But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19"Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other.
20"Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams."
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. "Let's not take his life," he said.
22"Don't shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don't lay a hand on him." Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe--the richly ornamented robe he was wearing--
24and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26Judah said to his brothers, "What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?
27Come, let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood." His brothers agreed.
28So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
29When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.
30He went back to his brothers and said, "The boy isn't there! Where can I turn now?"
31Then they got Joseph's robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
32They took the ornamented robe back to their father and said, "We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son's robe."
33He recognized it and said, "It is my son's robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces."
34Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.
35All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said, "in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son." So his father wept for him.
36Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard.
1At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah.
2There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and lay with her;
3she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er.
4She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan.
5She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah. It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him.
6Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.
7But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the Lord's sight; so the LORD put him to death.
8Then Judah said to Onan, "Lie with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother."
9But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.
10What he did was wicked in the Lord's sight; so he put him to death also.
11Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Live as a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up." For he thought, "He may die too, just like his brothers." So Tamar went to live in her father's house.
12After a long time Judah's wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah, to the men who were shearing his sheep, and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went with him.
13When Tamar was told, "Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,"
14she took off her widow's clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.
16Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, "Come now, let me sleep with you." "And what will you give me to sleep with you?" she asked.
17"I'll send you a young goat from my flock," he said. "Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?" she asked.
18He said, "What pledge should I give you?" "Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand," she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.
19After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow's clothes again.
20Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite in order to get his pledge back from the woman, but he did not find her.
21He asked the men who lived there, "Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?" "There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here," they said.
22So he went back to Judah and said, "I didn't find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, 'There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here.'"
23Then Judah said, "Let her keep what she has, or we will become a laughingstock. After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn't find her."
24About three months later Judah was told, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant." Judah said, "Bring her out and have her burned to death!"
25As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. "I am pregnant by the man who owns these," she said. And she added, "See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are."
26Judah recognized them and said, "She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn't give her to my son Shelah." And he did not sleep with her again.
27When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.
28As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, "This one came out first."
29But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, "So this is how you have broken out!" And he was named Perez.
30Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out and he was given the name Zerah.
1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
2The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.
3When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did,
4Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.
5From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.
6So he left in Joseph's care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome,
7and after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, "Come to bed with me!"
8But he refused. "With me in charge," he told her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.
9No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"
10And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
11One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside.
12She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
13When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house,
14she called her household servants. "Look," she said to them, "this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed.
15When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house."
16She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.
17Then she told him this story: "That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me.
18But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house."
19When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, "This is how your slave treated me," he burned with anger.
20Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison,
21the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
22So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.
23The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
1Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt.
2Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,
3and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined.
4The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them. After they had been in custody for some time,
5each of the two men--the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison--had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
6When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected.
7So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with him in his master's house, "Why are your faces so sad today?"
8"We both had dreams," they answered, "but there is no one to interpret them." Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams."
9So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, "In my dream I saw a vine in front of me,
10and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes.
11Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand."
12"This is what it means," Joseph said to him. "The three branches are three days.
13Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.
14But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.
15For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon."
16When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, "I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.
17In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head."
18"This is what it means," Joseph said. "The three baskets are three days.
19Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh."
20Now the third day was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials:
21He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh's hand,
22but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.
23The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile,
2when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds.
3After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank.
4And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk.
6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted--thin and scorched by the east wind.
7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, "Today I am reminded of my shortcomings.
10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard.
11Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream.
13And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged."
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."
16"I cannot do it," Joseph replied to Pharaoh, "but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires."
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile,
18when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds.
19After them, seven other cows came up--scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt.
20The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first.
21But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22"In my dreams I also saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk.
23After them, seven other heads sprouted--withered and thin and scorched by the east wind.
24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none could explain it to me."
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream.
27The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.
28"It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.
29Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt,
30but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.
31The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe.
32The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
33"And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.
34Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.
35They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food.
36This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine."
37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.
38So Pharaoh asked them, "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?"
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.
40You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."
41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt."
42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.
43He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, "Make way !" Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt."
45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh's presence and traveled throughout Egypt.
47During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully.
48Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.
49Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
50Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household."
52The second son he named Ephraim and said, "It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."
53The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end,
54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.
55When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph and do what he tells you."
56When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt.
57And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world.
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why do you just keep looking at each other?"
2He continued, "I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die."
3Then ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.
4But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him.
5So Israel's sons were among those who went to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also.
6Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph's brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.
7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. "Where do you come from?" he asked. "From the land of Canaan," they replied, "to buy food."
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.
9Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected."
10"No, my lord," they answered. "Your servants have come to buy food.
11We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies."
12"No!" he said to them. "You have come to see where our land is unprotected."
13But they replied, "Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more."
14Joseph said to them, "It is just as I told you: You are spies!
15And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.
16Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!"
17And he put them all in custody for three days.
18On the third day, Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I fear God:
19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households.
20But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die." This they proceeded to do.
21They said to one another, "Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that's why this distress has come upon us."
22Reuben replied, "Didn't I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn't listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood."
23They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.
24He turned away from them and began to weep, but then turned back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.
25Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man's silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them,
26they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack.
28"My silver has been returned," he said to his brothers. "Here it is in my sack." Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, "What is this that God has done to us?"
29When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said,
30"The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land.
31But we said to him, 'We are honest men; we are not spies.
32We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.'
33"Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, 'This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go.
34But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.'"
35As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man's sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened.
36Their father Jacob said to them, "You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!"
37Then Reuben said to his father, "You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back."
38But Jacob said, "My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow."
1Now the famine was still severe in the land.
2So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go back and buy us a little more food."
3But Judah said to him, "The man warned us solemnly, 'You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.'
4If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you.
5But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, 'You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.'"
6Israel asked, "Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?"
7They replied, "The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. 'Is your father still living?' he asked us. 'Do you have another brother?' We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, 'Bring your brother down here'?"
8Then Judah said to Israel his father, "Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die.
9I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life.
10As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice."
11Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift--a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.
12Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake.
13Take your brother also and go back to the man at once.
14And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved."
15So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph.
16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare dinner; they are to eat with me at noon."
17The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph's house.
18Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, "We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys."
19So they went up to Joseph's steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house.
20"Please, sir," they said, "we came down here the first time to buy food.
21But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver--the exact weight--in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us.
22We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don't know who put our silver in our sacks."
23"It's all right," he said. "Don't be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver." Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24The steward took the men into Joseph's house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys.
25They prepared their gifts for Joseph's arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
26When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.
27He asked them how they were, and then he said, "How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?"
28They replied, "Your servant our father is still alive and well." And they bowed low to pay him honor.
29As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother's son, he asked, "Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?" And he said, "God be gracious to you, my son."
30Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.
31After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, "Serve the food."
32They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians.
33The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment.
34When portions were served to them from Joseph's table, Benjamin's portion was five times as much as anyone else's. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
1Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: "Fill the men's sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man's silver in the mouth of his sack.
2Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one's sack, along with the silver for his grain." And he did as Joseph said.
3As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.
4They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, "Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid good with evil?
5Isn't this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.'"
6When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them.
7But they said to him, "Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that!
8We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master's house?
9If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord's slaves."
10"Very well, then," he said, "let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame."
11Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it.
12Then the steward proceeded to search, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
13At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him.
15Joseph said to them, "What is this you have done? Don't you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?"
16"What can we say to my lord?" Judah replied. "What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants' guilt. We are now my lord's slaves--we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup."
17But Joseph said, "Far be it from me to do such a thing! Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you, go back to your father in peace."
18Then Judah went up to him and said: "Please, my lord, let your servant speak a word to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself.
19My lord asked his servants, 'Do you have a father or a brother?'
20And we answered, 'We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age. His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother's sons left, and his father loves him.'
21"Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me so I can see him for myself.'
22And we said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.'
23But you told your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.'
24When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.
25"Then our father said, 'Go back and buy a little more food.'
26But we said, 'We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go. We cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.'
27"Your servant my father said to us, 'You know that my wife bore me two sons.
28One of them went away from me, and I said, "He has surely been torn to pieces." And I have not seen him since.
29If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in misery.'
30"So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy's life,
31sees that the boy isn't there, he will die. Your servants will bring the gray head of our father down to the grave in sorrow.
32Your servant guaranteed the boy's safety to my father. I said, 'If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!'
33"Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord's slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.
34How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come upon my father."
1Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!" So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers.
2And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh's household heard about it.
3Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!
5And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.
6For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping.
7But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8"So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
9Now hurry back to my father and say to him, 'This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don't delay.
10You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me--you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have.
11I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.'
12"You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you.
13Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly."
14Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping.
15And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
16When the news reached Pharaoh's palace that Joseph's brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased.
17Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Tell your brothers, 'Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan,
18and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.'
19"You are also directed to tell them, 'Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come.
20Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.'"
21So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey.
22To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes.
23And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey.
24Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, "Don't quarrel on the way!"
25So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.
26They told him, "Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt." Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them.
27But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.
28And Israel said, "I'm convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die."
1So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, "Jacob! Jacob!" "Here I am," he replied.
3"I am God, the God of your father," he said. "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.
4I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph's own hand will close your eyes."
5Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel's sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him.
6They also took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan, and Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt.
7He took with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters--all his offspring.
8These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.
9The sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi.
10The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
11The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
12The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul.
13The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron.
14The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon and Jahleel.
15These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, besides his daughter Dinah. These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.
16The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.
17The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah. Their sister was Serah. The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malkiel.
18These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah--sixteen in all.
19The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
20In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
21The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.
22These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob--fourteen in all.
23The son of Dan: Hushim.
24The sons of Naphtali: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem.
25These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel--seven in all.
26All those who went to Egypt with Jacob--those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons' wives--numbered sixty-six persons.
27With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob's family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.
28Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen,
29Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.
30Israel said to Joseph, "Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive."
31Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, 'My brothers and my father's household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me.
32The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.'
33When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, 'What is your occupation?'
34you should answer, 'Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.' Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians."
1Joseph went and told Pharaoh, "My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen."
2He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3Pharaoh asked the brothers, "What is your occupation?" "Your servants are shepherds," they replied to Pharaoh, "just as our fathers were."
4They also said to him, "We have come to live here awhile, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants' flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen."
5Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Your father and your brothers have come to you,
6and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock."
7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh,
8Pharaoh asked him, "How old are you?"
9And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers."
10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.
11So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed.
12Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father's household with food, according to the number of their children.
13There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine.
14Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh's palace.
15When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, "Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is used up."
16"Then bring your livestock," said Joseph. "I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone."
17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, "We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land.
19Why should we perish before your eyes--we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate."
20So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh's,
21and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other.
22However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.
23Joseph said to the people, "Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground.
24But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children."
25"You have saved our lives," they said. "May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh."
26So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt--still in force today--that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh's.
27Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.
28Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven.
29When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt,
30but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried." "I will do as you say," he said.
31"Swear to me," he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
1Some time later Joseph was told, "Your father is ill." So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him.
2When Jacob was told, "Your son Joseph has come to you," Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me
4and said to me, 'I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.'
5"Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine.
6Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.
7As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath" (that is, Bethlehem).
8When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, "Who are these?"
9"They are the sons God has given me here," Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, "Bring them to me so I may bless them."
10Now Israel's eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.
11Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too."
12Then Joseph removed them from Israel's knees and bowed down with his face to the ground.
13And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel's left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel's right hand, and brought them close to him.
14But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.
15Then he blessed Joseph and said, "May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16the Angel who has delivered me from all harm --may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly upon the earth."
17When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim's head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head.
18Joseph said to him, "No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head."
19But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations."
20He blessed them that day and said, "In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: 'May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.'" So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, "I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers.
22And to you, as one who is over your brothers, I give the ridge of land I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow."
1Then Jacob called for his sons and said: "Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2"Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.
3"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.
4Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it.
5"Simeon and Levi are brothers-- their swords are weapons of violence.
6Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
7Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.
8"Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you.
9You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse him?
10The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.
11He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.
13"Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon.
14"Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down between two saddlebags.
15When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor.
16"Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider tumbles backward.
18"I look for your deliverance, O LORD.
19"Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels.
20"Asher's food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21"Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns.
22"Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.
23With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility.
24But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.
26Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
27"Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder."
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.
29Then he gave them these instructions: "I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field.
31There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah.
32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites."
33When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
1Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him.
2Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him,
3taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh's court, "If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him,
5'My father made me swear an oath and said, "I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan." Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.'"
6Pharaoh said, "Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do."
7So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh's officials accompanied him--the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt--
8besides all the members of Joseph's household and his brothers and those belonging to his father's household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen.
9Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.
10When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father.
11When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, "The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning." That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim.
12So Jacob's sons did as he had commanded them:
13They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field.
14After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.
15When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?"
16So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died:
17'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
18His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.
19But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God?
20You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
21So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
22Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father's family. He lived a hundred and ten years
23and saw the third generation of Ephraim's children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph's knees.
24Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
25And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place."
So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.