Joseph Dreams of Greatness
1Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan.2This is the story of the family of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.3Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves.4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.5Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.6He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed.7There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.”8His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.9He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”10But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?”11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers
12Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem.13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.”14So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.
He came to Shechem,15and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?”16“I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.”17The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan.18They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him.19They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer.20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”21But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.”22Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father.23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore;24and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.25Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed.28When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes.30He returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy is gone; and I, where can I turn?”31Then they took Joseph's robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood.32They had the long robe with sleeves taken to their father, and they said, “This we have found; see now whether it is your son's robe or not.”33He recognized it, and said, “It is my son's robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.”34Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days.35All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father bewailed him.36Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard.Chapter 38Judah and Tamar
1It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and settled near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her.3She conceived and bore a son; and he named him Er.4Again she conceived and bore a son whom she named Onan.5Yet again she bore a son, and she named him Shelah. She was in Chezib when she bore him.6Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar.7But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death.8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother's wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother.”9But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother's wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother.10What he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up”—for he feared that he too would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father's house.12In course of time the wife of Judah, Shua's daughter, died; when Judah's time of mourning was over, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.13When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,”14she put off her widow's garments, put on a veil, wrapped herself up, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. She saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him in marriage.15When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face.16He went over to her at the road side, and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”17He answered, “I will send you a kid from the flock.” And she said, “Only if you give me a pledge, until you send it.”18He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord, and the staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him.19Then she got up and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.20When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to recover the pledge from the woman, he could not find her.21He asked the townspeople, “Where is the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the wayside?” But they said, “No prostitute has been here.”22So he returned to Judah, and said, “I have not found her; moreover the townspeople said, ‘No prostitute has been here.’ ”23Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, otherwise we will be laughed at; you see, I sent this kid, and you could not find her.”24About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.”25As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.” And she said, “Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.”26Then Judah acknowledged them and said, “She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not lie with her again.27When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb.28While she was in labor, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a crimson thread, saying, “This one came out first.”29But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore he was named Perez.30Afterward his brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.Chapter 39Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
1Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there.2The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master.3His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands.4So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him; he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.5From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field.6So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate.
Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking.7And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.”8But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand.9He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”10And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her.11One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house,12she caught hold of his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.13When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside,14she called out to the members of her household and said to them, “See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice;15and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.”16Then she kept his garment by her until his master came home,17and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me;18but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.”19When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, “This is the way your servant treated me,” he became enraged.20And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison.21But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.22The chief jailer committed to Joseph's care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it.23The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph's care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.Chapter 40The Dreams of Two Prisoners
1Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt.2Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,3and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.4The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody.5One night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning.6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled.7So he asked Pharaoh's officers, who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?”8They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”9So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me,10and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and the clusters ripened into grapes.11Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.”12Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days;13within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.14But remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place.15For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head,17and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.”18And Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days;19within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a pole; and the birds will eat the flesh from you.”20On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.21He restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand;22but the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.23Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.Chapter 41Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dream
1After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile,2and there came up out of the Nile seven sleek and fat cows, and they grazed in the reed grass.3Then seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile.4The ugly and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. And Pharaoh awoke.5Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk.6Then seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them.7The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and it was a dream.8In the morning his spirit was troubled; so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my faults today.10Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard.11We dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own meaning.12A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each according to his dream.13As he interpreted to us, so it turned out; I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”14Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”16Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile;18and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass.19Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt.20The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows,21but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke.22I fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk,23and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them;24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.”25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh's dreams are one and the same; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one.27The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine.28It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do.29There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt.30After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land.31The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous.32And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about.33Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.34Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years.35Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.36That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”Joseph's Rise to Power
