Genesis 44:18–47:27; Ezekiel 37:15–28; Luke 6:9–16; Luke 15:11–32; Acts 7:13–15; 2 Corinthians 5; Ephesians 2:1–10; Colossians 1

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 for1 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 shekels2 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.

Joseph Brings His Family to Egypt

46 So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to gBeersheba, and offered sacrifices hto the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel iin visions of the night and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here I am. Then he said, I am God, jthe God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will kmake you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also lbring you up again, and mJoseph’s hand shall close your eyes.

Then Jacob set out from Beersheba. The sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons nthat Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and ocame into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters. All his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

pNow qthese are the names of the descendants of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons. rReuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 The sons of sLevi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 The sons of tJudah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but uEr and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the sons of vPerez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 wThe sons of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Yob, and Shimron. 14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons of Leah, xwhom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; altogether his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three.

16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17 yThe sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, with Serah their sister. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. 18 zThese are the sons of Zilpah, awhom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacobsixteen persons.

19 The sons of Rachel, Jacob’s wife: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 And bto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera the priest of cOn, bore to him. 21 And dthe sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacobfourteen persons in all.

23 The son3 of Dan: Hushim. 24 eThe sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 fThese are the sons of Bilhah, gwhom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and these she bore to Jacobseven persons in all.

26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own descendants, not including Jacob’s sons’ wives, were sixty-six persons in all. 27 And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two. hAll the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy.

Jacob and Joseph Reunited

28 He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came iinto the land of Goshen. 29 Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and jfell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. 30 Israel said to Joseph, kNow let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive. 31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, lI will go up and tell Pharaoh and will say to him, My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 mAnd the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have. 33 When Pharaoh calls you and says, mWhat is your occupation? 34 you shall say, mYour servants have been keepers of livestock nfrom our youth even until now, both we and our fathers, in order that you may dwell oin the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is pan abomination to the Egyptians.

Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen

47 So Joseph qwent in and told Pharaoh, My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan. They are now in rthe land of Goshen. And from among his brothers he took five men and spresented them to Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to his brothers, tWhat is your occupation? And they said to Pharaoh, uYour servants are shepherds, as our fathers were. They said to Pharaoh, vWe have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. And now, please let your servants dwell win the land of Goshen. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you. Settle your father and your brothers xin the best of the land. yLet them settle in the land of Goshen, and if you know any zable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.

Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father and stood him before Pharaoh, aand Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Jacob, How many are the days of the years of your life? And Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my bsojourning are 130 years. cFew and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and dthey have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their bsojourning. 10 And Jacob eblessed Pharaoh and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. 11 Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of fRameses, gas Pharaoh had commanded. 12 And Joseph hprovided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their dependents.

Joseph and the Famine

13 Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished by reason of the famine. 14 iAnd Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought. And Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15 And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, Give us food. jWhy should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone. 16 And Joseph answered, Give your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone. 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. He supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. 18 And when that year was ended, they came to him the following year and said to him, We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent. The herds of livestock are my lord’s. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? kBuy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.

20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for all the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe on them. The land became Pharaoh’s. 21 As for the people, he made servants of them4 from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 lOnly the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land.

23 Then Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. 24 And at the harvests you shall give a mfifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones. 25 And they said, You have saved our lives; nmay it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh. 26 So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; othe land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh’s.

27 Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, pin the land of Goshen. qAnd they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.


I Will Be Their God; They Shall Be My People

15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 zSon of man, atake a stick1 and write on it, For bJudah, and cthe people of Israel associated with him; then take another stick and write on it, For bJoseph (the stick of dEphraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him. 17 And ejoin them one to another into one stick, that fthey may become gone in your hand. 18 And when hyour people say to you, iWill you not tell us what you mean by these? 19 say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take jthe stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the jstick of Judah,2 and kmake them one stick, gthat they may be one in my hand. 20 When the sticks on which you write are in your hand lbefore their eyes, 21 then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, mI will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and mbring them to their own land. 22 And nI will make them one nation in the land, on othe mountains of Israel. And pone king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer qtwo nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. 23 rThey shall not sdefile themselves anymore twith their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But uI will save them from all the backslidings3 in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and vthey shall be my people, and I will be their God.

24 My servant wDavid xshall be king over them, and they shall all have yone shepherd. zThey shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25 aThey shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there bforever, and David my servant shall be their prince cforever. 26 dI will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be ean everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land4 and fmultiply them, and will gset my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 hMy dwelling place shall be with them, vand I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 Then ithe nations will know that jI am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when gmy sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.


