1 Jacob packed up all he had and went to Beersheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God spoke to him in a vision at night and called, "Jacob, Jacob!" "Yes, here I am," he answered. 3 "I am God, the God of your father," he said. "Do not be afraid to go to Egypt; I will make your descendants a great nation there. 4 I will go with you to Egypt, and I will bring your descendants back to this land. Joseph will be with you when you die." 5 Jacob set out from Beersheba. His sons put him, their small children, and their wives in the wagons which the king of Egypt had sent. 6 They took their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan and went to Egypt. Jacob took all his descendants with him: 7 his sons, his grandsons, his daughters, and his granddaughters. 8 The members of Jacob's family who went to Egypt with him were his oldest son Reuben 9 and Reuben's sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 Simeon and his sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 Levi and his sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 Judah and his sons: Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. (Judah's other sons, Er and Onan, had died in Canaan.) Perez' sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13 Issachar and his sons: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron. 14 Zebulun and his sons: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons that Leah had borne to Jacob in Mesopotamia, besides his daughter Dinah. In all, his descendants by Leah numbered thirty-three. 16 Gad and his sons: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arod, and Areli. 17 Asher and his sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah's sons were Heber and Malchiel. 18 These sixteen are the descendants of Jacob by Zilpah, the slave woman whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah. 19 Jacob's wife Rachel bore him two sons: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 In Egypt Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in Heliopolis. 21 Benjamin's sons were Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These fourteen are the descendants of Jacob by Rachel. 23 Dan and his son Hushim. 24 Naphtali and his sons: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These seven are the descendants of Jacob by Bilhah, the slave woman whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel. 26 The total number of the direct descendants of Jacob who went to Egypt was sixty-six, not including his sons' wives. 27 Two sons were born to Joseph in Egypt, bringing to seventy the total number of Jacob's family who went there. 28 Jacob sent Judah ahead to ask Joseph to meet them in Goshen. When they arrived, 29 Joseph got in his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father. When they met, Joseph threw his arms around his father's neck and cried for a long time. 30 Jacob said to Joseph, "I am ready to die, now that I have seen you and know that you are still alive." 31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and the rest of his father's family, "I must go and tell the king that my brothers and all my father's family, who were living in Canaan, have come to me. 32 I will tell him that you are shepherds and take care of livestock and that you have brought your flocks and herds and everything else that belongs to you. 33 When the king calls for you and asks what your occupation is, 34 be sure to tell him that you have taken care of livestock all your lives, just as your ancestors did. In this way he will let you live in the region of Goshen." Joseph said this because Egyptians will have nothing to do with shepherds.
1 So Joseph took five of his brothers and went to the king. He told him, "My father and my brothers have come from Canaan with their flocks, their herds, and all that they own. They are now in the region of Goshen." 2 He then presented his brothers to the king. 3 The king asked them, "What is your occupation?" "We are shepherds, sir, just as our ancestors were," they answered. 4 "We have come to live in this country, because in the land of Canaan the famine is so severe that there is no pasture for our flocks. Please give us permission to live in the region of Goshen." 5 The king said to Joseph, "Now that your father and your brothers have arrived, 6 the land of Egypt is theirs. Let them settle in the region of Goshen, the best part of the land. And if there are any capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock." 7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to the king. Jacob gave the king his blessing, 8 and the king asked him, "How old are you?" 9 Jacob answered, "My life of wandering has lasted a hundred and thirty years. Those years have been few and difficult, unlike the long years of my ancestors in their wanderings." 10 Jacob gave the king a farewell blessing and left. 11 Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt, giving them property in the best of the land near the city of Rameses, as the king had commanded. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and all the rest of his father's family, including the very youngest. 13 The famine was so severe that there was no food anywhere, and the people of Egypt and Canaan became weak with hunger. 14 As they bought grain, Joseph collected all the money and took it to the palace. 15 When all the money in Egypt and Canaan was spent, the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us food! Don't let us die. Do something! Our money is all gone." 16 Joseph answered, "Bring your livestock; I will give you food in exchange for it if your money is all gone." 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. That year he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock. 18 The following year they came to him and said, "We will not hide the fact from you, sir, that our money is all gone and our livestock belongs to you. There is nothing left to give you except our bodies and our lands. 19 Don't let us die. Do something! Don't let our fields be deserted. Buy us and our land in exchange for food. We will be the king's slaves, and he will own our land. Give us grain to keep us alive and seed so that we can plant our fields." 20 Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for the king. Every Egyptian was forced to sell his land, because the famine was so severe; and all the land became the king's property. 21 Joseph made slaves of the people from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 The only land he did not buy was the land that belonged to the priests. They did not have to sell their lands, because the king gave them an allowance to live on. 23 Joseph said to the people, "You see, I have now bought you and your lands for the king. Here is seed for you to sow in your fields. 24 At the time of harvest you must give one-fifth to the king. You can use the rest for seed and for food for yourselves and your families." 25 They answered, "You have saved our lives; you have been good to us, sir, and we will be the king's slaves." 26 So Joseph made it a law for the land of Egypt that one-fifth of the harvest should belong to the king. This law still remains in force today. Only the lands of the priests did not become the king's property. 27 The Israelites lived in Egypt in the region of Goshen, where they became rich and had many children. 28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, until he was a hundred and forty-seven years old. 29 When the time drew near for him to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, "Place your hand between my thighs and make a solemn vow that you will not bury me in Egypt. 30 I want to be buried where my fathers are; carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried." Joseph answered, "I will do as you say." 31 Jacob said, "Make a vow that you will." Joseph made the vow, and Jacob gave thanks there on his bed.