37The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants.38Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone else like this—one in whom is the spirit of God?”39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.40You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”42Removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph's hand; he arrayed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck.43He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command; and they cried out in front of him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.44Moreover Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt.46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all the land of Egypt.47During the seven plenteous years the earth produced abundantly.48He gathered up all the food of the seven years when there was plenty in the land of Egypt, and stored up food in the cities; he stored up in every city the food from the fields around it.49So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance—like the sand of the sea—that he stopped measuring it; it was beyond measure.50Before the years of famine came, Joseph had two sons, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.51Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house.”52The second he named Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortunes.”53The seven years of plenty that prevailed in the land of Egypt came to an end;54and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every country, but throughout the land of Egypt there was bread.55When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.”56And since the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.57Moreover, all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine became severe throughout the world.Chapter 42Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at one another?2I have heard,” he said, “that there is grain in Egypt; go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.”3So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.4But Jacob did not send Joseph's brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he feared that harm might come to him.5Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to buy grain, for the famine had reached the land of Canaan.6Now Joseph was governor over the land; it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.7When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”8Although Joseph had recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.9Joseph also remembered the dreams that he had dreamed about them. He said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land!”10They said to him, “No, my lord; your servants have come to buy food.11We are all sons of one man; we are honest men; your servants have never been spies.”12But he said to them, “No, you have come to see the nakedness of the land!”13They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of a certain man in the land of Canaan; the youngest, however, is now with our father, and one is no more.”14But Joseph said to them, “It is just as I have said to you; you are spies!15Here is how you shall be tested: as Pharaoh lives, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here!16Let one of you go and bring your brother, while the rest of you remain in prison, in order that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you; or else, as Pharaoh lives, surely you are spies.”17And he put them all together in prison for three days.18On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God:19if you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here where you are imprisoned. The rest of you shall go and carry grain for the famine of your households,20and bring your youngest brother to me. Thus your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they agreed to do so.21They said to one another, “Alas, we are paying the penalty for what we did to our brother; we saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this anguish has come upon us.”22Then Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.”23They did not know that Joseph understood them, since he spoke with them through an interpreter.24He turned away from them and wept; then he returned and spoke to them. And he picked out Simeon and had him bound before their eyes.25Joseph then gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return every man's money to his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. This was done for them.Joseph's Brothers Return to Canaan
26They loaded their donkeys with their grain, and departed.27When one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his money at the top of the sack.28He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in my sack!” At this they lost heart and turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”29When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying,30“The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us, and charged us with spying on the land.31But we said to him, ‘We are honest men, we are not spies.32We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan.’33Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way.34Bring your youngest brother to me, and I shall know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will release your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’ ”35As they were emptying their sacks, there in each one's sack was his bag of money. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed.36And their father Jacob said to them, “I am the one you have bereaved of children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has happened to me!”37Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.”38But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should come to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”Chapter 43The Brothers Come Again, Bringing Benjamin
1Now the famine was severe in the land.2And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.”3But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food;5but 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.’ ”6Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?”7They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you 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’?”8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not die—you and we and also our little ones.9I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever.10If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”11Then 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 them down as a present to the man—a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds.12Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight.13Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man;14may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”15So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.16When 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.”17The man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph's house.18Now the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph's house, and they said, “It is because of the money, replaced in our sacks the first time, that we have been brought in, so that he may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make slaves of us and take our donkeys.”19So they went up to the steward of Joseph's house and spoke with him at the entrance to the house.20They said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food;21and when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each one's money in the top of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it back with us.22Moreover we have brought down with us additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”23He replied, “Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.24When the steward 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,25they made the present ready for Joseph's coming at noon, for they had heard that they would dine there.26When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had carried into the house, and bowed to the ground before him.27He inquired about their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”28They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and did obeisance.29Then he looked up 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!”30With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room and wept there.31Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, “Serve the meal.”32They 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.33When they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement.34Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.Chapter 44Joseph Detains Benjamin
