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20 January 2017 Bible Reading

Even in prison, the Lord is with Joseph, where he is soon in charge of all the prisoners. His response to Pharaoh is consistent with his character: “I cannot do it. God will give Pharaoh the answer. . . .”

Genesis 41:17-42:17
17 Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, “In my dream, behold, I stood on the brink of the river: 18 and behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, fat and sleek. They fed in the marsh grass, 19 and behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for ugliness. 20 The thin and ugly cattle ate up the first seven fat cattle, 21 and when they had eaten them up, it couldn’t be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, full and good: 23 and behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25 Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God is about to do he has declared to Pharaoh. 26 The seven good cattle are seven years; and the seven good heads of grain are seven years. The dream is one. 27 The seven thin and ugly cattle that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty heads of grain blasted with the east wind; they will be seven years of famine. 28 That is the thing which I spoke to Pharaoh. What God is about to do he has shown to Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. 30 There will arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31 and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous. 32 The dream was doubled to Pharaoh, because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33 “Now therefore let Pharaoh look for a discreet and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt’s produce in the seven plenteous years. 35 Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 The food will be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; that the land not perish through the famine.”
37 The thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has shown you all of this, there is no one so discreet and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck, 43 and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, “Bow the knee!” He set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-Paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 In the seven plenteous years the earth produced abundantly. 48 He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was around every city, he laid up in the same. 49 Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number. 50 To Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh,[a] “For”, he said, “God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.” 52 The name of the second, he called Ephraim[b]: “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53 The seven years of plenty, that were in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 54 The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.” 56 The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Joseph opened all the store houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 All countries came into Egypt, to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth.
42 Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2 He said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy for us from there, so that we may live, and not die.” 3 Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob didn’t send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers; for he said, “Lest perhaps harm happen to him.” 5 The sons of Israel came to buy among those who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6 Joseph was the governor over the land. It was he who sold to all the people of the land. Joseph’s brothers came, and bowed themselves down to him with their faces to the earth. 7 Joseph saw his brothers, and he recognized them, but acted like a stranger to them, and spoke roughly with them. He said to them, “Where did you come from?”
They said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. 9 Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land.”
10 They said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men. Your servants are not spies.”
12 He said to them, “No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land!”
13 They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is today with our father, and one is no more.”
14 Joseph said to them, “It is like I told you, saying, ‘You are spies!’ 15 By this you shall be tested. By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go out from here, unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him get your brother, and you shall be bound, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you, or else by the life of Pharaoh surely you are spies.” 17 He put them all together into custody for three days.

Matthew 13:24-46
24 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the blade sprang up and produced fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also. 27 The servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did these darnel weeds come from?’
28 “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’
29 “But he said, ‘No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
33 He spoke another parable to them. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened.”
34 Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the multitudes; and without a parable, he didn’t speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
“I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.”
36 Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field.”
37 He answered them, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
44 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Psalm 18:1-15
For the Chief Musician. By David the servant of Yahweh, who spoke to Yahweh the words of this song in the day that Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said,
18 I love you, Yahweh, my strength.
2 Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer;
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.
3 I call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised;
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death surrounded me.
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
5 The cords of Sheol were around me.
The snares of death came on me.
6 In my distress I called on Yahweh,
and cried to my God.
He heard my voice out of his temple.
My cry before him came into his ears.
7 Then the earth shook and trembled.
The foundations also of the mountains quaked and were shaken,
because he was angry.
8 Smoke went out of his nostrils.
Consuming fire came out of his mouth.
Coals were kindled by it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down.
Thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew.
Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his hiding place, his pavilion around him,
darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
12 At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed,
hailstones and coals of fire.
13 Yahweh also thundered in the sky.
The Most High uttered his voice:
hailstones and coals of fire.
14 He sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
Yes, great lightning bolts, and routed them.
15 Then the channels of waters appeared.
The foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, Yahweh,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

Proverbs 4:1-6
4 Listen, sons, to a father’s instruction.
Pay attention and know understanding;
2 for I give you sound learning.
Don’t forsake my law.
3 For I was a son to my father,
tender and an only child in the sight of my mother.
4 He taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words.
Keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom.
Get understanding.
Don’t forget, neither swerve from the words of my mouth.
6 Don’t forsake her, and she will preserve you.
Love her, and she will keep you.

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