21 January 2017 Bible Reading
How did Joseph’s brothers travel from Egypt to Palestine? Trade routes were few and difficult. Caravans were used because the strength in numbers they provided was the only to have a reasonable chance of surviving the trip. Egypt was one of the first countries to undertake international trade in a deliberate, organized fashion. They developed two main trade routes, one leading north, the other south:
- the northern route was divided into two branches: one went through Palestine, along the Mediterranean coast, the second northern branch ran through Megiddo and Hazor upstream along the Litani River and downstream along the Orontes River
- the southern route ran from Asiut by way of the oases of Kharga and Dungul to Tomas in Nubia; the Sinai was reached by a caravan route from Coptos across the Eastern Desert to a port near Wadi Gawasis
Egyptians exported pottery, linen, papyrus, gold vessels, ox hides, ropes, lentils and dried fish. They imported raw materials and luxury products which were not available in Egypt. Horses, cattle, small livestock, cedar wood, silver, copper and valuable minerals were imported from Syria and Palestine.
18 Joseph said to them the third day, “Do this, and live, for I fear God. 19 If you are honest men, then let one of your brothers be bound in your prison; but you go, carry grain for the famine of your houses. 20 Bring your youngest brother to me; so will your words be verified, and you won’t die.”
They did so. 21 They said to one another, “We are certainly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us, and we wouldn’t listen. Therefore this distress has come upon us.” 22 Reuben answered them, saying, “Didn’t I tell you, saying, ‘Don’t sin against the child,’ and you wouldn’t listen? Therefore also, behold, his blood is required.” 23 They didn’t know that Joseph understood them; for there was an interpreter between them. 24 He turned himself away from them, and wept. Then he returned to them, and spoke to them, and took Simeon from among them, and bound him before their eyes. 25 Then Joseph gave a command to fill their bags with grain, and to restore each man’s money into his sack, and to give them food for the way. So it was done to them.
26 They loaded their donkeys with their grain, and departed from there. 27 As one of them opened his sack to give his donkey food in the lodging place, he saw his money. Behold, it was in the mouth of his sack. 28 He said to his brothers, “My money is restored! Behold, it is in my sack!” Their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?” 29 They came to Jacob their father, to the land of Canaan, and told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly with us, and took us for spies of the country. 31 We said to him, ‘We are honest men. We are no spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is today with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33 The man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your houses, and go your way. 34 Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. So I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall trade in the land.’”
35 As they emptied their sacks, behold, each man’s bundle of money was in his sack. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 Jacob, their father, said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children! Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin away. All these things are against me.”
37 Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my two sons, if I don’t bring him to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him to you again.”
38 He said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he only is left. If harm happens to him along the way in which you go, then you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”
43 The famine was severe in the land. 2 When they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.”
3 Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you’ll send our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy you food, 5 but if you’ll not send him, we’ll not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’”
6 Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly, telling the man that you had another brother?”
7 They said, “The man asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’”
8 Judah said to Israel, his father, “Send the boy with me, and we’ll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones. 9 I’ll be collateral for him. From my hand will you require him. If I don’t bring him to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever, 10 for if we hadn’t delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now.”
11 Their father, Israel, said to them, “If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds; 12 and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother also, get up, and return to the man. 14 May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
15 The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and butcher an animal, and prepare; for the men will dine with me at noon.”
17 The man did as Joseph commanded, and the man brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, we’re brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys.” 19 They came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food. 21 When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand. 22 We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don’t know who put our money in our sacks.”
23 He said, “Peace be to you. Don’t be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” He brought Simeon out to them. 24 The man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder. 25 They prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to him to the earth. 27 He asked them of their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?”
28 They said, “Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive.” They bowed down humbly. 29 He lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” He said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Joseph hurried, for his heart yearned over his brother; and he sought a place to weep. He entered into his room, and wept there. 31 He washed his face, and came out. He controlled himself, and said, “Serve the meal.”
32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, that ate with him, by themselves, because the Egyptians don’t eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth, and the men marveled one with another. 34 He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.
47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, 48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” 51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?”
They answered him, “Yes, Lord.”
52 He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he departed from there. 54 Coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55 Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 Aren’t all of his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all of these things?” 57 They were offended by him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and in his own house.” 58 He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
14 At that time, Herod the tetrarch heard the report concerning Jesus, 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptizer. He is risen from the dead. That is why these powers work in him.” 3 For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 For John said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among them and pleased Herod. 7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she should ask. 8 She, being prompted by her mother, said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptizer.”
9 The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given, 10 and he sent and beheaded John in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter, and given to the young lady: and she brought it to her mother. 12 His disciples came, and took the body, and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
16 He sent from on high.
He took me.
He drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me.
18 They came on me in the day of my calamity,
but Yahweh was my support.
19 He brought me out also into a large place.
He delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 Yahweh has rewarded me according to my righteousness.
According to the cleanness of my hands has he recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of Yahweh,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his ordinances were before me.
I didn’t put away his statutes from me.
23 I was also blameless with him.
I kept myself from my iniquity.
24 Therefore Yahweh has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
25 With the merciful you will show yourself merciful.
With the perfect man, you will show yourself perfect.
26 With the pure, you will show yourself pure.
With the crooked you will show yourself shrewd.
27 For you will save the afflicted people,
but the haughty eyes you will bring down.
28 For you will light my lamp, Yahweh.
My God will light up my darkness.
29 For by you, I advance through a troop.
By my God, I leap over a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect.
Yahweh’s word is tried.
He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God, except Yahweh?
Who is a rock, besides our God,
32 the God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect?
33 He makes my feet like deer’s feet,
and sets me on my high places.
34 He teaches my hands to war,
so that my arms bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have also given me the shield of your salvation.
Your right hand sustains me.
Your gentleness has made me great.
36 You have enlarged my steps under me,
My feet have not slipped.
7 Wisdom is supreme.
Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you.
She will bring you to honor, when you embrace her.
9 She will give to your head a garland of grace.
She will deliver a crown of splendor to you.”
10 Listen, my son, and receive my sayings.
The years of your life will be many.