Genesis – Chapter 50

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 Genesis

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Genesis

Chapter 50

1

Joseph threw himself on his father’s face and wept over him as he kissed him.

2

Then he ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father. When they embalmed Israel,

3

they spent forty days at it, for that is the full period of embalming; and the Egyptians mourned him for seventy days.

4

When that period of mourning was over, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s courtiers. “Please do me this favor,” he said, “and convey to Pharaoh this request of mine.

5

Since my father, at the point of death, made me promise on oath to bury him in the tomb that he had prepared for himself in the land of Canaan, may I go up there to bury my father and then come back?”

6

Pharaoh replied, “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise on oath.”

7

So Joseph left to bury his father; and with him went all of Pharaoh’s officials who were senior members of his court and all the other dignitaries of Egypt,

8

as well as Joseph’s whole household, his brothers, and his father’s household; only their children and their flocks and herds were left in the region of Goshen.

9

Chariots, too, and charioteers went up with him; it was a very large retinue.

10

1 When they arrived at Goren-ha-atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and solemn memorial service; and Joseph observed seven days of mourning for his father.

11

When the Canaanites who inhabited the land saw the mourning at Goren-ha-atad, they said, “This is a solemn funeral the Egyptians are having.” That is why the place was named Abel-mizraim. It is beyond the Jordan.

12

Thus Jacob’s sons did for him as he had instructed them.

13

They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, the field that Abraham had bought for a burial ground from Ephron the Hittite.

14

After Joseph had buried his father he returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all who had gone up with him for the burial of his father.

15

Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful and thought, “Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us and now plans to pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!”

16

So they approached Joseph and said: “Before your father died, he gave us these instructions:

17

‘You shall say to Joseph, Jacob begs you to forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers, who treated you so cruelly.’ Please, therefore, forgive the crime that we, the servants of your father’s God, committed.” When they spoke these words to him, Joseph broke into tears.

18

Then his brothers proceeded to fling themselves down before him and said, “Let us be your slaves!”

19

But Joseph replied to them: “Have no fear. Can I take the place of God?

20

Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people.

21

Therefore have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.

22

Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years.

23

He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation, and the children of Manasseh’s son Machir were also born on Joseph’s knees.

24

Joseph said to his brothers: “I am about to die. God will surely take care of you and lead you out of this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

25

Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued, “When God thus takes care of you, you must bring my bones up with you from this place.”

26

Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. He was embalmed and laid to rest in a coffin in Egypt.

1 [10-11] Goren-ha-atad: “Threshing Floor of the Brambles.” Abel-mizraim: although the name really means “watercourse of the Egyptians,” it is understood here, by a play on the first part of the term, to mean “mourning of the Egyptians.” The site has not been identified through either reading of the name. But it is difficult to see why the mourning rites should have been held in the land beyond the Jordan when the burial was at Hebron. Perhaps an earlier form of the story placed the mourning rites beyond the Wadi of Egypt, the traditional boundary between Canaan and Egypt ( Numbers 34:5;  Joshua 15:4,  47).

Genesis – Chapter 49

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 Genesis

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Genesis

Chapter 49

1

Jacob called his sons and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what is to happen to you in days to come.

2

“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father.

3

“You, Reuben, my first-born, my strength and the first fruit of my manhood, excelling in rank and excelling in power!

4

Unruly as water, you shall no longer excel, for you climbed into your father’s bed and defiled my couch to my sorrow.

5

1 “Simeon and Levi, brothers indeed, weapons of violence are their knives.

6

Let not my soul enter their council, or my spirit be joined with their company; For in their fury they slew men, in their willfulness they maimed oxen.

7

Cursed be their fury so fierce, and their rage so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob, disperse them throughout Israel.

8

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise  – your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you.

9

Judah, like a lion’s whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts – who would dare rouse him?

10

2 The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, While tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people’s homage.

11

3 He tethers his donkey to the vine, his purebred ass to the choicest stem. In wine he washes his garments his robe in the blood of grapes.

12

His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk.

13

“Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore (This means a shore for ships), and his flank shall be based on Sidon.

14

“Issachar is a rawboned ass, crouching between the saddlebags.

15

When he saw how good a settled life was, and how pleasant the country, He bent his shoulder to the burden and became a toiling serf.

16

4 “Dan shall achieve justice for his kindred like any other tribe of Israel.

17

Let Dan be a serpent by the roadside, a horned viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heel, so that the rider tumbles backward.

