Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons 1Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come. 2“Come and listen, you sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father. 3“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first in rank and first in power. 4But you are as unruly as a flood, and you will be first no longer. For you went to bed with my wife; you defiled my marriage couch. 5“Simeon and Levi are two of a kind; their weapons are instruments of violence. 6May I never join in their meetings; may I never be a party to their plans. For in their anger they murdered men, and they crippled oxen just for sport. 7A curse on their anger, for it is fierce; a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel. I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob; I will disperse them throughout Israel. 8“Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grasp your enemies by the neck. All your relatives will bow before you. 9Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor. 11He ties his foal to a grapevine, the colt of his donkey to a choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. 12His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk. 13“Zebulun will settle by the seashore and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will extend to Sidon. 14“Issachar is a sturdy donkey, resting between two saddlepacks. 15When he sees how good the countryside is and how pleasant the land, he will bend his shoulder to the load and submit himself to hard labor. 16“Dan will govern his people, like any other tribe in Israel. 17Dan will be a snake beside the road, a poisonous viper along the path that bites the horse’s hooves so its rider is thrown off. 18I trust in you for salvation, O LORD! 19“Gad will be attacked by marauding bands, but he will attack them when they retreat. 20“Asher will dine on rich foods and produce food fit for kings. 21“Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns. 22“Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey, the foal of a wild donkey at a spring— one of the wild donkeys on the ridge. 23Archers attacked him savagely; they shot at him and harassed him. 24But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. 25May the God of your father help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. 26May my fatherly blessings on you surpass the blessings of my ancestors, reaching to the heights of the eternal hills. May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph, who is a prince among his brothers. 27“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, devouring his enemies in the morning and dividing his plunder in the evening.” 28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message. Jacob’s Death and Burial 29Then Jacob instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a permanent burial site. 31There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah. 32It is the plot of land and the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites.” 33When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.
1Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him. 2Then Joseph told the physicians who served him to embalm his father’s body; so Jacob was embalmed.3The embalming process took the usual forty days. And the Egyptians mourned his death for seventy days. 4When the period of mourning was over, Joseph approached Pharaoh’s advisers and said, “Please do me this favor and speak to Pharaoh on my behalf. 5Tell him that my father made me swear an oath. He said to me, ‘Listen, I am about to die. Take my body back to the land of Canaan, and bury me in the tomb I prepared for myself.’ So please allow me to go and bury my father. After his burial, I will return without delay.” 6Pharaoh agreed to Joseph’s request. “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise,” he said. 7So Joseph went up to bury his father. He was accompanied by all of Pharaoh’s officials, all the senior members of Pharaoh’s household, and all the senior officers of Egypt. 8Joseph also took his entire household and his brothers and their households. But they left their little children and flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 9A great number of chariots and charioteers accompanied Joseph. 10When they arrived at the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan River, they held a very great and solemn memorial service, with a seven-day period of mourning for Joseph’s father. 11The local residents, the Canaanites, watched them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad. Then they renamed that place (which is near the Jordan) Abel-mizraim, for they said, “This is a place of deep mourning for these Egyptians.” 12So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them.13They carried his body to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the cave that Abraham had bought as a permanent burial site from Ephron the Hittite. Joseph Reassures His Brothers 14After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. 16So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept.18Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. 19But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. The Death of Joseph 22So Joseph and his brothers and their families continued to live in Egypt. Joseph lived to the age of 110.23He lived to see three generations of descendants of his son Ephraim, and he lived to see the birth of the children of Manasseh’s son Makir, whom he claimed as his own. 24“Soon I will die,” Joseph told his brothers, “but God will surely come to help you and lead you out of this land of Egypt. He will bring you back to the land he solemnly promised to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath, and he said, “When God comes to help you and lead you back, you must take my bones with you.” 26So Joseph died at the age of 110. The Egyptians embalmed him, and his body was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
1O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. 2You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. 3When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—4what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? 5Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. 6You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—7the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, 8the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. 9O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
The Authority of Jesus Challenged 1One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 2They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” 3“Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. 4“Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” 5They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. 6But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” 7So they finally replied that they didn’t know. 8And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.” Parable of the Evil Farmers 9Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. 10At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 11So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. 12A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. 13“‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’ 14“But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 15So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him. “What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. 16“I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.” “How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested. 17Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ 18Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.” 19The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction. Taxes for Caesar 20Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus. 21“Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. 22Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23He saw through their trickery and said, 24“Show me a Roman coin. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 25“Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” 26So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent. Discussion about Resurrection 27Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. 28They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. 29Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 30So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. 31Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. 32Finally, the woman also died. 33So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!” 34Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth.35But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage.36And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection. 37“But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.” 39“Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there. 40And then no one dared to ask him any more questions. Whose Son Is the Messiah? 41Then Jesus presented them with a question. “Why is it,” he asked, “that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? 42For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand 43until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’ 44Since David called the Messiah ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” 45Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, 46“Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 47Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”