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18 January 2017 Bible Reading


The more things change, the more they stay the same  – Joseph starts out as a spoiled, arrogant teenager. His father indulges it and makes no secret of his favor, which only makes things worse with the other brothers.

Genesis 37-38:30
37 Jacob lived in the land of his father’s travels, in the land of Canaan. 2 This is the history of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph brought an evil report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors. 4 His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, and they hated him, and couldn’t speak peaceably to him.
5 Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7 for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves came around, and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Will you indeed reign over us? Or will you indeed have dominion over us?” They hated him all the more for his dreams and for his words. 9 He dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, “Behold, I have dreamed yet another dream: and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me.” 10 He told it to his father and to his brothers. His father rebuked him, and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves down to you to the earth?” 11 His brothers envied him, but his father kept this saying in mind.
12 His brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” He said to him, “Here I am.”
14 He said to him, “Go now, see whether it is well with your brothers, and well with the flock; and bring me word again.” So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 A certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16 He said, “I am looking for my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are feeding the flock.”
17 The man said, “They have left here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’”
Joseph went after his brothers, and found them in Dothan. 18 They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Behold, this dreamer comes. 20 Come now therefore, and let’s kill him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, ‘An evil animal has devoured him.’ We will see what will become of his dreams.”
21 Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand, and said, “Let’s not take his life.” 22 Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hand, to restore him to his father. 23 When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped Joseph of his coat, the coat of many colors that was on him; 24 and they took him, and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty. There was no water in it.
25 They sat down to eat bread, and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spices and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, and let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not let our hand be on him; for he is our brother, our flesh.” His brothers listened to him. 28 Midianites who were merchants passed by, and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. They brought Joseph into Egypt.
29 Reuben returned to the pit; and saw that Joseph wasn’t in the pit; and he tore his clothes. 30 He returned to his brothers, and said, “The child is no more; and I, where will I go?” 31 They took Joseph’s coat, and killed a male goat, and dipped the coat in the blood. 32 They took the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father, and said, “We have found this. Examine it, now, whether it is your son’s coat or not.”
33 He recognized it, and said, “It is my son’s coat. An evil animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces.” 34 Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “For I will go down to Sheol to my son mourning.” His father wept for him. 36 The Midianites sold him into Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard.
38 At that time, Judah went down from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2 Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her, and went in to her. 3 She conceived, and bore a son; and he named him Er. 4 She conceived again, and bore a son; and she named him Onan. 5 She yet again bore a son, and named him Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bore him. 6 Judah took a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in Yahweh’s sight. Yahweh killed him. 8 Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” 9 Onan knew that the offspring wouldn’t be his; and when he went in to his brother’s wife, he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. 10 The thing which he did was evil in Yahweh’s sight, and he killed him also. 11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, until Shelah, my son, is grown up”; for he said, “Lest he also die, like his brothers.” Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
12 After many days, Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died. Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheep shearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite. 13 Tamar was told, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 She took off of her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she wasn’t given to him as a wife. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her by the way, and said, “Please come, let me come in to you,” for he didn’t know that she was his daughter-in-law.
She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”
17 He said, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.”
She said, “Will you give me a pledge, until you send it?”
18 He said, “What pledge will I give you?”
She said, “Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.”
He gave them to her, and came in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 She arose, and went away, and put off her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. 20 Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend, the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, but he didn’t find her. 21 Then he asked the men of her place, saying, “Where is the prostitute, that was at Enaim by the road?”
They said, “There has been no prostitute here.”
22 He returned to Judah, and said, “I haven’t found her; and also the men of the place said, ‘There has been no prostitute here.’” 23 Judah said, “Let her keep it, lest we be shamed. Behold, I sent this young goat, and you haven’t found her.”
24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has played the prostitute. Moreover, behold, she is with child by prostitution.”
Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burnt.” 25 When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man, whose these are, I am with child.” She also said, “Please discern whose are these—the signet, and the cords, and the staff.”
26 Judah acknowledged them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, because I didn’t give her to Shelah, my son.”
He knew her again no more. 27 In the time of her travail, behold, twins were in her womb. 28 When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This came out first.” 29 As he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out, and she said, “Why have you made a breach for yourself?” Therefore his name was called Perez. 30 Afterward his brother came out, that had the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.

Matthew 12:22-45
22 Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 All the multitudes were amazed, and said, “Can this be the son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.”
25 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then God’s Kingdom has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.
30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn’t gather with me, scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.
33 “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. 35 The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things. 36 I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.
43 When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn’t find it. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return into my house from which I came out,’ and when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation.”

Psalm 16:1-11
A Poem by David.
16 Preserve me, God, for in you do I take refuge.
2 My soul, you have said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord.
Apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 As for the saints who are in the earth,
they are the excellent ones in whom is all my delight.
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied who give gifts to another god.
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
nor take their names on my lips.
5 Yahweh assigned my portion and my cup.
You made my lot secure.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7 I will bless Yahweh, who has given me counsel.
Yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set Yahweh always before me.
Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices.
My body shall also dwell in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul in Sheol,
neither will you allow your holy one to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life.
In your presence is fullness of joy.
In your right hand there are pleasures forever more.

Proverbs 3:27-32
27 Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again;
tomorrow I will give it to you,”
when you have it by you.
29 Don’t devise evil against your neighbor,
since he dwells securely by you.
30 Don’t strive with a man without cause,
if he has done you no harm.
31 Don’t envy the man of violence.
Choose none of his ways.
32 For the perverse is an abomination to Yahweh,
but his friendship is with the upright.

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