18

“(I long for your deliverance, O LORD!)

19

5 “Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels.

20

“Asher’s produce is rich, and he shall furnish dainties for kings.

21

“Naphtali is a hind let loose which brings forth lovely fawns.

22

“Joseph is a wild colt ,a wild colt by a spring, a wild ass on a hillside.

23

Harrying and attacking, the archers opposed him;

24

But each one’s bow remained stiff, as their arms were unsteady, By the power of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

25

6 The God of your father, who helps you, God Almighty, who blesses you, With the blessings of the heavens above, the blessings of the abyss that crouches below, The blessings of breasts and womb,

26

the blessings of fresh grain and blossoms, The blessings of the everlasting mountains, the delights of the eternal hills. May they rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

27

“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; mornings he devours the prey, and evenings he distributes the spoils.”

28

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said about them, as he bade them farewell and gave to each of them an appropriate message.

29

Then he gave them this charge: “Since I am about to be taken to my kindred, bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies in the field of Ephron the Hittite,

30

the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground.

31

There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there, too, I buried Leah – 

32

the field and the cave in it that had been purchased from the Hittites.”

33

When Jacob had finished giving these instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was taken to his kindred.

1 [5] Knives: if this is the meaning of the obscure Hebrew word here, the reference may be to the knives used in circumcising the men of Shechem ( Genesis 34:24; cf  Joshua 5:2).

2 [10] While tribute is brought to him: this translation is based on a slight change in the Hebrew text, which, as it stands, would seem to mean, “until he comes to Shiloh.” A somewhat different reading of the Hebrew text would be, “until he comes to whom it belongs.” This last has been traditionally understood in a Messianic sense. In any case, the passage foretells the supremacy of the tribe of Judah, which found its fulfillment in the Davidic dynasty and ultimately in the Messianic Son of David, Jesus Christ.

3 [11] In wine . . . the blood of grapes: Judah’s clothes are poetically pictured as soaked with grape juice from trampling in the wine press, the rich vintage of his land; cf  Isaiah 63:2.

4 [16] In Hebrew the verb for achieve justice is from the same root as the name Dan.

5 [19] In Hebrew there is a certain assonance between the name Gad and the words for “raided,” “raiders” and “raid.”

6 [25-26] A very similar description of the agricultural riches of the tribal land of Joseph is given in  Deut 33:13-16.

Genesis – Chapter 48

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Genesis

Chapter 48

1

Some time afterward, Joseph was informed, “Your father is failing.” So he took along with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

2

When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” he rallied his strength and sat up in bed.

3

1 Jacob then said to Joseph: “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessing me,

4

he said, ‘I will make you fertile and numerous and raise you into an assembly of tribes, and I will give this land to your descendants after you as a permanent possession.’

5

Your two sons, therefore, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I joined you here, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine as much as Reuben and Simeon are mine.

6

Progeny born to you after them shall remain yours; but their heritage shall be recorded in the names of their two brothers.

7

2 I do this because, when I was returning from Paddan, your mother Rachel died, to my sorrow, during the journey in Canaan, while we were still a short distance from Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

8

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these?”

9

“They are my sons,” Joseph answered his father, “whom God has given me here.” “Bring them to me,” said his father, “that I may bless them.”

10

(Now Israel’s eyes were dim from age, and he could not see well.) When Joseph brought his sons close to him, he kissed and embraced them.

11

Then Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your descendants as well!”

12

Joseph removed them from his father’s knees and bowed down before him with his face to the ground.

13

Then Joseph took the two, Ephraim with his right hand, to Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand, to Israel’s right, and led them to him.

14

But Israel, crossing his hands, put out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, although he was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, although he was the first-born.

15

Then he blessed them with these words: “May the God in whose ways my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd from my birth to this day,

16

The Angel who has delivered me from all harm, bless these boys That in them my name be recalled, and the names of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, And they may become teeming multitudes upon the earth!”

17

When Joseph saw that his father had laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, this seemed wrong to him; so he took hold of his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s,

18

saying, “That is not right, father; the other one is the first-born; lay your right hand on his head!”

19

But his father resisted. “I know it, son,” he said, “I know. That one too shall become a tribe, and he too shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall surpass him, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”

20

So when he blessed them that day and said, “By you shall the people of Israel pronounce blessings; may they say, ‘God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh,'” he placed Ephraim before Manasseh.

