â Then Jesus went over to their synagogue,Â 10Â where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, â€œDoes the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?â€ (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)
11Â And he answered,Â â€œIf you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldnâ€™t you work to pull it out? Of course you would.Â 12Â And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.â€
13Â Then he said to the man,Â â€œHold out your hand.â€Â So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!14Â Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.
Jesus, Godâ€™s Chosen Servant
15Â But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them,Â 16Â but he warned them not to reveal who he was.Â 17Â This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him:
18Â â€œLook at my Servant, whom I have chosen.