Genesis 43–45; Matthew 12:24–50

Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt

43 Now the famine was qsevere in the land. And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, Go again, buy us a little food. But Judah said to him, The man solemnly warned us, saying, You shall not see my face unless your rbrother is with you. If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 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. Israel said, Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother? They replied, The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother? What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, Bring your brother down? And Judah said to Israel his father, Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may slive and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. tIf I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.

11 Then their father Israel said to them, If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little ubalm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money vthat was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man. 14 May wGod Almighty1 xgrant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, yif I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

15 So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin. They arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the zsteward of his house, Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon. 17 The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys. 19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house, 20 and said, aOh, my lord, bwe came down the first time to buy food. 21 And cwhen we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, 22 and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks. 23 He replied, Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money. Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house and dgiven them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they prepared ethe present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and fbowed down to him to the ground. 27 And he inquired about their welfare and said, Is your father well, the old man gof whom you spoke? Is he still alive? 28 They said, Your servant our father is well; he is still alive. And they hbowed their heads and prostrated themselves. 29 And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, ihis mother’s son, and said, Is this your youngest brother, gof whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son! 30 Then Joseph hurried out, for jhis compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and kwept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out. And lcontrolling himself he said, Serve the food. 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is man abomination to the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. 34 nPortions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was ofive times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry2 with him.

Joseph Tests His Brothers

44 Then he commanded pthe steward of his house, qFill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain. And he did as Joseph told him.

As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his rsteward, Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, Why have you repaid evil for good?3 Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and sby this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.

When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. They said to him, Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! Behold, tthe money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? uWhichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be vmy lord’s servants. 10 He said, Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent. 11 Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they wtore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.

14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there. They xfell before him to the ground. 15 Joseph said to them, What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me ycan indeed practice divination? 16 And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out zthe guilt of your servants; behold, we are amy lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found. 17 But he said, Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.

18 Then Judah went up to him and said, bOh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and clet not your anger burn against your servant, for dyou are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have you a father, or a brother? 20 And we said to my lord, We have a father, an old man, eand a young brother, fthe child of his old age. 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, gBring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him. 22 We said to my lord, The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, hhis father would die. 23 Then you said to your servants, iUnless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.

24 When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when jour father said, Go again, buy us a little food, 26 we said, We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us. 27 Then your servant my father said to us, You know that my wife bore me ktwo sons. 28 One left me, and I said, lSurely he has been torn to pieces, and I have never seen him since. 29 If you mtake this one also from me, nand harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.

30 Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, oIf I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life. 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.

Joseph Provides for His Brothers and Family

45 Then Joseph could not pcontrol himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, Make everyone go out from me. So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, qI am Joseph! Is my father still alive? But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

So Joseph said to his brothers, Come near to me, please. And they came near. And he said, I am your brother, Joseph, rwhom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, sfor God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are tyet five years in which there will be neither uplowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and vruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 wYou shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 xThere I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty. 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is ymy mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and zbring my father down here. 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, Joseph’s brothers have come, it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Say to your brothers, Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me, and aI will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land. 19 And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, Do this: take bwagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Have no concern for4 your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.

21 The sons of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them bwagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To each and all of them he gave ca change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels5 of silver and dfive changes of clothes. 23 To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, eDo not quarrel on the way.

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26 And they told him, Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt. And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw fthe wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.


24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, yIt is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons. 25 zKnowing their thoughts, ahe said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, bby whom do cyour sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is dby the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then ethe kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or fhow can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed ghe may plunder his house. 30 hWhoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 iTherefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but jthe blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word kagainst the Son of Man lwill be forgiven, but jwhoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in mthis age or in the age to come.

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

33 nEither make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, ofor the tree is known by its fruit. 34 pYou brood of vipers! How can you speak good, qwhen you are evil? rFor out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 rThe good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, son the day of judgment tpeople will give account for uevery careless word they speak, 37 for vby your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

The Sign of Jonah

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, wwe wish to see a sign from you. 39 But he answered them, xAn evil and yadulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For zjust as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, aso will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 bThe men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and ccondemn it, for dthey repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, esomething greater than Jonah is here. 42 fThe queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, esomething greater than Solomon is here.

Return of an Unclean Spirit

43 When gthe unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through hwaterless places seeking rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, I will return to my house from which I came. And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and ithe last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this jevil generation.

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, khis mother and his lbrothers1 stood outside, asking to speak to him.2 48 But he replied to the man who told him, Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For mwhoever ndoes the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.