Genesis 46:1–47:31, CEB
Israel packed up everything he owned and traveled to Beer-sheba. There he offered sacrifices to his father Isaac’s God. God said to Israel in a vision at night, “Jacob! Jacob!” and he said, “I’m here.” He said, “I am El, your father’s God. Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt because I will make a great nation of you there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I promise to bring you out again. Joseph will close your eyes when you die.” Then Jacob left Beer-sheba. Israel’s sons put their father Jacob, their children, and their wives on the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They took their livestock and their possessions that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and arrived in Egypt, Jacob and all of his children with him. His sons and grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all of his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.
These are the names of the Israelites who went to Egypt, including Jacob and his sons. Jacob’s oldest son was Reuben. Reuben’s sons were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. Simeon’s sons were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, whose mother was a Canaanite. Levi’s sons were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Judah’s sons were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. Er and Onan both died in the land of Canaan. Perez’s sons were Hezron and Hamul. Issachar’s sons were Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. Zebulun’s sons were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. These are the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram. Her daughter was Dinah. All of these persons, including his sons and daughters, totaled 33.
Gad’s sons were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. Asher’s sons were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malchiel. These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah. She bore these to Jacob, a total of 16 persons.
The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. To Joseph, in the land of Egypt, were born Manasseh and Ephraim. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis, bore them to him. Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. These are Rachel’s sons who were born to Jacob, a total of 14 persons.
Dan’s son was Hushim. Naphtali’s sons were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel. She bore these to Jacob, a total of 7 persons. All of the persons going to Egypt with Jacob—his own children, excluding Jacob’s sons’ wives—totaled 66 persons. Joseph’s sons born to him in Egypt were 2 persons. Thus, all of the persons in Jacob’s household going to Egypt totaled 70.
Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph so that Joseph could explain the way to Goshen. Then they arrived in the land of Goshen. Joseph hitched up his chariot and went to meet his father Israel in Goshen. When he arrived, he threw his arms around his neck and wept, embracing him for a long time. Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now after seeing your face. You are really still alive!”
Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “Let me go up and inform Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have arrived. The men are shepherds, because they own livestock. They’ve brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ When Pharaoh summons you and says, ‘What do you do?’ say, ‘Your servants have owned livestock since we were young, both we and our ancestors,’ so that you will be able to settle in the land of Goshen, since Egyptians think all shepherds are beneath their dignity.”
Joseph went to inform Pharaoh and said, “My father and brothers with their flocks, herds, and everything they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” From all of his brothers, he selected five men and presented them before Pharaoh.
Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What do you do?”
They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors.” They continued, “We’ve come to the land as immigrants because the famine is so severe in the land of Canaan that there are no more pastures for your servants’ flocks. Please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since your father and brothers have arrived, the land of Egypt is available to you. Settle your father and brothers in the land’s best location. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”
Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children.
There was no food in the land because the famine was so severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan dried up from the famine. Joseph collected all of the silver to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain, which people came to buy, and he deposited it in Pharaoh’s treasury. The silver from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan had been spent, and all of the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes, just because the silver is gone?”
Joseph said, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock if the silver is gone.” So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food for the horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys. He got them through that year with food in exchange for all of their livestock.
When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We can’t hide from my master that the silver is spent and that we’ve given the livestock to my master. All that’s left for my master is our corpses and our farmland. Why should we die before your eyes, we and our farmland too? Buy us and our farms for food, and we and our farms will be under Pharaoh’s control. Give us seed so that we can stay alive and not die, and so that our farmland won’t become unproductive.” So Joseph bought all of Egypt’s farmland for Pharaoh because every Egyptian sold his field when the famine worsened. So the land became Pharaoh’s. He moved the people to the cities from one end of Egypt to the other. However, he didn’t buy the farmland of the priests because Pharaoh allowed the priests a subsidy, and they were able to eat from the subsidy Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they didn’t have to sell their farmland.
Joseph said to the people, “Since I’ve now purchased you and your farmland for Pharaoh, here’s seed for you. Plant the seed on the land. When the crop comes in, you must give one-fifth to Pharaoh. You may keep four-fifths for yourselves, for planting fields, and for feeding yourselves, those in your households, and your children.”