21

Then Israel said to Joseph: “I am about to die. But God will be with you and will restore you to the land of your fathers.

22

3 As for me, I give to you, as to the one above his brothers, Shechem, which I captured from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”

1 [3] Luz: an older name of Bethel ( Genesis 28:19).

2 [7] Since her early death prevented Rachel from bearing more than two sons, Jacob feels justified in treating her two grandsons as if they were her own offspring.

3 [22] Both the meaning of the Hebrew and the historical reference in this verse are obscure. By taking the Hebrew word for Shechem as a common noun meaning shoulder or mountain slope, some translators render the verse, “I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I captured. . .” The reference may be to the capture of Shechem by the sons of Jacob ( Genesis 34:24-29). Shechem lay near the border separating the tribal territory of Manasseh from that of Ephraim ( Joshua 16:4-9;  17:1-2, 7).

Genesis – Chapter 47

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Genesis

Chapter 47

1

Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers have come from the land of Canaan, with their flocks and herds and everything else they own; and they are now in the region of Goshen.”

2

He then presented to Pharaoh five of his brothers whom he had selected from their full number.

3

When Pharaoh asked them what their occupation was, they answered, “We, your servants, like our ancestors, are shepherds.

4

We have come,” they continued, “in order to stay in this country, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks in the land of Canaan, so severe has the famine been there. Please, therefore, let your servants settle in the region of Goshen.”

5

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “They may settle in the region of Goshen; and if you know any of them to be qualified, you may put them in charge of my own livestock.” Thus, when Jacob and his sons came to Joseph in Egypt, and Pharaoh, king of Egypt, heard about it, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have come to you,

6

the land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and brothers in the pick of the land.”

7

Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh. After Jacob had paid his respects to Pharaoh,

8

Pharaoh asked him, “How many years have you lived?”

9

1 Jacob replied: “The years I have lived as a wayfarer amount to a hundred and thirty. Few and hard have been these years of my life, and they do not compare with the years that my ancestors lived as wayfarers.”

10

Then Jacob bade Pharaoh farewell and withdrew from his presence.

11

2 As Pharaoh had ordered, Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them holdings in Egypt on the pick of the land, in the region of Rameses.

12

And Joseph sustained his father and brothers and his father’s whole household, down to the youngest, with food.

13

Since there was no food in any country because of the extreme severity of the famine, and the lands of Egypt and Canaan were languishing from hunger,

14

Joseph gathered in, as payment for the rations that were being dispensed, all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan, and he put it in Pharaoh’s palace.

15

When all the money in Egypt and Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, pleading, “Give us food or we shall perish under your eyes; for our money is gone.”

16

“Since your money is gone,” replied Joseph, “give me your livestock, and I will sell you bread in return for your livestock.”

17

So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he sold them food in return for their horses, their flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and their donkeys. Thus he got them through that year with bread in exchange for all their livestock.

18

When that year ended, they came to him in the following one and said: “We cannot hide from my lord that, with our money spent and our livestock made over to my lord, there is nothing left to put at my lord’s disposal except our bodies and our farm land.

19

Why should we and our land perish before your very eyes? Take us and our land in exchange for food, and we will become Pharaoh’s slaves and our land his property; only give us seed, that we may survive and not perish, and that our land may not turn into a waste.”

20

Thus Joseph acquired all the farm land of Egypt for Pharaoh, since with the famine too much for them to bear, every Egyptian sold his field; so the land passed over to Pharaoh,

21

and the people were reduced to slavery, from one end of Egypt’s territory to the other.

22

Only the priests’ lands Joseph did not take over. Since the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived off the allowance Pharaoh had granted them, they did not have to sell their land.

23

Joseph told the people: “Now that I have acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is your seed for sowing the land.

24

But when the harvest is in, you must give a fifth of it to Pharaoh, while you keep four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for yourselves and your families (and as food for your children).”

25

“You have saved our lives!” they answered. “We are grateful to my lord that we can be Pharaoh’s slaves.”

26

Thus Joseph made it a law for the land in Egypt, which is still in force, that a fifth of its produce should go to Pharaoh. Only the land of the priests did not pass over to Pharaoh.

27

Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen. There they acquired property, were fertile, and increased greatly.

28

Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years; the span of his life came to a hundred and forty-seven years.

29

When the time approached for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him: “If you really wish to please me, put your hand under my thigh as a sign of your constant loyalty to me; do not let me be buried in Egypt.