1Then 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 top of his sack.2Put my cup, the silver cup, in the top of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.3As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys.4When they had gone only a short distance from the city, Joseph said to his steward, “Go, follow after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you returned evil for good? Why have you stolen my silver cup?5Is it not from this that my lord drinks? Does he not indeed use it for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.’ ”6When he overtook them, he repeated these words to them.7They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants that they should do such a thing!8Look, the money that we found at the top of our sacks, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan; why then would we steal silver or gold from your lord's house?9Should it be found with any one of your servants, let him die; moreover the rest of us will become my lord's slaves.”10He said, “Even so; in accordance with your words, let it be: he with whom it is found shall become my slave, but the rest of you shall go free.”11Then each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each opened his sack.12He searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.13At this they tore their clothes. Then each one loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.14Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house while he was still there; and they fell to the ground before him.15Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that one such as I can practice divination?”16And Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; here we are then, my lord's slaves, both we and also the one in whose possession the cup has been found.”17But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the one in whose possession the cup was found shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”Judah Pleads for Benjamin's Release
18Then Judah stepped up to him and said, “O my lord, let your servant please speak a word in my lord's ears, and do not be angry with your servant; for you are like Pharaoh himself.19My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’20And 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; he alone is left of his mother's children, and his father loves him.’21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, so that I may set my eyes on him.’22We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’23Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’24When we went back to your servant my father we told him the words of my lord.25And when our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’26we said, ‘We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother goes with us, will we go down; for we cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.’27Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons;28one left me, and I said, Surely he has been torn to pieces; and I have never seen him since.29If you take this one also from me, and harm comes to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in sorrow to Sheol.’30Now therefore, when 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,31when 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.32For your servant became surety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame in the sight of my father all my life.’33Now therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord in place of the boy; and let the boy go back with his brothers.34For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the suffering that would come upon my father.”Chapter 45Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers
1Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.2And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.11I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’12And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you.13You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.”14Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck.15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.16When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, “Joseph's brothers have come,” Pharaoh and his servants were pleased.17Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of Canaan.18Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land.’19You are further charged to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.20Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ”21The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey.22To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments.23To his father he sent the following: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey.24Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Do not quarrel along the way.”25So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.26And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned; he could not believe them.27But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.28Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”Chapter 46Jacob Brings His Whole Family to Egypt
1When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.2God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”3Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.4I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's own hand shall close your eyes.”5Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him.6They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him,7his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.8Now these are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his offspring, who came to Egypt. Reuben, Jacob's firstborn,9and the children of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.10The children of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.11The children of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.12The children of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the children of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.13The children of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron.14The children of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel15(these are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; in all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three).16The children of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.17The children of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. The children of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel18(these are the children of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and these she bore to Jacob—sixteen persons).19The children of Jacob's wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.20To Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.21The children of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard22(these are the children of Rachel, who were born to Jacob—fourteen persons in all).23The children of Dan: Hashum.24The children of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem25(these are the children of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and these she bore to Jacob—seven persons in all).26All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own offspring, not including the wives of his sons, were sixty-six persons in all.27The children of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy.Jacob Settles in Goshen
28Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph to lead the way before him into Goshen. When they came to the land of Goshen,29Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to him, fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.30Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now, having seen for myself that you are still alive.”31Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.32The men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.’33When Pharaoh calls you, and says, ‘What is your occupation?’34you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our ancestors’—in order that you may settle in the land of Goshen, because all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.”Chapter 471So Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan; they are now in the land of Goshen.”2From among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh.3Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our ancestors were.”4They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to reside as aliens in the land; for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, we ask you, let your servants settle in the land of Goshen.”5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you.6The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know that there are capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”7Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob, and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.8Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the years of your life?”9Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my earthly sojourn are one hundred thirty; few and hard have been the years of my life. They do not compare with the years of the life of my ancestors during their long sojourn.”10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.11Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had instructed.12And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father's household with food, according to the number of their dependents.The Famine in Egypt
13Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.14Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.15When the money from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, “Give us food! Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.”16And Joseph answered, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone.”17So they brought their livestock to Joseph; and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. That year he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock.18When that year was ended, they came to him the following year, and said to him, “We can not hide from my lord that our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord's. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands.19Shall we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food. We with our land will become slaves to Pharaoh; just give us seed, so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe upon them; and the land became Pharaoh's.21As for the people, he made slaves of them from one end of Egypt to the other.22Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh, and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land.23Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you; sow the land.24And at the harvests you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.”25They said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves to Pharaoh.”26So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. The land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh's.The Last Days of Jacob
27Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; and they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly.28Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were one hundred forty-seven years.29When the time of Israel's death drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor with you, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal loyally and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt.30When I lie down with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.”31And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the head of his bed.Chapter 48Jacob Blesses Joseph's Sons
1After this Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” he summoned his strength and sat up in bed.3And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and he blessed me,4and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers; I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your offspring after you for a perpetual holding.’5Therefore your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are now mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are.6As for the offspring born to you after them, they shall be yours. They shall be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance.7For when I came from Paddan, Rachel, alas, died in the land of Canaan on the way, while there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).8When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, “Who are these?”9Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.”10Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, and he could not see well. So Joseph brought them near him; and he kissed them and embraced them.11Israel said to Joseph, “I did not expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also.”12Then Joseph removed them from his father's knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.13Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right, and brought them near him.14But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the firstborn.15He blessed Joseph, and said,
“The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,16the angel who has redeemed me from all harm, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude on the earth.”17When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head.18Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father! Since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.”19But his father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”20So he blessed them that day, saying,
“By you Israel will invoke blessings, saying,
‘God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.’ ”
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your ancestors.22I now give to you one portion more than to your brothers, the portion that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”Chapter 49Jacob's Last Words to His Sons
1Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.2Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel your father.
3Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might and the first fruits of my vigor,
excelling in rank and excelling in power.4Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel
because you went up onto your father's bed;
then you defiled it—you went up onto my couch!
5Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.6May I never come into their council;
may I not be joined to their company—
for in their anger they killed men,
and at their whim they hamstrung oxen.7Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob,
and scatter them in Israel.
8Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.9Judah is a lion's whelp;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion,
like a lioness—who dares rouse him up?10The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and the obedience of the peoples is his.11Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey's colt to the choice vine,
he washes his garments in wine
and his robe in the blood of grapes;12his eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea;
he shall be a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between the sheepfolds;15he saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant;
so he bowed his shoulder to the burden,
and became a slave at forced labor.
16Dan shall judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.17Dan shall be a snake by the roadside,
a viper along the path,
that bites the horse's heels
so that its rider falls backward.
18I wait for your salvation, O Lord.
19Gad shall be raided by raiders,
but he shall raid at their heels.
20Asher's food shall be rich,
and he shall provide royal delicacies.
21Naphtali is a doe let loose
that bears lovely fawns.
22Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.23The archers fiercely attacked him;
they shot at him and pressed him hard.24Yet his bow remained taut,
and his arms were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,25by the God of your father, who will help you,
by the Almighty who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.26The blessings of your father
are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,
the bounties of the everlasting hills;
may they be on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning devouring the prey,
and at evening dividing the spoil.”
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing.Jacob's Death and Burial
29Then he charged them, saying to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors—in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,30in the cave in the field at Machpelah, near Mamre, in the land of Canaan, in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site.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 that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.”33When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.Chapter 501Then Joseph threw himself on his father's face and wept over him and kissed him.2Joseph commanded the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel;3they spent forty days in doing this, for that is the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.4When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph addressed the household of Pharaoh, “If now I have found favor with you, please speak to Pharaoh as follows:5My father made me swear an oath; he said, ‘I am about to die. In the tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.’ Now therefore let me go up, so that I may bury my father; then I will return.”6Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”7So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,8as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen.9Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a very great company.10When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed a time of mourning for his father seven days.11When the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning on the part of the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan.12Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them.13They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham bought as a burial site from Ephron the Hittite.14After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.Joseph Forgives His Brothers
15Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?”16So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died,17‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him.18Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.”19But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God?20Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.21So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.Joseph's Last Days and Death
22So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's household; and Joseph lived one hundred ten years.23Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation; the children of Machir son of Manasseh were also born on Joseph's knees.24Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die; but God will surely come to you, and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”25So Joseph made the Israelites swear, saying, “When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here.”26And Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.