Then Jacob called his sons to him. He said, " Come here to me, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future.
"Come together and listen, sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father."
"Reuben, my first son, you are my strength. Your birth showed I could be a father. You have the highest position among my sons, and you are the most powerful.
But you are uncontrolled like water, so you will no longer lead your brothers. This is because you got into your father's bed and shamed me by having sexual relations with my slave girl.
"Simeon and Levi are brothers who used their swords to do violence.
I will not join their secret talks, and I will not meet with them to plan evil. They killed men because they were angry, and they crippled oxen just for fun.
May their anger be cursed, because it is too violent. May their violence be cursed, because it is too cruel. and scatter them through all the tribes of Israel.
"Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grab your enemies by the neck, and your brothers will bow down to you.
Judah is like a young lion. You have returned from killing, my son. Like a lion, he stretches out and lies down to rest, and no one is brave enough to wake him.
Kings will come from Judah's family; someone from Judah will always be on the throne. Judah will rule until Shiloh comes, and the nations will obey him.
He ties his donkey to a grapevine, his young donkey to the best branch. He can afford to use wine to wash his clothes and the best wine to wash his robes.
His eyes are dark like the color of wine, and his teeth are as white as the color of milk.
"Zebulun will live near the sea. His shore will be a safe place for ships, and his land will reach as far as Sidon.
"Issachar is like a strong donkey who lies down while carrying his load.
When he sees his resting place is good and how pleasant his land is, he will put his back to the load and become a slave.
"Dan will rule his own people like the other tribes in Israel.
Dan will be like a snake by the side of the road, a dangerous snake lying near the path. That snake bites a horse's leg, and the rider is thrown off backward.
"Lord, I wait for your salvation.
"Robbers will attack Gad, but he will defeat them and drive them away.
"Asher's land will grow much good food; he will grow food fit for a king.
"Naphtali is like a female deer that runs free, that has beautiful fawns.
"Joseph is like a grapevine that produces much fruit, a healthy vine watered by a spring, whose branches grow over the wall.
Archers attack him violently and shoot at him angrily,
but he aims his bow well. His arms are made strong. and his strength from the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
Your father's God helps you. God Almighty blesses you. He blesses you with rain from above, with water from springs below, with many babies born to your wives, and many young ones born to your animals.
The blessings of your father are greater than the blessings of the oldest mountains, greater than the good things of the long-lasting hills. May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph, on the forehead of the one who was separated from his brothers.
"Benjamin is like a hungry wolf. In the morning he eats what he has caught, and in the evening he divides what he has taken."
These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He gave each son the blessing that was right for him.
Then Israel gave them a command and said, "I am about to die. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite.
That cave is in the field of Machpelah east of Mamre in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought the field and cave from Ephron the Hittite for a burying place.
Abraham and Sarah his wife are buried there. Isaac and Rebekah his wife are buried there, and I buried my wife Leah there.
The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittite people."
After Jacob finished talking to his sons, he lay down. He put his feet back on the bed, took his last breath, and died.
When Jacob died, Joseph hugged his father and cried over him and kissed him.
He commanded the doctors who served him to prepare his father's body, so the doctors prepared Jacob's body to be buried.
It took the doctors forty days to prepare his body (the usual time it took). And the Egyptians had a time of sorrow for Jacob that lasted seventy days.
When this time of sorrow had ended, Joseph spoke to the king's officers and said, "If you think well of me, please tell this to the king:
'When my father was near death, I made a promise to him that I would bury him in a cave in the land of Canaan, in a burial place that he cut out for himself. So please let me go and bury my father, and then I will return.'"
The king answered, "Keep your promise. Go and bury your father."
So Joseph went to bury his father. All the king's officers, the older leaders, and all the leading men of Egypt went with Joseph.
Everyone who lived with Joseph and his brothers went with him, as well as everyone who lived with his father. They left only their children, their flocks, and their herds in the land of Goshen.
They went with Joseph in chariots and on horses. It was a very large group.
When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan River, they cried loudly and bitterly for his father. Joseph's time of sorrow continued for seven days.
The people that lived in Canaan saw the sadness at the threshing floor of Atad and said, "Those Egyptians are showing great sorrow!" So now that place is named Sorrow of the Egyptians.
So Jacob's sons did as their father commanded.
They carried his body to the land of Canaan and buried it in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre. Abraham had bought this cave and field from Ephron the Hittite to use as a burial place.
After Joseph buried his father, he returned to Egypt, along with his brothers and everyone who had gone with him to bury his father.
After Jacob died, Joseph's brothers said, "What if Joseph is still angry with us? We did many wrong things to him. What if he plans to pay us back?"
So they sent a message to Joseph that said, "Your father gave this command before he died.
He said to us, 'You have done wrong and have sinned and done evil to Joseph. Tell Joseph to forgive you, his brothers.' So now, Joseph, we beg you to forgive our wrong. We are the servants of the God of your father." When Joseph received the message, he cried.
And his brothers went to him and bowed low before him and said, "We are your slaves."
Then Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Can I do what only God can do?
You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done.
So don't be afraid. I will take care of you and your children." So Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kind words to them.
Joseph continued to live in Egypt with all his father's family. He died when he was one hundred ten years old.
During Joseph's life Ephraim had children and grandchildren, and Joseph's son Manasseh had a son named Makir. Joseph accepted Makir's children as his own.
Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die, but God will take care of you. He will lead you out of this land to the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
Then Joseph had the sons of Israel make a promise. He said, "Promise me that you will carry my bones with you out of Egypt."
Joseph died when he was one hundred ten years old. Doctors prepared his body for burial, and then they put him in a coffin in Egypt.
Then Jesus told another story: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field.
That seed is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows, it is one of the largest garden plants. It becomes big enough for the wild birds to come and build nests in its branches."
Then Jesus told another story: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and hid in a large tub of flour until it made all the dough rise."
Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people; he always used stories to teach them.
This is as the prophet said: "I will speak using stories; I will tell things that have been secret since the world was made."
Then Jesus left the crowd and went into the house. His followers came to him and said, "Explain to us the meaning of the story about the weeds in the field."
Jesus answered, "The man who planted the good seed in the field is the Son of Man.
The field is the world, and the good seed are all of God's children who belong to the kingdom. The weeds are those people who belong to the Evil One.
And the enemy who planted the bad seed is the devil. The harvest time is the end of the world, and the workers who gather are God's angels.
"Just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all who cause sin and all who do evil.
The angels will throw them into the blazing furnace, where the people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.
Then the good people will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. You people who can hear me, listen.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. One day a man found the treasure, and then he hid it in the field again. He was so happy that he went and sold everything he owned to buy that field.
"Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a man looking for fine pearls.
When he found a very valuable pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.
"Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was put into the lake and caught many different kinds of fish.
When it was full, the fishermen pulled the net to the shore. They sat down and put all the good fish in baskets and threw away the bad fish.
It will be this way at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the good people.
The angels will throw the evil people into the blazing furnace, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain."
Jesus asked his followers, "Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes, we understand."
Then Jesus said to them, "So every teacher of the law who has been taught about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house. He brings out both new things and old things he has saved."
When Jesus finished teaching with these stories, he left there.
He went to his hometown and taught the people in the synagogue, and they were amazed. They said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and this power to do miracles?
He is just the son of a carpenter. His mother is Mary, and his brothers are James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.
And all his sisters are here with us. Where then does this man get all these things?"
So the people were upset with Jesus. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and in his own home."
So he did not do many miracles there because they had no faith.