30

When I lie down with my ancestors, have me taken out of Egypt and buried in their burial place.”

31

3 “I will do as you say,” he replied. But his father demanded, “Swear it to me!” So Joseph swore to him. Then Israel bowed at the head of the bed.

1 [9] Wayfarer . . . wayfarers: man is merely a sojourner on earth; cf  Psalm 39:13.

2 [11] The region of Rameses: same as the region of Goshen; see note on  Genesis 45:10. The name Rameses, however, is an anachronism, since this royal name did not come into use before the end of the fourteenth century B.C., long after the time of Joseph.

3 [31] Israel bowed at the head of the bed: meaning perhaps that he gave a nod of assent and appreciation as he lay on his bed. By reading with different vowels the Hebrew word for “bed,” the Greek version translated it as “staff,” and understood the phrase to mean that he bowed in worship, leaning on the top of his staff; it is thus quoted in  Hebrews 11:21.

Genesis – Chapter 46

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Genesis

Chapter 46

1

Israel set out with all that was his. When he arrived at Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

2

There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he answered.

3

1 Then he said: “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation.

4

Not only will I go down to Egypt with you; I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.”

5

So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and the sons of Israel put their father and their wives and children on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport.

6

They took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt.

7

His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters – all his descendants – he took with him to Egypt.

8

These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his descendants, who migrated to Egypt. Reuben, Jacob’s first-born,

9

2 and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

10

The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, son of a Canaanite woman.

11

The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

12

The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah – but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

13

The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.

14

The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.

15

These were the sons whom Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, along with his daughter Dinah – thirty-three persons in all, male and female.

16

The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arod, and Areli.

17

The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, with their sister Serah; and the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.

18

These were the descendants of Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah; these she bore to Jacob – sixteen persons in all.

19

The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.

20

In the land of Egypt Joseph became the father of Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis, bore to him.

21

The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ahiram, Shupham, Hupham, and Ard.

22

These were the sons whom Rachel bore to Jacob – fourteen persons in all.

23

The sons of Dan: Hushim.

24

The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.

25

These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel; these she bore to Jacob – seven persons in all.

26

Jacob’s people who migrated to Egypt – his direct descendants, not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons – numbered sixty-six persons in all.

27

3 Together with Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt – two persons – all the people comprising Jacob’s family who had come to Egypt amounted to seventy persons in all.

28

Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that he might meet him in Goshen. On his arrival in the region of Goshen,

29

Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as he saw him, he flung himself on his neck and wept a long time in his arms.

30

And Israel said to Joseph, “At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive.”

31

Joseph then said to his brothers and his father’s household: “I will go and inform Pharaoh, telling him: ‘My brothers and my father’s household, whose home is in the land of Canaan, have come to me.

32

The men are shepherds, having long been keepers of livestock; and they have brought with them their flocks and herds, as well as everything else they own.’

33

So when Pharaoh summons you and asks what your occupation is,

34

you must answer, ‘We your servants, like our ancestors, have been keepers of livestock from the beginning until now,’ in order that you may stay in the region of Goshen, since all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.”

1 [3] I am God: more precisely according to the Hebrew text, “I am El.” “El” is here a divine name, not the common noun “god.”

2 [9-27] This genealogical list has here been inserted by a redactor who based it on the clan lists ( Numbers 26:5-50) at the time of Moses. Therefore it includes some of Jacob’s grandchildren, who would hardly have been born when Joseph was still a relatively young man. The number fourteen ( Genesis 46:22) is based on a garbled version of the genealogical list.

3 [27] Seventy persons: either to be understood as a round number, or arrived at by including Jacob and Joseph with the preceding persons, who add up to sixty-eight.

Genesis – Chapter 45

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Genesis

Chapter 45

1

Joseph could no longer control himself in the presence of all his attendants, so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!” Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.

2

But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him, and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.

3

“I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still in good health?” But his brothers could give him no answer, so dumbfounded were they at him.

4

“Come closer to me,” he told his brothers. When they had done so, he said: “I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.

5

But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.

6

For two years now the famine has been in the land, and for five more years tillage will yield no harvest.

7

God, therefore, sent me on ahead of you to ensure for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance.

8

1 So it was not really you but God who had me come here; and he has made of me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.

9

2 “Hurry back, then, to my father and tell him: ‘Thus says your son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come to me without delay.

10

3 You will settle in the region of Goshen, where you will be near me – you and your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything that you own.

