Genesis 41–42

1 After two whole years, Pharaoh had a dream that he was standing by the Nile. 2 Seven fine-looking and fattened cows suddenly came up out of the river, and they grazed in the meadow. 3 Then seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the riverbank. 4 The ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine-looking and fattened cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.

5 He slept and dreamed a second time. Seven ears of grain suddenly came up on one stalk, plump and good. 6 Then seven thin ears, scorched by the east wind, sprang up after them. 7 The seven thin ears devoured the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke and realized it was a dream.

8 In the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

9 Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “Today I remember my offenses. 10 Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me in confinement in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker. 11 And we had a dream in the same night, he and I. We, each of us, dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 A young Hebrew man was with us there, a servant to the captain of the guard. We told him and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 It happened just as he interpreted. He restored me to my position, and the baker was hanged.”

14 So Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh.

15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream to interpret it.”

16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me. God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, I stood on the bank of the Nile. 18 And suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fattened and fine-looking, and they grazed in the reeds. 19 Then seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt. I have never seen such ugliness in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21 And when they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke.

22 “I also saw in my dreams seven ears of grain, full and good, suddenly come up on one stalk. 23 Then seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24 And the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years. The dreams are one. 27 The seven gaunt and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.

28 “It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance will come throughout all the land of Egypt. 30 However, there will arise after them seven years of famine. All the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will consume the land. 31 The abundance will be unknown in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32 The reason the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice is because the matter is established by God, and God will soon bring it to pass.

33 “Now, therefore, let Pharaoh seek out a man who is discerning and wise and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officials over the land and collect the fifth part of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven abundant years. 35 Let them gather all the food from those good years that come and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 This food will be for a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will be in the land of Egypt, so that the land does not perish during the famine.”

37 The counsel seemed good to Pharaoh and to all of his servants. 38 Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this man, in whom is the Spirit of God?”

39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You will be over my house, and according to your word all my people will be ruled. Only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”

41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand and arrayed him in clothes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 Then he had him ride in the second chariot which was his, and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.

44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man will lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-Paneah, and he gave him a wife, Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 In the seven abundant years the earth brought forth plentifully. 48 So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which was in the land of Egypt and laid up the food in the cities. He put in every city the food of the fields which surrounded the city. 49 Joseph gathered great quantities of grain as the sand of the sea until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.

50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, “For God,” he said, “has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 52 The name of the second he called Ephraim, saying, “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

53 The seven years of abundance that were in the land of Egypt ended. 54 The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but there was food in all the land of Egypt. 55 When all the land of Egypt was hungry, the people cried to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. Do whatever he says to you.”

56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, and the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was so severe in all the lands.

Chapter 42

1 Now when Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2 And he said, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

3 Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers for he said, “Perhaps some harm might happen to him.” 5 Thus the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

6 Now Joseph was the governor over the land, and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. So Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves down before him with their faces to the ground. 7 Joseph saw his brothers, and he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger to them and spoke harshly to them. He said to them, “From where do you come?”

And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”

8 Joseph knew his brothers, but they did not know him. 9 Joseph also remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. He said to them, “You are spies! You came to see the nakedness of the land!”

10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come only to buy food. 11 We are all one man’s sons. We are honest men. Your servants are not spies.”

12 But he said to them, “No, you have come to see the nakedness of the land!”

13 They said, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is with our father today, and one is no longer living.”

14 Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you, ‘You are spies!’ 15 Here is how you will be tested. By the life of Pharaoh, you will not leave here unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him get your brother, and you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested, whether there be any truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, you are surely spies.” 17 He put them all together in custody for three days.

18 Joseph said to them the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God. 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your prison house. The rest of you go and carry grain for the famine of your households. 20 Nevertheless, bring your youngest brother to me so that your words may be verified and you shall not die.” And they did so.

21 Then they said one to another, “We are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. Therefore, this distress has come upon us.”

22 Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore, his blood is now required of us.” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter.

24 He turned himself away from them and wept, but then turned back to them again and spoke with them. Then he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.

25 Joseph then gave the command to fill their sacks with grain and to restore every man’s money to his sack and to give them provisions for the way. And it was done for them.

26 They loaded their donkeys with the grain and departed from there.

27 As one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed in the lodging place, he saw his money. It was in the mouth of his sack. 28 And he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned. Here it is in my sack!”

Then their hearts sank, and they were afraid, saying to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29 They came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and took us for spies of the country. 31 And we said to him, ‘We are honest men. We are not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, all sons of our father. One is no longer living, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’

33 “The man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘Here is how I may know that you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for the famine of your households, and be gone. 34 But bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. Then I will deliver your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’”

35 As they emptied their sacks, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack. When both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 Then Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children! Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you will take Benjamin away. All these things are against me.”

37 Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my two sons if I fail to bring him to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.”

38 But Jacob said, “My son must not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should happen to him on the journey you are to make, then you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.”

Matthew 12:1–23

1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry and began to pluck the heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David and those who were with him did when he was hungry, 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the ritual bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, but are blameless? 6 I say to you, in this place there is One who is greater than the temple. 7 If you had known what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

9 When He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And there was a man whose hand had withered. They asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” that they might accuse Him.

11 He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Then how much better is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored whole like the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and took counsel against Him, how they might kill Him.

15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great crowds followed Him, and He healed them all, 16 and warned them that they should not make Him known, 17 to fulfill what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

18 “Here is My Servant, whom I have chosen,

My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased;

I will put My Spirit upon Him,

and He will render judgment to the Gentiles.

19 He shall not struggle nor cry out,

nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.

20 A bruised reed He will not break,

and a smoldering wick He will not quench,

until He renders judgment unto victory;

21 and in His name will the Gentiles trust.”

22 Then one possessed with a demon was brought to Him, blind and mute, and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 All the people were amazed and said, “Is He not the Son of David?”