1 Some time later Joseph was told that his father was ill. So he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to see Jacob. 2 When Jacob was told that his son Joseph had come to see him, he gathered his strength and sat up in bed. 3 Jacob said to Joseph, "Almighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4 He said to me, "I will give you many children, so that your descendants will become many nations; I will give this land to your descendants as their possession forever.' " 5 Jacob continued, "Joseph, your two sons, who were born to you in Egypt before I came here, belong to me; Ephraim and Manasseh are just as much my sons as Reuben and Simeon. 6 If you have any more sons, they will not be considered mine; the inheritance they get will come through Ephraim and Manasseh. 7 I am doing this because of your mother Rachel. To my great sorrow she died in the land of Canaan, not far from Ephrath, as I was returning from Mesopotamia. I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath." (Ephrath is now known as Bethlehem.) 8 When Jacob saw Joseph's sons, he asked, "Who are these boys?" 9 Joseph answered, "These are my sons, whom God has given me here in Egypt." Jacob said, "Bring them to me so that I may bless them." 10 Jacob's eyesight was failing because of his age, and he could not see very well. Joseph brought the boys to him, and he hugged them and kissed them. 11 Jacob said to Joseph, "I never expected to see you again, and now God has even let me see your children." 12 Then Joseph took them from Jacob's lap and bowed down before him with his face to the ground. 13 Joseph put Ephraim at Jacob's left and Manasseh at his right. 14 But Jacob crossed his hands, and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, even though he was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, who was the older. 15 Then he blessed Joseph: "May God, whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac served, bless these boys! May God, who has led me to this very day, bless them! 16 May the angel, who has rescued me from all harm, bless them! May my name and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac live on through these boys! May they have many children, many descendants!" 17 Joseph was upset when he saw that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim's head; so he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to the head of Manasseh. 18 He said to his father, "Not that way, father. This is the older boy; put your right hand on his head." 19 His father refused, saying, "I know, son, I know. Manasseh's descendants will also become a great people. But his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become great nations." 20 So he blessed them that day, saying, "The Israelites will use your names when they pronounce blessings. They will say, "May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.' " In this way Jacob put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Then Jacob said to Joseph, "As you see, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to the land of your ancestors. 22 It is to you and not to your brothers that I am giving Shechem, that fertile region which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow."
1 That same day Jesus left the house and went to the lakeside, where he sat down to teach. 2 The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it, while the crowd stood on the shore. 3 He used parables to tell them many things. "Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. 4 As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn't deep. 6 But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. 7 Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty." 9 And Jesus concluded, "Listen, then, if you have ears!" 10 Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, "Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?" 11 Jesus answered, "The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 For the person who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing will have taken away from him even the little he has. 13 The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look, but do not see, and they listen, but do not hear or understand. 14 So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them: "This people will listen and listen, but not understand; they will look and look, but not see, 15 because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.' 16 "As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. 17 I assure you that many prophets and many of God's people wanted very much to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not. 18 "Listen, then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. 19 Those who hear the message about the Kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in them. 20 The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. 21 But it does not sink deep into them, and they don't last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once. 22 The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don't bear fruit. 23 And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty." 24 Jesus told them another parable: "The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man sowed good seed in his field. 25 One night, when everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 When the plants grew and the heads of grain began to form, then the weeds showed up. 27 The man's servants came to him and said, "Sir, it was good seed you sowed in your field; where did the weeds come from?' 28 "It was some enemy who did this,' he answered. "Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?' they asked him. 29 "No,' he answered, "because as you gather the weeds you might pull up some of the wheat along with them. 30 Let the wheat and the weeds both grow together until harvest. Then I will tell the harvest workers to pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them, and then to gather in the wheat and put it in my barn.' "