14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.16Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
1Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.2He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.3This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.4And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.5In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”6And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.8Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
1Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,2instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.3And God permitting, we will do so.4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age6and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.7Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.8But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.9Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation.10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
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, 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 to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be 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 among the sheep pens.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 snake 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, 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 skies above, blessings of the deep springs 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 along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite.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 on 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 along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite.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 years23and 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 Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”26So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
1I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.”2So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased;3my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:4“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.5You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.6“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.7“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.8Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools.9I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this.10Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand.11When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin, you consume their wealth like a moth— surely everyone is but a breath.12“Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.13Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.”