11

Since five years of famine still lie ahead, I will provide for you there, so that you and your family and all that are yours may not suffer want.’

12

Surely, you can see for yourselves, and Benjamin can see for himself, that it is I, Joseph, who am speaking to you.

13

Tell my father all about my high position in Egypt and what you have seen. But hurry and bring my father down here.”

14

Thereupon he flung himself on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept in his arms.

15

Joseph then kissed all his brothers, crying over each of them; and only then were his brothers able to talk with him.

16

When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and his courtiers were pleased.

17

So Pharaoh told Joseph: “Say to your brothers: ‘This is what you shall do: Load up your animals and go without delay to the land of Canaan.

18

There get your father and your families, and then come back here to me; I will assign you the best land in Egypt, where you will live off the fat of the land.’

19

Instruct them further: ‘Do this. Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your children and your wives and to transport your father on your way back here.

20

Do not be concerned about your belongings, for the best in the whole land of Egypt shall be yours.'”

21

The sons of Israel acted accordingly. Joseph gave them the wagons, as Pharaoh had ordered, and he supplied them with provisions for the journey.

22

He also gave to each of them fresh clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of garments.

23

Moreover, what he sent to his father was ten jackasses loaded with the finest products of Egypt and ten jennies loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey.

24

As he sent his brothers on their way, he told them, “Let there be no recriminations on the way.”

25

So they left Egypt and made their way to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.

26

When they told him, “Joseph is still alive – in fact, it is he who is ruler of all the land of Egypt,” he was dumbfounded; he could not believe them.

27

But when they recounted to him all that Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent for his transport, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.

28

“It is enough,” said Israel. “My son Joseph is still alive! I must go and see him before I die.”

1 [8] Father to Pharaoh: a term applied to a vizier in ancient Egypt.

2 [9-15] In these verses, as in  Genesis 46:31- 47:5a, all from the Yahwist source, Joseph in his own name invites his father and brothers to come to Egypt. Only after their arrival is Pharaoh informed of the fact. On the other hand, in  Genesis 45:16-20, from the Elohist source, it is Pharaoh himself who invites Joseph’s kinsmen to migrate to his domain.

3 [10] The region of Goshen: modern Wadi Tumilat in the eastern part of the Nile Delta.

Genesis – Chapter 44

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Genesis

Chapter 44

1

1 Then Joseph gave his head steward these instructions: “Fill the men’s bags with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his bag.

2

In the mouth of the youngest one’s bag put also my silver goblet, together with the money for his rations.” The steward carried out Joseph’s instructions.

3

At daybreak the men and their donkeys were sent off.

4

They had not gone far out of the city when Joseph said to his head steward: “Go at once after the men! When you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why did you repay good with evil? Why did you steal the silver goblet from me?

5

2 It is the very one from which my master drinks and which he uses for divination. What you have done is wrong.'”

6

When the steward overtook them and repeated these words to them,

7

they remonstrated with him: “How can my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing!

8

We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the mouths of our bags. Why, then, would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house?

9

If any of your servants is found to have the goblet, he shall die, and as for the rest of us, we shall become my lord’s slaves.”

10

But he replied, “Even though it ought to be as you propose, only the one who is found to have it shall become my slave, and the rest of you shall be exonerated.”

11

Then each of them eagerly lowered his bag to the ground and opened it;

12

and when a search was made, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest, the goblet turned up in Benjamin’s bag.

13

At this, they tore their clothes. Then, when each man had reloaded his donkey, they returned to the city.

14

As Judah and his brothers reentered Joseph’s house, he was still there; so they flung themselves on the ground before him.

15

“How could you do such a thing?” Joseph asked them. “You should have known that such a man as I could discover by divination what happened.”

16

3 Judah replied: “What can we say to my lord? How can we plead or how try to prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. Here we are, then, the slaves of my lord – the rest of us no less than the one in whose possession the goblet was found.”

17

“Far be it from me to act thus!” said Joseph. “Only the one in whose possession the goblet was found shall become my slave; the rest of you may go back safe and sound to your father.”

18

Judah then stepped up to him and said: “I beg you, my lord, let your servant speak earnestly to my lord, and do not become angry with your servant, for you are the equal of Pharaoh.

19

4 My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’

20

So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and a young brother, the child of his old age. This one’s full brother is dead, and since he is the only one by that mother who is left, his father dotes on him.’

21

Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.’

