Joseph’s Dream (January 28, 2021)

Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers, which made them hate him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had. When we were binding stalks of grain in the field, my stalk got up and stood upright, while your stalks gathered around it and bowed down to my stalk.” His brothers said to him, “Will you really be our king and rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of the dreams he told them.

Joseph’s Dream (January 28, 2021)

Genesis 36:1–38:30, CEB

These are the descendants of Esau, that is, Edom. Esau married Canaanite women: Adah the daughter of the Hittite Elon; Oholibamah the daughter of Anah son of the Hittite Zibeon,and Basemath the daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. Adah gave birth to Eliphaz for Esau, Basemath gave birth to Reuel, and Oholibamah gave birth to Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are Esau’s sons born to him in the land of Canaan.

Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and everyone in his household, and his livestock, all of his animals, and all of the property he had acquired in the land of Canaan; and he moved away from the land of Canaan and from his brother Jacob. They had so many possessions that they couldn’t live together. The land where they lived as immigrants couldn’t support all of their livestock. So Esau, that is, Edom, lived in the mountains of Seir.

These are the descendants of Esau, the ancestor of Edom, which lies in the mountains of Seir. These are the names of Edom’s sons: Eliphaz son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel son of Esau’s wife Basemath. Eliphaz’s sons were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. Timna was the secondary wife of Eliphaz, Esau’s son, and she gave birth to Amalek for Eliphaz. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Adah. These are Reuel’s sons: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah, Zibeon’s son: she gave birth to Esau, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.

These are the tribal chiefs from Esau’s sons. The sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s oldest son: Chief Teman, Chief Omar, Chief Zepho, Chief Kenaz, Chief Korah, Chief Gatam, and Chief Amalek. These are the tribal chiefs of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; they are Adah’s sons. These are the sons of Reuel, Esau’s son: Chief Nahath, Chief Zerah, Chief Shammah, and Chief Mizzah. These are the tribal chiefs of Reuel in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah: Chief Jeush, Chief Jalam, and Chief Korah. They are the tribal chiefs of Esau’s wife Oholibamah the daughter of Anah. These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their tribal chiefs.

These are the sons of Seir, the Horite, who live in the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These are the Horite tribal chiefs, Seir’s sons, in the land of Edom. Lotan’s sons are Hori and Heman, and Lotan’s sister was Timna. These are Shobal’s sons: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. These are Zibeon’s sons: Aiah and Anah. Anah is the one who found water in the desert while pasturing his father Zibeon’s donkeys.

These are Anah’s children: Dishon and Anah’s daughter Oholibamah. These are Dishon’s sons: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. These are Ezer’s sons: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. These are Dishan’s sons: Uz and Aran. These are the Horite tribal chiefs: Chiefs Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These are the Horite tribal chiefs, listed according to their chiefs in the land of Seir.

These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before a king ruled over the Israelites. Bela, Beor’s son, ruled in Edom; his city’s name was Dinhabah. After Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king. After Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king. After Husham died, Hadad, Bedad’s son who defeated Midian in the countryside of Moab, became king; his city’s name was Avith. After Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah became king. After Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the river became king. After Shaul died, Baal-hanan, Achbor’s son, became king. After Baal-hanan, Achbor’s son, died, Hadar became king; his city’s name was Pau and his wife’s name was Mehetabel the daughter of Matred and granddaughter of Me-zahab.

These are the names of Esau’s tribal chiefs according to their families, their locations, and their names: Chief Timna, Chief Alvah, Chief Jetheth, Chief Oholibamah, Chief Elah, Chief Pinon, Chief Kenaz, Chief Teman, Chief Mibzar, Chief Magdiel, and Chief Iram. These are Edom’s tribal chiefs according to their settlements in the land they possessed. This is Esau, the ancestor of the Edomites.

Jacob lived in the land of Canaan where his father was an immigrant. This is the account of Jacob’s descendants. Joseph was 17 years old and tended the flock with his brothers. While he was helping the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, Joseph told their father unflattering things about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was born when Jacob was old. Jacob had made for him a long robe. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him and couldn’t even talk nicely to him.

Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers, which made them hate him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had. When we were binding stalks of grain in the field, my stalk got up and stood upright, while your stalks gathered around it and bowed down to my stalk.”

His brothers said to him, “Will you really be our king and rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of the dreams he told them.

Then Joseph had another dream and described it to his brothers: “I’ve just dreamed again, and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

When he described it to his father and brothers, his father scolded him and said to him, “What kind of dreams have you dreamed? Am I and your mother and your brothers supposed to come and bow down to the ground in front of you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father took careful note of the matter.

Joseph’s brothers went to tend their father’s flocks near Shechem. Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers tending the sheep near Shechem? Come, I’ll send you to them.”

And he said, “I’m ready.”

Jacob said to him, “Go! Find out how your brothers are and how the flock is, and report back to me.”

So Jacob sent him from the Hebron Valley. When he approached Shechem, a man found him wandering in the field and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

Joseph said, “I’m looking for my brothers. Tell me, where are they tending the sheep?”

The man said, “They left here. I heard them saying, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.

They saw Joseph in the distance before he got close to them, and they plotted to kill him. The brothers said to each other, “Here comes the big dreamer. Come on now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns, and we’ll say a wild animal devoured him. Then we will see what becomes of his dreams!”

When Reuben heard what they said, he saved him from them, telling them, “Let’s not take his life.” Reuben said to them, “Don’t spill his blood! Throw him into this desert cistern, but don’t lay a hand on him.” He intended to save Joseph from them and take him back to his father.

When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s long robe, took him, and threw him into the cistern, an empty cistern with no water in it. When they sat down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with camels carrying sweet resin, medicinal resin, and fragrant resin on their way down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and hide his blood? Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let’s not harm him because he’s our brother; he’s family.” His brothers agreed. When some Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph up out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph to Egypt.

When Reuben returned to the cistern and found that Joseph wasn’t in it, he tore his clothes. Then he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy’s gone! And I—where can I go now?”

His brothers took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. They took the long robe, brought it to their father, and said, “We found this. See if it’s your son’s robe or not.”

He recognized it and said, “It’s my son’s robe! A wild animal has devoured him. Joseph must have been torn to pieces!” Then Jacob tore his clothes, put a simple mourning cloth around his waist, and mourned for his son for many days. All of his sons and daughters got up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, telling them, “I’ll go to my grave mourning for my son.” And Joseph’s father wept for him. Meanwhile the Midianites had sold Joseph to the Egyptians, to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s chief officer, commander of the royal guard.

At that time, Judah moved away from his brothers and settled near an Adullamite named Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her. After he slept with her, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, whom she named Er. She became pregnant again, gave birth to a son, and named him Onan. Then she gave birth to one more son and named him Shelah. She was in Chezib when she gave birth to him.

Judah married his oldest son Er to a woman named Tamar. But the Lord considered Judah’s oldest son Er immoral, and the Lord put him to death. Judah said to Onan, “Go to your brother’s wife, do your duty as her brother-in-law, and provide children for your brother.” Onan knew the children wouldn’t be his so when he slept with his brother’s wife, he wasted his semen on the ground, so he wouldn’t give his brother children. The Lord considered what he did as wrong and put him to death too. Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Stay as a widow in your father’s household until my son Shelah grows up.” He thought Shelah would die like his brothers had. So Tamar went and lived in her father’s household.

After a long time, Judah’s wife the daughter of Shua died. Then, after a period of mourning, he and his neighbor Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah, to those who were shearing his sheep. Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is now on his way up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” So Tamar took off the clothing she wore as a widow, covered herself with a veil, put on makeup, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim on the road to Timnah, since she realized that although Shelah had already grown up, she hadn’t been given to him as a wife.

Judah saw her and thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. He turned to her beside the road and said, “Let me sleep with you,” because he didn’t know she was his daughter-in-law.

She said, “What will you give me for sleeping with you?”

He said, “I will give you a kid goat from my flock.”

She said, “Only if you give me some deposit, as security to guarantee that you will send it.”

He said, “What kind of deposit should I give you?”

And she said, “Your seal, its cord, and the staff in your hand.” He gave these to her, slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.

