Genesis 49–50

1 Jacob called to his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, so that I may tell you what will befall you in the last days.

2 Gather yourselves together and hear, sons of Jacob,

and listen to your father Israel.

3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,

my might and the beginning of my strength,

the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.

4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel,

because you went up to your father’s bed;

then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.

5 Simeon and Levi are brothers;

weapons of violence are their swords.

6 Let my soul not enter into their council;

let my glory not be united with their assembly;

for in their anger they killed men

and in their self-will they hamstrung oxen.

7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;

and their wrath, for it is cruel!

I will divide them in Jacob

and scatter them in Israel.

8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you;

your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

your father’s sons will bow down before you.

9 Judah is a lion’s cub;

from the prey, my son, you have gone up.

He crouches and lies down like a lion;

and as a lion, who dares rouse him?

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

nor a lawgiver from between his feet,

until Shiloh comes;

and to him will be the obedience of the people.

11 He tethers his foal to the vine,

and his colt to the choicest vine;

he washes his garments in wine,

his clothes in the blood of grapes.

12 His eyes are darker than wine,

and his teeth whiter than milk.

13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea;

and he shall be a haven of ships.

His border shall be at Sidon.

14 Issachar is a strong donkey,

lying down between two burdens;

15 he saw that a resting place was good,

and that the land was pleasant;

so he bowed his shoulder to bear the burden

and became a slave to forced labor.

16 Dan shall judge his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan shall be a serpent by the road,

a viper on the path,

that bites the horse’s heels

so that its rider will fall backward.

18 I wait for Your salvation, O Lord!

19 Gad shall be attacked by raiding bands,

but he shall raid at their heels.

20 Asher’s food shall be rich,

and he shall yield royal delicacies.

21 Naphtali is a doe set loose;

he gives beautiful words.

22 Joseph is a fruitful bough,

a fruitful bough by a spring,

whose branches run over the wall.

23 The archers bitterly attacked him,

they shot at him and hated him.

24 But his bow remained firm.

His arms were agile

because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,

because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

25 because of the God of your father who will help you,

and by the Almighty who will bless you

with blessings from heaven above,

blessings from the deep that lies beneath,

the blessings of the breasts and the womb.

26 The blessings of your father have surpassed

the blessings of my fathers,

up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.

They will be on the head of Joseph,

and on the crown of the head of him who was set apart from his brothers.

27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;

in the morning he devours the prey,

and at night he divides the spoil.”

28 These are all the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, each with the blessing appropriate to him.

29 Then he charged them and said to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. 31 They buried Abraham and Sarah his wife there. They buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife there, and I buried Leah there. 32 The field and the cave that is there were purchased from the children of Heth.”

33 When Jacob finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

Chapter 50

1 Then Joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. 2 Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 Forty days were required for him, for such is the time required for those who are embalmed. Then the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.

4 When the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh, saying, 5 ‘My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die. Bury me in my tomb which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now therefore please let me go up and bury my father, and then I will return.’”

6 Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”

7 Joseph went up to bury his father, and all the servants of Pharaoh went up with him too, the elders of his household and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 all the house of Joseph and his brothers and his father’s household. They left only their little ones and their flocks and their herds in the land of Goshen. 9 Both the chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very great company.

10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they mourned with a great and very sorrowful lamentation. He observed seven days of mourning for his father. 11 When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning for the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.

12 So his sons did with him just as he had commanded them. 13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field as a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father.

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us and will certainly pay us back for all the wrong we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “I beg you, forgive the transgressions of your brothers and their sin. For they did evil to you.”’ Now, please forgive the transgressions of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face and said, “We are your servants.”

19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many lives. 21 So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father’s household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. Also, the children of Makir, the son of Manasseh, were brought up on Joseph’s knees.

24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. God will surely come to you and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Matthew 13:31–58

31 He told them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. 32 This indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest among herbs and is a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast which a woman took and mixed in sixty pounds of meal until it had leavened the whole batch.”

34 Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables. And without a parable He did not speak to them, 35to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying:

“I will open My mouth in parables;

I will say things which have been kept secret since the foundation of the world.”

36 Then Jesus sent the crowds away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”

37 He answered, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the sons of the kingdom. But the weeds are the sons of the evil one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels.

40 “Therefore as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of Man shall send out His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who do evil, 42 and will throw them into a fiery furnace. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.

44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid. And with joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea and gathered all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, they drew it to shore, sat down, and gathered the good into baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all of these things?”

They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who is discipled for the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is master of the household who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”

53 When Jesus finished these parables, He departed from there. 54 When He came to 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 Is He not the carpenter’s son? Is His mother not called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.”

58 And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.