And Jesus said to them, I ask you, fis it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it? 10 And gafter looking around at them all he said to him, Stretch out your hand. And hhe did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with ifury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

The Twelve Apostles

12 In these days jhe went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, khe called his disciples land mchose from them twelve, whom he named napostles: 14 Simon, owhom he named Peter, and pAndrew his brother, and pJames and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and qMatthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called rthe Zealot, 16 and sJudas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.


The Parable of the Prodigal Son

11 And he said, There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me mthe share of property that is coming to me. And he divided nhis property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in oreckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to1 one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he pwas longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 But qwhen he rcame to himself, he said, How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, sI have sinned against theaven and before you. 19 uI am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants. 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and vran and wembraced him and xkissed him. 21 And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. uI am no longer worthy to be called your son.2 22 But the father said to his servants,3 Bring quickly ythe best robe, and put it on him, and put za ring on his hand, and ashoes on his feet. 23 And bring bthe fattened calf and kill it, and clet us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son dwas dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.

25 Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound. 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might ecelebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, fwho has devoured gyour property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him! 31 And he said to him, Son, hyou are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting eto celebrate and be glad, for this your brother iwas dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.


13 And jon the second visit kJoseph made himself known to his brothers, and lJoseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. 14 And mJoseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, nseventy-five persons in all. 15 And oJacob went down into Egypt, and phe died, he qand our fathers,


Our Heavenly Dwelling

For we know that if kthe tent that is lour earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, ma house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent nwe groan, longing to oput on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on1 we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdenednot that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal pmay be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, qwho has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that rwhile we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for swe walk by faith, not tby sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we uwould rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to vplease him. 10 For wwe must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, xso that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Therefore, knowing ythe fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But zwhat we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 aWe are not commending ourselves to you again but bgiving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we care beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ dcontrols us, because we have concluded this: that eone has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, fthat those who live might no longer live for themselves but gfor him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, hwe regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is iin Christ, he is ja new creation.2 kThe old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, lwho through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us mthe ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling3 the world to himself, nnot counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us mthe message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, owe are ambassadors for Christ, pGod making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 qFor our sake he made him to be sin rwho knew no sin, so that in him we might become sthe righteousness of God.


By Grace Through Faith

jAnd you were kdead in the trespasses and sins lin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following mthe prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in nthe sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in othe passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and pwere by nature qchildren of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2 But3 God, being rrich in mercy, sbecause of the great love with which he loved us, even twhen we were dead in our trespasses, umade us alive together with Christvby grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and wseated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable xriches of his grace in ykindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For zby grace you have been saved athrough faith. And this is bnot your own doing; cit is the gift of God, dnot a result of works, eso that no one may boast. 10 For fwe are his workmanship, gcreated in Christ Jesus hfor good works, iwhich God prepared beforehand, jthat we should walk in them.


Colossians Illustration

Colossians

Greeting

Paul, aan apostle of Christ Jesus bby the will of God, and Timothy cour brother,

To the dsaints and faithful brothers1 in Christ at Colossae:

eGrace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

fWe always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of gyour faith in Christ Jesus and of gthe love that you have for all the saints, because of hthe hope ilaid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in jthe word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed kin the whole world it is lbearing fruit and increasingas it also does among you, since the day you mheard it and understood nthe grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from oEpaphras our beloved pfellow servant.2 He is pa faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf and has made known to us your qlove in the Spirit.

And so, rfrom the day we heard, swe have not ceased to pray for you, asking that tyou may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all uspiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as vto walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, wfully pleasing to him: xbearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 ybeing strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for zall endurance and patience awith joy; 12 bgiving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in cthe inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He dhas delivered us from ethe domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of ghis beloved Son, 14 hin whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Preeminence of Christ

15 iHe is the image of jthe invisible God, kthe firstborn of all creation. 16 For by6 him all things were created, lin heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether mthrones or ndominions or rulers or authoritiesall things were created othrough him and for him. 17 And phe is before all things, and in him all things qhold together. 18 And rhe is the head of the body, the church. He is sthe beginning, tthe firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For uin him all the vfullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and wthrough him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, xmaking peace yby the blood of his cross.

21 zAnd you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, adoing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled bin his body of flesh by his death, cin order to present you holy and blameless and dabove reproach before him, 23 eif indeed you continue in the faith, fstable and steadfast, not shifting from gthe hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed hin all creation7 under heaven, iand of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Paul’s Ministry to the Church

24 Now jI rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh kI am filling up lwhat is lacking in Christ’s afflictions mfor the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 nof which I became a minister according to othe stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 pthe mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 qTo them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are rthe riches of the glory of pthis mystery, which is Christ in you, sthe hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that twe may present everyone umature in Christ. 29 For this vI toil, wstruggling xwith all his energy that he powerfully works within me.