Then she got up, left, and took off her veil, dressing once again in the clothing she wore as a widow. Judah sent the kid goat with his neighbor Hirah the Adullamite so he could take back the deposits from the woman, but he couldn’t find her. He asked the locals of that place, “Where’s the consecrated worker who was at Enaim on the road?”

But they said, “There’s no consecrated worker here.”

So he went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. The locals even said, ‘There’s no holy woman here.’ ”

Judah said, “Let her keep everything so we aren’t laughed at. I did send this kid goat, but you couldn’t find her.”

About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has become a prostitute and is now pregnant because of it.”

And Judah said, “Bring her out so that she may be burned.”

When she was brought out, she sent this message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. See if you recognize whose seal, cord, and staff these are.”

Judah recognized them and said, “She’s more righteous than I am, because I didn’t allow her to marry my son Shelah.” Judah never knew her intimately again.

When she gave birth, she discovered she had twins in her womb. At birth, one boy put out his hand, and the midwife took it and tied a red thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” As soon as he pulled his hand back, his brother came out, and she said, “You’ve burst out on your own.” So he was named Perez.Afterward, his brother with the red thread on his hand came out, and he was named Zerah.

Job 15:1–35, MEV

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

“Should a wise man reply with empty knowledge

and fill his lungs with the east wind?

Should he reason with unprofitable talk

or with speeches with which he can do no good?

Yes, you cast off reverence

and hinder prayer before God.

For your mouth utters your iniquity,

and you choose the tongue of the crafty.

Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;

yes, your own lips testify against you.

“Are you the first man who was born?

Or were you made before the hills?

Have you heard the counsel of God?

And do you restrict wisdom to yourself?

What do you know that we do not know?

What do you understand that is not in us?

Both the gray-haired and very aged are among us—

much older than your father.

Are the consolations of God too small for you?

Or the word spoken gently to you?

Why does your heart carry you away?

And what do your eyes wink at,

that you turn your spirit against God,

and let such words go out of your mouth?

“What is man that he should be pure?

And he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones,

and the heavens are not pure in His sight.

How much more abhorred and corrupt is man,

who drinks iniquity like water!

“I will tell you; hear me,

and what I have seen I will declare,

what wise men have told,

not hiding anything received from their fathers,

to whom alone the land was given,

and no foreigner passed among them:

The wicked man travails with pain all his days,

and numbered are the years stored up for the oppressor.

A dreadful sound is in his ears;

in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.

He does not believe that he will return from darkness,

and a sword awaits him.

He wanders about for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’

He knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Trouble and anguish will make him afraid;

they will prevail against him as a king ready to the battle.

For he stretches out his hand against God,

and strengthens himself against the Almighty.

He rushes upon Him, even on His neck,

with his thick embossed shield.

“He has covered his face with his fatness

and gathered fat upon his waist.

He dwells in desolate cities

and in houses which no man inhabits,

which are ready to become heaps.

He will not be rich, nor will his wealth continue,

nor will his possessions spread over the earth.

He will not depart out of darkness;

the flame will dry out his branches,

and by the breath of His mouth he will go away.

Let him who is deceived not trust in futility,

for futility will be his reward.

It will be accomplished before his time,

and his branch will not be green.

He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,

and will cast off his blossom like the olive.

For the company of hypocrites will be desolate,

and fire will consume the tents of bribery.

They conceive mischief, and give birth to futility;

their womb prepares deceit.”

Isaiah 21:1–12, NLT

This message came to me concerning Babylon—the desert by the sea:

Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert,

like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.

I see a terrifying vision:

I see the betrayer betraying,

the destroyer destroying.

Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes,

attack and lay siege.

I will make an end

to all the groaning Babylon caused.

My stomach aches and burns with pain.

Sharp pangs of anguish are upon me,

like those of a woman in labor.

I grow faint when I hear what God is planning;

I am too afraid to look.

My mind reels and my heart races.

I longed for evening to come,

but now I am terrified of the dark.

Look! They are preparing a great feast.

They are spreading rugs for people to sit on.

Everyone is eating and drinking.

But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle.

You are being attacked!

Meanwhile, the Lord said to me,

“Put a watchman on the city wall.