The people said, “You’ve saved our lives. If you wish, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” So Joseph made a law that still exists today: Pharaoh receives one-fifth from Egypt’s farmland. Only the priests’ farmland didn’t become Pharaoh’s.
Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. They settled in it, had many children, and became numerous. After Jacob had lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years, and after he had lived a total of 147 years, Israel’s death approached. He summoned his son Joseph and said to him, “If you would be so kind, lay your hand under my thigh, and be loyal and true to me. Don’t bury me in Egypt. When I lie down with my fathers, carry me from Egypt and bury me in their grave.”
Joseph said, “I will do just as you say.”
Israel said, “Give me your word!” and Joseph gave his word. Then Israel slumped down at the head of the bed.
Job 18:1–21, MEV
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
“How long will it be until you put an end to words?
Gain understanding, and afterwards we will speak.
Why are we counted as beasts
and regarded as stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself in anger,
will the earth be forsaken for you?
And will the rock be removed from its place?
“Yes, the light of the wicked will be put out,
and the spark of his fire will not shine.
The light will be dark in his tent,
and his candle beside him will be put out.
The steps of his strength will be shortened,
and his own counsel will cast him down.
For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
and he walks upon a snare.
The trap will take him by the heel,
and the snare will prevail against him.
The snare is laid for him in the ground,
and a trap for him in the path.
Terrors will make him afraid on every side
and will drive him to his feet.
His strength will be hungry,
and destruction will be ready at his side.
It will devour the parts of his skin;
the firstborn of death will devour his limbs.
His confidence will be rooted out of his tent,
and it will bring him to the king of terrors.
They dwell in his tent who have no part with him;
brimstone will be scattered upon his habitation.
His roots will be dried up beneath,
and above his branch will dry up.
The memory of him will perish from the earth,
and he will have no name in the street.
He will be driven from light into darkness,
and chased out of the world.
He has neither descendant nor posterity among his people,
nor anyone remaining in his dwellings.
They who come after him will be astonished at his day,
as they who went before were seized with fright.
Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,
and this is the place of him who does not know God.”
Isaiah 24–25, NLT
Look! The Lord is about to destroy the earth
and make it a vast wasteland.
He devastates the surface of the earth
and scatters the people.
Priests and laypeople,
servants and masters,
maids and mistresses,
buyers and sellers,
lenders and borrowers,
bankers and debtors—none will be spared.
The earth will be completely emptied and looted.
The Lord has spoken!
The earth mourns and dries up,
and the land wastes away and withers.
Even the greatest people on earth waste away.
The earth suffers for the sins of its people,
for they have twisted God’s instructions,
violated his laws,
and broken his everlasting covenant.
Therefore, a curse consumes the earth.
Its people must pay the price for their sin.
They are destroyed by fire,
and only a few are left alive.
The grapevines waste away,
and there is no new wine.
All the merrymakers sigh and mourn.
The cheerful sound of tambourines is stilled;
the happy cries of celebration are heard no more.
The melodious chords of the harp are silent.
Gone are the joys of wine and song;
alcoholic drink turns bitter in the mouth.
The city writhes in chaos;
every home is locked to keep out intruders.
Mobs gather in the streets, crying out for wine.
Joy has turned to gloom.
Gladness has been banished from the land.
The city is left in ruins,
its gates battered down.
Throughout the earth the story is the same—
only a remnant is left,
like the stray olives left on the tree
or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest.
But all who are left shout and sing for joy.
Those in the west praise the Lord’s majesty.
In eastern lands, give glory to the Lord.
In the lands beyond the sea, praise the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth,
songs that give glory to the Righteous One!
But my heart is heavy with grief.
Weep for me, for I wither away.
Deceit still prevails,
and treachery is everywhere.
Terror and traps and snares will be your lot,
you people of the earth.
Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap,
and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare.
Destruction falls like rain from the heavens;
the foundations of the earth shake.
The earth has broken up.
It has utterly collapsed;
it is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunk.
