Gen 43-44; Psalm 24; Galatians 1
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Now the famine was severe in the land.
And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, ”Go again, buy us a little food.”
But Judah said to him, ”The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’
If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food.
But if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.”’
Israel said, ”Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?”
They replied, ”The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
And Judah said to Israel his father, ”Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones.
I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever.
If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”
Then their father Israel said to them, ”If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.
Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight.
Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man.
May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin. They arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, ”Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.”
The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, ”It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys.”
So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house,
and said, ”Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food.
And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us,
and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”
He replied, ”Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder,
they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed down to him to the ground.
And he inquired about their welfare and said, ”Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
They said, ”Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves.
And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, ”Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!”
Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there.
Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, ”Serve the food.”
They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement.
Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.
Then he commanded the steward of his house, ”Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack,
and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.
As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys.
They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, ”Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?
Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.”’
When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words.
They said to him, ”Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing!
Behold, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house?
Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be my lord’s servants.”
He said, ”Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.”
Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack.
And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.
Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there. They fell before him to the ground.
Joseph said to them, ”What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me can indeed practice divination?”
And Judah said, ”What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.”
But he said, ”Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
Then Judah went up to him and said, ”O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.
My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’
And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’
Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’
We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’
Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’
‘When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
And when our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’
we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons.
One left me, and I said, Surely he has been torn to pieces, and I have never seen him since.
If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’
‘Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life,
as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.
For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’
Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers.
For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah
Paul, an apostle–not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead–
and all the brothers who are with me,To the churches of Galatia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–
not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.
For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.
And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.
But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;
nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.
But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
(In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!)
Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
They only were hearing it said, ”He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”
And they glorified God because of me.