22

We replied to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; his father would die if he were to leave him.’

23

But you told your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes back with you, you shall not come into my presence again.’

24

When we returned to your servant our father, we reported to him the words of my lord.

25

“Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family.

26

So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go, for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’

27

Then your servant our father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons.

28

One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts; I have not seen him since.

29

If you now take this one away from me too, and some disaster befalls him, you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.’

30

“If then the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father, whose very life is bound up with his, he will die as soon as he sees that the boy is missing;

31

and your servants will thus send the white head of our father down to the nether world in grief.

32

Besides, I, your servant, got the boy from his father by going surety for him, saying, ‘If I fail to bring him back to you, father, you can hold it against me forever.’

33

Let me, your servant, therefore, remain in place of the boy as the slave of my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers.

34

How could I go back to my father if the boy were not with me? I could not bear to see the anguish that would overcome my father.”

1 [1-2] Replacement of the money in the men’s bags is probably a redactional addition here, taken from the Yahwist account of the first visit. It is only the goblet in Benjamin’s bag, not any replaced money, that plays a part in the rest of the chapter.

2 [5] Divination: seeking omens through liquids poured into a cup or bowl was a common practice in the ancient Near East; cf  Genesis 44:15. Even though divination was frowned on in later Israel ( Lev 19:31), it is in this place an authentic touch which the sacred author does not hesitate to ascribe to Joseph, the wisest man in Egypt.

3 [16] Guilt: in trying to do away with Joseph when he was young.

4 [19] My lord . . . your servants: such frequently repeated expressions in Judah’s speech show the formal court style used by a subject in speaking to a high official.

Genesis – Chapter 43

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 Genesis

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Genesis

Chapter 43

1

1 Now the famine in the land grew more severe.

2

So when they had used up all the rations they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and procure us a little more food.”

3

But Judah replied: “The man strictly warned us, ‘You shall not appear in my presence unless your brother is with you.’

4

If you are willing to let our brother go with us, we will go down to procure food for you.

5

But if you are not willing, we will not go down, because the man told us, ‘You shall not appear in my presence unless your brother is with you.'”

6

Israel demanded, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man that you had another brother?”

7

They answered: “The man kept asking about ourselves and our family: ‘Is your father still living? Do you have another brother?’ We had to answer his questions. How could we know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”

8

Then Judah urged his father Israel: “Let the boy go with me, that we may be off and on our way if you and we and our children are to keep from starving to death.

9

I myself will stand surety for him. You can hold me responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back, to set him in your presence, you can hold it against me forever.

10

Had we not dilly-dallied, we could have been there and back twice by now!”

11

Their father Israel then told them: “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the land’s best products in your baggage and take them down to the man as gifts: some balm and honey, gum and resin, and pistachios and almonds.

12

Also take extra money along, for you must return the amount that was put back in the mouths of your bags; it may have been a mistake.

13

Take your brother, too, and be off on your way back to the man.

14

May God Almighty dispose the man to be merciful toward you, so that he may let your other brother go, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to suffer bereavement, I shall suffer it.”

15

So the men got the gifts, took double the amount of money with them, and, accompanied by Benjamin, were off on their way down to Egypt to present themselves to Joseph.

16

When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he told his head steward, “Take these men into the house, and have an animal slaughtered and prepared, for they are to dine with me at noon.”

17

Doing as Joseph had ordered, the steward conducted the men to Joseph’s house.

18

But on being led to his house, they became apprehensive. “It must be,” they thought, “on account of the money put back in our bags the first time, that we are taken inside; they want to use it as a pretext to attack us and take our donkeys and seize us as slaves.”

19

So they went up to Joseph’s head steward and talked to him at the entrance of the house.

20

“If you please, sir,” they said, “we came down here once before to procure food.

21

But when we arrived at a night’s encampment and opened our bags, there was each man’s money in the mouth of his bag – our money in the full amount! We have now brought it back.

22

We have brought other money to procure food with. We do not know who put the first money in our bags.”

23

“Be at ease,” he replied; “you have no need to fear. Your God and the God of your father must have put treasures in your bags for you. As for your money, I received it.” With that, he led Simeon out to them.

24

The steward then brought the men inside Joseph’s house. He gave them water to bathe their feet, and got fodder for their donkeys.

25

Then they set out their gifts to await Joseph’s arrival at noon, for they had heard that they were to dine there.

26

When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, while they bowed down before him to the ground.

