Genesis 49; Genesis 50; Matthew 13:31-58

1 Jacob summoned his sons and said, "Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days. 2 Assemble yourselves and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father. 3 Reuben, you are my oldest son, my strength and my first contender, superior in status and superior in might. 4 As wild as the waters, you won't endure, for you went up to your father's bed, you went up and violated my couch. 5 Simeon and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence their stock in trade. 6 May I myself never enter their council. May my honor never be linked to their group; for when they were angry, they killed men, and whenever they wished, they maimed oxen. 7 Cursed be their anger; it is violent, their rage; it is relentless. I'll divide them up within Jacob and disperse them within Israel. 8 Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you. 9 Judah is a lion's cub; from the prey, my son, you rise up. He lies down and crouches like a lion; like a lioness—who dares disturb him? 10 The scepter won't depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from among his banners. Gifts will be brought to him; people will obey him. 11 He ties his male donkey to the vine, the colt of his female donkey to the vine's branches. He washes his clothes in wine, his garments in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk. 13 Zebulun will live at the seashore; he'll live at the harbor of ships, his border will be at Sidon. 14 Issachar is a sturdy donkey, bedding down beside the village hearths. 15 He saw that a resting place was good and that the land was pleasant. He lowered his shoulder to haul loads and joined the work gangs. 16 Dan will settle disputes for his people, as one of Israel's tribes. 17 Dan will be a snake on the road, a serpent on the path, biting a horse's heels, so its rider falls backward. 18 I long for your victory, LORD. 19 Gad will be attacked by attackers, but he'll attack their back. 20 Asher grows fine foods, and he will supply the king's delicacies. 21 Naphtali is a wild doe that gives birth to beautiful fawns. 22 Joseph is a young bull, a young bull by a spring, who strides with oxen. 23 They attacked him fiercely and fired arrows; the archers attacked him furiously. 24 But his bow stayed strong, and his forearms were nimble, by the hands of the strong one of Jacob, by the name of the shepherd, the rock of Israel, 25 by God, your father, who supports you, by the Almighty who blesses you with blessings from the skies above and blessings from the deep sea below, blessings from breasts and womb. 26 The blessings of your father exceed the blessings of the eternal mountains, the wealth of the everlasting hills. May they all rest on Joseph's head, on the forehead of the one set apart from his brothers. 27 Benjamin is a wolf who hunts: in the morning he devours the prey; in the evening he divides the plunder." 28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them by giving each man his own particular blessing. 29 Jacob ordered them, "I am soon to join my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that's in the field of Ephron the Hittite; 30 in the cave that's in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial property. 31 That is where Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and where Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and where I buried Leah. 32 It is the field and the cave in it that belonged to the Hittites." 33 After he finished giving orders to his sons, he put his feet up on the bed, took his last breath, and joined his people.
1 Joseph fell across his father's body, wept over him, and kissed him. 2 Joseph then ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 They mourned for him forty days because that is the period required for embalming. Then the Egyptians mourned him for seventy days. 4 After the period of mourning had passed, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh's household: "If you approve my request, give Pharaoh this message: 5 My father made me promise, telling me, ‘I'm about to die. You must bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.' Now, let me leave and let me bury my father, and then I will return." 6 Pharaoh replied, "Go, bury your father as you promised." 7 So Joseph left to bury his father. All of Pharaoh's servants went with him, together with the elder statesmen in his household and all of the elder statesmen in the land of Egypt, 8 Joseph's entire household, his brothers, and his father's household. Only the children, flocks, and cattle remained in the land of Goshen. 9 Even chariots and horsemen went with him; it was a huge collection of people. 10 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Atad on the other side of the Jordan River, they observed a solemn, deeply sorrowful period of mourning. He grieved seven days for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw the observance of grief on Atad's threshing floor, they said, "This is a solemn observance of grief by the Egyptians." Therefore, its name is Abel-mizraim. It is on the other side of the Jordan River. 12 Israel's sons did for him just as he had ordered. 13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, which Abraham had purchased as burial property from Ephron the Hittite. 14 Then Joseph returned to Egypt, he, his brothers, and everyone who left with him to bury his father. 15 When Joseph's brothers realized that their father was now dead, they said, "What if Joseph bears a grudge against us, and wants to pay us back seriously for all of the terrible things we did to him?" 16 So they approached Joseph and said, "Your father gave orders before he died, telling us, 17 ‘This is what you should say to Joseph. 'Please, forgive your brothers' sins and misdeeds, for they did terrible things to you. Now, please forgive the sins of the servants of your father's God.''" Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers wept too, fell down in front of him, and said, "We're here as your slaves." 19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I God? 20 You planned something bad for me, but God produced something good from it, in order to save the lives of many people, just as he's doing today. 21 Now, don't be afraid. I will take care of you and your children." So he put them at ease and spoke reassuringly to them. 22 Thus Joseph lived in Egypt, he and his father's household. Joseph lived 110 years 23 and saw Ephraim's grandchildren. The children of Machir, Manasseh's son, were also born on Joseph's knees. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, "I'm about to die. God will certainly take care of you and bring you out of this land to the land he promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." 25 Joseph made Israel's sons promise, "When God takes care of you, you must bring up my bones out of here." 26 Joseph died when he was 110 years old. They embalmed him and placed him in a coffin in Egypt.
31 He told another parable to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his field. 32 It's the smallest of all seeds. But when it's grown, it's the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches." 33 He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through all the dough." 34 Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables, and he spoke to them only in parables. 35 This was to fulfill what the prophet spoke: I'll speak in parables; I'll declare what has been hidden since the beginning of the world. 36 Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." 37 Jesus replied, "The one who plants the good seed is the Human One. 38 The field is the world. And the good seeds are the followers of the kingdom. But the weeds are the followers of the evil one. 39 The enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the present age. The harvesters are the angels. 40 Just as people gather weeds and burn them in the fire, so it will be at the end of the present age. 41 The Human One will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that cause people to fall away and all people who sin. 42 He will throw them into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom. Those who have ears should hear." 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. 46 When he found one very precious pearl, he went and sold all that he owned and bought it. 47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that people threw into the lake and gathered all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, they pulled it to the shore, where they sat down and put the good fish together into containers. But the bad fish they threw away. 49 That's the way it will be at the end of the present age. The angels will go out and separate the evil people from the righteous people, 50 and will throw the evil ones into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. 51 "Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked. They said to him, "Yes." 52 Then he said to them, "Therefore, every legal expert who has been trained as a disciple for the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings old and new things out of their treasure chest." 53 When Jesus finished these parables, he departed. 54 When he came to his hometown, he taught the people in their synagogue. They were surprised and said, "Where did he get this wisdom? Where did he get the power to work miracles? 55 Isn't he the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother named Mary? Aren't James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? 56 And his sisters, aren't they here with us? Where did this man get all this?" 57 They were repulsed by him and fell into sin. But Jesus said to them, "Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns and in their own households." 58 He was unable to do many miracles there because of their disbelief.
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