Day 16 – Genesis 43-45; Psalms 18; Proverbs 3:23–27; Matthew 11

Genesis 43-45  

Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt with Benjamin

1 Now the famine was severe in the land. 2 So it came to pass, when they had eaten the grain they brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back, and buy us a little food.” 3 But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ ”

6 Then Israel said, “Why did you deal so wrongfully with me as to tell the man whether you had yet another brother?” 7 But they said, “The man asked us pointedly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ Thus we replied to him according to these words. Could we possibly have known he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and all we have. 9 I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame all my days. 10 For if we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned this second time.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man—a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother also, and arise, go back to the man. 14 May God give you grace before the man, that he may release your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”

15 So the men took that present and Benjamin, and they took double money in their hand, and arose and went down to Egypt; and they stood before Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin, his brother by the same mother, with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.” 17 Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.

18 Now the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money returned to our sacks the first time, that we are brought here to make a case against us and fall upon us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.” 19 When they drew near to the steward of Joseph’s house, they talked with him at the door of the house, 20 saying, “We entreat you, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food; 21 but it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there to our surprise, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand. 22 And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks.” 23 But he said, “Mercy be on you; do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; and I am receiving your genuine money as full payment.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

24 So the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. 25 Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard he would eat bread there. 26 Thus when Joseph came home, they brought the present in their hand to him in the house, and bowed down before him to the earth. 27 Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 So they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” Then he said, “Blessed be that man in God”; and they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves.

  29 Then Joseph lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother you said you would bring to me?” So he said, “May God grant you mercy, my son.” 30 Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. Then he went into his inner chamber and wept there. 31 He then washed his face and came out; and he composed himself, and said, “Serve the bread.” 32 So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 Now they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another. 34 Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.

Joseph’s Stolen Cup

1 Now Joseph commanded the steward of his house, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 2 Also put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his grain money.” So he did according to the word Joseph had spoken. 3 As soon as the morning dawned, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4 When they had gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? 5 Why have you stolen my silver cup? Is not this the cup from which my lord drinks, and with which he indeed practices divination? You have done evil in so doing.’ ”

6 So he overtook them, and he spoke to them these same words. 7 But they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do such a thing. 8 Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9 With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s servants.” 10 Then he replied, “Now as you say, so it will be; he with whom it is found shall be my servant, and you shall be blameless.” 11 Then each man speedily let down his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack. 12 So he searched the oldest and left off with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they tore their clothes, and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city.

14 So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, and he was still there; and they fell before him on the ground. 15 Thus Joseph said to them, “What is this thing you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?” 16 Then Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the wrongdoing of your servants; here we are, my lord’s slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found.” 17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my servant. And as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

Judah Speaks Up for Benjamin

18 Then Judah came near to him and said, “O my lord, let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20 Then we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 But we said to my lord, ‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’

  24 “So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. 25 And our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we may not see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant our father said to us, ‘You know my wife bore me two sons; 28 and the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he was eaten by a wild animal”; and I have not seen him since. 29 But if you take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’ 30 Now therefore, when I come to your servant our father, and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad’s life, 31 it will happen, when he sees the lad is not with us, he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32 For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my days.’ 33 Now therefore, let your servant remain instead of the lad as a servant to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34 For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”

Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers

1 Now Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 Then he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Joseph then said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were stunned in his presence.

4 But Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now therefore, do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to save life. 6 For this is the second year of famine in the land, and five years still remain in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 For God sent me before you to preserve you as a remnant on the earth, and to sustain you as a great remnant. 8 So now, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

9 “Hurry then and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your sheep and oxen, and all you have. 11 There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all you have, come to poverty; for five years of famine still remain.’ ” 12 And behold, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 Therefore, you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after this his brothers talked with him.

16 Now the report of it was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, “Joseph’s brothers have come.” So it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well. 17 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this, load your conveyances and depart; go to the land of Canaan. 18 Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land. 19 Now you are commanded—do this, take carts out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and your wives; bring your father and come. 20 Also do not be concerned about your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ”

  21 Thus the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them carts, according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. 22 He gave to all of them, to each man, two changes of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of gold and five changes of exceptionally fine garments. 23 He also sent to his father these things: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten mules loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father for the journey. 24 So he sent his brothers away, and they departed; and he said to them, “See that you do not become angry with each other along the way.”

25 Then they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob their father. 26 Thus they told him, saying, “Joseph your son is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” But Jacob’s mind was completely stunned, for he could not believe them. 27 But when they told him all the words Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. 28 Then Israel said, “It is a great thing to me that my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Psalms 18  

1 For the End; a psalm by David.

2 The heavens declare the glory of God;

The firmament shows the creation of His hands.

3 Day to day utters speech,

And night to night reveals knowledge.

4 There is no speech nor language

Where their voices are not heard.

5 Their proclamation went forth into all the earth,

And their words to the ends of the world.

In the sun He set His tabernacle;

6 And it rejoices exceedingly

Like a bridegroom coming forth from his bridal chamber,

Like a strong man to run a race.

7 Its rising is from one end of heaven,

And its circuit runs to the other end;

And nothing shall be hidden from its heat.

8 The law of the Lord is blameless, converting souls;

The testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making children wise;

9 The ordinances of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the Lord is bright, enlightening the eyes;

10 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring unto ages of ages;

The judgments of the Lord are true, being altogether just.

11 More to be desired are they than gold and a very precious stone,

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

12 For indeed Your servant keeps them;

In keeping them there is great reward.

13 Who will understand his transgressions?

Cleanse me from hidden sins,

14 And spare your servant from unnatural sins;

If they have no dominion over me, then I shall be blameless,

And I shall be cleansed from great sin.

15 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be always pleasing before You,

O Lord, my helper and my redeemer.

Proverbs 3:23–27  

23 My son, do not be careless,

But keep my counsel and thinking,

24 That your soul may live,

And grace may be around your neck.

25 And there will be healing for your flesh

And care for your bones,

26 That you may walk confidently in peace in all your ways,

And your foot may not stumble.

27 For if you sit down, you will be without fear,

And if you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant.

Matthew 11

1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.

2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples

3 and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

5 “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

  6 “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

8 “But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

9 “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.

10 “For this is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,

Who will prepare Your way before You.’

11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

13 “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

14 “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.

15 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

16 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions,

17 “and saying:

‘We played the flute for you,

And you did not dance;

We mourned to you,

And you did not lament.’

18 “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’

19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:

21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22 “But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

23 “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

  24 “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.

26 “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

27 “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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