Jacob Blesses Pharaoh 1Then Joseph went to see Pharaoh and told him, “My father and my brothers have arrived from the land of Canaan. They have come with all their flocks and herds and possessions, and they are now in the region of Goshen.” 2Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh. 3And Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?” They replied, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just like our ancestors. 4We have come to live here in Egypt for a while, for there is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine is very severe there. So please, we request permission to live in the region of Goshen.” 5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have joined you here, 6choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too.” 7Then Joseph brought in his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8“How old are you?” Pharaoh asked him. 9Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But my life has been short compared to the lives of my ancestors.” 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving his court. 11So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt—the region of Rameses—to his father and his brothers, and he settled them there, just as Pharaoh had commanded.12And Joseph provided food for his father and his brothers in amounts appropriate to the number of their dependents, including the smallest children. Joseph’s Leadership in the Famine 13Meanwhile, the famine became so severe that all the food was used up, and people were starving throughout the lands of Egypt and Canaan. 14By selling grain to the people, Joseph eventually collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and he put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury.15When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. “Our money is gone!” they cried. “But please give us food, or we will die before your very eyes!” 16Joseph replied, “Since your money is gone, bring me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. In exchange for their horses, flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and donkeys, Joseph provided them with food for another year. 18But that year ended, and the next year they came again and said, “We cannot hide the truth from you, my lord. Our money is gone, and all our livestock and cattle are yours. We have nothing left to give but our bodies and our land. 19Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we offer our land and ourselves as slaves for Pharaoh. Just give us grain so we may live and not die, and so the land does not become empty and desolate.” 20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh.21As for the people, he made them all slaves, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22The only land he did not buy was the land belonging to the priests. They received an allotment of food directly from Pharaoh, so they didn’t need to sell their land. 23Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. 24Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.” 25“You have saved our lives!” they exclaimed. “May it please you, my lord, to let us be Pharaoh’s servants.”26Joseph then issued a decree still in effect in the land of Egypt, that Pharaoh should receive one-fifth of all the crops grown on his land. Only the land belonging to the priests was not given to Pharaoh. 27Meanwhile, the people of Israel settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt. There they acquired property, and they were fruitful, and their population grew rapidly. 28Jacob lived for seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, so he lived 147 years in all. 29As the time of his death drew near, Jacob called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt. 30When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.” So Joseph promised, “I will do as you ask.” 31“Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.
Jacob Blesses Manasseh and Ephraim 1One day not long after this, word came to Joseph, “Your father is failing rapidly.” So Joseph went to visit his father, and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Joseph arrived, Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” So Jacob gathered his strength and sat up in his bed. 3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful, and I will multiply your descendants. I will make you a multitude of nations. And I will give this land of Canaan to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’ 5“Now I am claiming as my own sons these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I arrived. They will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are. 6But any children born to you in the future will be your own, and they will inherit land within the territories of their brothers Ephraim and Manasseh. 7“Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan-aram,Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, some distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.” 8Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked. 9“Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.” And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.” 10Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them. 11Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!” 12Joseph moved the boys, who were at their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground. 13Then he positioned the boys in front of Jacob. With his right hand he directed Ephraim toward Jacob’s left hand, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand. 14But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the firstborn. 15Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac, walked—the God who has been my shepherd all my life, to this very day, 16the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—may he bless these boys. May they preserve my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac. And may their descendants multiply greatly throughout the earth.” 17But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.18“No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” 19But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.” 20So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. 21Then Jacob said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors. 22And beyond what I have given your brothers, I am giving you an extra portion of the land that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”
1O LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? 2The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others. 3For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the LORD. 4The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. 5Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They sneer at all their enemies. 6They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!” 7Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues. 8They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people. They are always searching for helpless victims. 9Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless. Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets.10Their helpless victims are crushed; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked. 11The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us! He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!” 12Arise, O LORD! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not ignore the helpless! 13Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, “God will never call us to account.” 14But you see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans. 15Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed. 16The LORD is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. 17LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. 18You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
Jesus and Zacchaeus 1Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 6Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. 8Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 9Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Parable of the Ten Servants 11The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away. 12He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return.13Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’ 14But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’ 15“After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were. 16The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’ 17“‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’ 18“The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’ 19“‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’ 20“But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe. 21I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’ 22“‘You wicked servant!’ the king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant,23why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ 24“Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ 25“‘But, master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten pounds!’ 26“‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 27And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.’” Jesus’ Triumphant Entry 28After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30“Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” 34And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.”35So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. 36As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. 38“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of theLORD! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” 39But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” 40He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem 41But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42“How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side.44They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.” Jesus Clears the Temple 45Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. 46He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” 47After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. 48But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.