Let him shout out what he sees.

He should look for chariots

drawn by pairs of horses,

and for riders on donkeys and camels.

Let the watchman be fully alert.”

Then the watchman called out,

“Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord.

Night after night I have remained at my post.

Now at last—look!

Here comes a man in a chariot

with a pair of horses!”

Then the watchman said,

“Babylon is fallen, fallen!

All the idols of Babylon

lie broken on the ground!”

O my people, threshed and winnowed,

I have told you everything the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has said,

everything the God of Israel has told me.

This message came to me concerning Edom:

Someone from Edom keeps calling to me,

“Watchman, how much longer until morning?

When will the night be over?”

The watchman replies,

“Morning is coming, but night will soon return.

If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.”

Matthew 10:34–11:24, The Bible for Everyone: A New Translation

‘Don’t think it’s my job to bring peace on the earth. I didn’t come to bring peace—I came to bring a sword! I came to divide a man from his father, a daughter from her mother, and a daughter-in-law from her mother-in-law. Yes, you’ll find your enemies inside your own front door.

‘If you love your father or mother more than me, you don’t deserve me. If you love your son or daughter more than me, you don’t deserve me. Anyone who doesn’t pick up their cross and follow after me doesn’t deserve me. If you find your life you’ll lose it, and if you lose your life because of me you’ll find it.

‘Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me. Anyone who welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and anyone who receives an upright person in the name of an upright person will receive an upright person’s reward. Anyone who gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, in the name of a disciple—I’m telling you the truth, they won’t go short of their reward!’

So when Jesus had finished giving instructions to the twelve disciples, he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.

Meanwhile, John, who was in prison, heard about these messianic goings-on. He sent word through his followers.

‘Are you the one who is coming?’ he asked. ‘Or should we be looking for someone else?’

‘Go and tell John’, replied Jesus, ‘what you’ve seen and heard. Blind people are seeing! Lame people are walking! People with virulent skin diseases are being cleansed! Deaf people can hear again! The dead are being raised to life! And—the poor are hearing the good news! And God bless you if you’re not upset by what I’m doing.’

As the messengers were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.

‘What were you expecting to see,’ he asked, ‘when you went out into the desert? A reed wobbling in the wind? No? Well, then, what were you expecting to see? Someone dressed in silks and satins? If you want to see people like that you’d have to go to somebody’s royal palace. All right, so what were you expecting to see? A prophet? Ah, now we’re getting there: yes indeed, and much more than a prophet! This is the one the Bible was talking about when it says,

See, I’m sending my messenger ahead of you

and he will clear your path before you.

‘I’m telling you the truth: John the Baptist is the greatest mother’s son there ever was. But even the least significant person in heaven’s kingdom is greater than he is. From the time of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been forcing its way in—and the men of force are trying to grab it! All the prophets and the law, you see, made their prophecies up to the time of John. In fact, if you’ll believe it, he is Elijah, the one who was to come. If you’ve got ears, then listen!’

‘What picture shall I give you for this generation?’ asked Jesus. ‘It’s like a bunch of children sitting in the town square, and singing songs to each other. This is how it goes:

You didn’t dance when we played the flute,

you didn’t cry when we sang the dirge!

‘What do I mean? When John appeared, he didn’t have any normal food or drink—and people said “What’s got into him, then? Some demon?” Then along comes the son of man, eating and drinking normally, and people say, “Ooh, look at him—guzzling and boozing, hanging around with tax-collectors and other riff-raff.” But, you know, wisdom is as wisdom does—and wisdom will be vindicated!’

Then he began to berate the towns where he’d done most of his powerful deeds, because they hadn’t repented.

‘A curse on you, Chorazin!’ he said. ‘A curse on you, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen the kind of powerful things you saw, they would have repented long ago with hairshirts and ashes. But I can tell you this: on the day of judgment Tyre and Sidon will have a better time of it than you will. And what about you, Capernaum? You think you’re going to be exalted to heaven, do you? No—you’ll be sent down to Hades! If the powerful works that happened in you had happened in Sodom, it would still be standing today. But I can tell you this: on the day of judgment the land of Sodom will have a better time of it than you will!’

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