It trembles like a tent in a storm.
It falls and will not rise again,
for the guilt of its rebellion is very heavy.
In that day the Lord will punish the gods in the heavens
and the proud rulers of the nations on earth.
They will be rounded up and put in prison.
They will be shut up in prison
and will finally be punished.
Then the glory of the moon will wane,
and the brightness of the sun will fade,
for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion.
He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem,
in the sight of all the leaders of his people.
O Lord, I will honor and praise your name,
for you are my God.
You do such wonderful things!
You planned them long ago,
and now you have accomplished them.
You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins.
Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble.
Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear
and will never be rebuilt.
Therefore, strong nations will declare your glory;
ruthless nations will fear you.
But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord,
a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.
You are a refuge from the storm
and a shelter from the heat.
For the oppressive acts of ruthless people
are like a storm beating against a wall,
or like the relentless heat of the desert.
But you silence the roar of foreign nations.
As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat,
so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.
In Jerusalem, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will spread a wonderful feast
for all the people of the world.
It will be a delicious banquet
with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
There he will remove the cloud of gloom,
the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
He will swallow up death forever!
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
against his land and people.
The Lord has spoken!
In that day the people will proclaim,
“This is our God!
We trusted in him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord, in whom we trusted.
Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”
For the Lord’s hand of blessing will rest on Jerusalem.
But Moab will be crushed.
It will be like straw trampled down and left to rot.
God will push down Moab’s people
as a swimmer pushes down water with his hands.
He will end their pride
and all their evil works.
The high walls of Moab will be demolished.
They will be brought down to the ground,
down into the dust.
Matthew 12:46–13:23, The Bible for Everyone: A New Translation
Suddenly, while he was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers came and stood outside, hoping for a chance to speak to him.
‘Look,’ someone said to him, ‘your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you.’
‘Who is my mother?’ said Jesus to the person who had spoken to him. ‘Who are my brothers?’
Then he stretched out his hand towards his disciples.
‘Look!’ he said. ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Yes; anyone who does what my heavenly father wants is my brother, and my sister, and my mother.’
That very day Jesus went out of the house and sat down beside the sea. Large crowds gathered around him, so he got into a boat and sat down. The whole crowd was standing on the shore.
He had much to say to them, and he said it all in parables.
‘Listen!’ he said. ‘Once there was a sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell beside the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky soil, where it didn’t have much earth. It sprang up at once because it didn’t have depth of soil. But when the sun was high it got scorched, and it withered because it didn’t have any root. Other seed fell in among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. And other seed fell into good soil, and produced a crop, some a hundred times over, some sixty, and some thirty times over. If you’ve got ears, then listen!’
His disciples came to him.
‘Why are you speaking to them in parables?’ they asked.
‘You’ve been given the gift of knowing the secrets of the kingdom of heaven,’ he replied, ‘but they haven’t been given it. Anyone who already has something will be given more, and they will have plenty. But anyone who has nothing—even what they have will be taken away! That’s why I speak to them in parables, so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand or take it in. Isaiah’s prophecy is coming true in them:
You will listen and listen but won’t understand,
you will look and look but not see.
This people’s heart has gone flabby and fat,
their ears are muffled and dull,
their eyes are darkened and shut;
in order that they won’t see with their eyes
or hear with their ears, or know in their heart,
or turn back again for me to restore them.
But there’s great news for your eyes: they can see! And for your ears: they can hear! I’m telling you the truth: many prophets and holy people longed to see what you see and didn’t see it, and to hear what you hear and didn’t hear it.’
‘All right, then,’ Jesus continued, ‘this is what the sower story is all about. When someone hears the word of the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This corresponds to what was sown beside the path. What was sown on rocky ground is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with delight, but doesn’t have any root of their own. Someone like that only lasts a short time; as soon as there’s any trouble or persecution because of the word, they trip up at once. The one sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but the world’s worries and the seduction of wealth choke the word and it doesn’t bear fruit. But the one sown on good soil is the one who hears the word and understands it. Someone like that will bear fruit: one will produce a hundred times over, another sixty, and another thirty times over.’