27

After inquiring how they were, he asked them, “And how is your aged father, of whom you spoke? Is he still in good health?”

28

“Your servant our father is thriving and still in good health,” they said, as they bowed respectfully.

29

When Joseph’s eye fell on his full brother Benjamin, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you told me?” Then he said to him, “May God be gracious to you, my boy!”

30

With that, Joseph had to hurry out, for he was so overcome with affection for his brother that he was on the verge of tears. He went into a private room and wept there.

31

After washing his face, he reappeared and, now in control of himself, gave the order, “Serve the meal.”

32

2 It was served separately to him, to the brothers, and to the Egyptians who partook of his board. (Egyptians may not eat with Hebrews; that is abhorrent to them.)

33

When they were seated by his directions according to their age, from the oldest to the youngest, they looked at one another in amazement;

34

3 and as portions were brought to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as large as anyone else’s. So they drank freely and made merry with him.

1 [1-34] This chapter and the following one are from the Yahwist source, in which Judah, not Reuben as in the Elohist source, volunteers to go surety for Benjamin.

2 [32] Separately to him: that Joseph did not eat with the other Egyptians was apparently a matter of rank.

3 [34] Five times as large as: probably an idiomatic expression for “much larger than.”

Genesis – Chapter 42

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 Genesis

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Genesis

Chapter 42

1

When Jacob learned that grain rations were available in Egypt, he said to his sons: “Why do you keep gaping at one another?

2

I hear,” he went on, “that rations of grain are available in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, that we may stay alive rather than die of hunger.”

3

So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy an emergency supply of grain from Egypt.

4

It was only Joseph’s full brother Benjamin that Jacob did not send with the rest, for he thought some disaster might befall him.

5

Thus, since there was famine in the land of Canaan also, the sons of Israel were among those who came to procure rations.

6

It was Joseph, as governor of the country, who dispensed the rations to all the people. When Joseph’s brothers came and knelt down before him with their faces to the ground,

7

he recognized them as soon as he saw them. But he concealed his own identity from them and spoke sternly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked them. They answered, “From the land of Canaan, to procure food.”

8

When Joseph recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him,

9

1 he was reminded of the dreams he had about them. He said to them: “You are spies. You have come to see the nakedness of the land.”

10

“No, my lord,” they replied. “On the contrary, your servants have come to procure food.

11

All of us are sons of the same man. We are honest men; your servants have never been spies.”

12

But he answered them: “Not so! You have come to see the nakedness of the land.”

13

“We your servants,” they said, “were twelve brothers, sons of a certain man in Canaan; but the youngest one is at present with our father, and the other one is gone.”

14

“It is just as I said,” Joseph persisted; “you are spies.

15

This is how you shall be tested: unless your youngest brother comes here, I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you shall not leave here.

16

So send one of your number to get your brother, while the rest of you stay here under arrest. Thus shall your words be tested for their truth; if they are untrue, as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!”

17

With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.

18

On the third day Joseph said to them: “Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man.

19

If you have been honest, only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison, while the rest of you may go and take home provisions for your starving families.

20

But you must come back to me with your youngest brother. Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die.” To this they agreed.

21

To one another, however, they said: “Alas, we are being punished because of our brother. We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us, yet we paid no heed; that is why this anguish has now come upon us.”

22

“Didn’t I tell you,” broke in Reuben, “not to do wrong to the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”

23

They did not know, of course, that Joseph understood what they said, since he spoke with them through an interpreter.

24

But turning away from them, he wept. When he was able to speak to them again, he had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25

Then Joseph gave orders to have their containers filled with grain, their money replaced in each one’s sack, and provisions given them for their journey. After this had been done for them,

26

they loaded their donkeys with the rations and departed.

27

2 At the night encampment, when one of them opened his bag to give his donkey some fodder, he was surprised to see his money in the mouth of his bag.

28

“My money has been returned!” he cried out to his brothers. “Here it is in my bag!” At that their hearts sank. Trembling, they asked one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29

When they got back to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them.

30

“The man who is lord of the country,” they said, “spoke to us sternly and put us in custody as if we were spying on the land.

31

But we said to him: ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies.

32

There were twelve of us brothers, sons of the same father; but one is gone, and the youngest one is at present with our father in the land of Canaan.’

33

Then the man who is lord of the country said to us: ‘This is how I shall know if you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, while the rest of you go home with rations for your starving families.

34

When you come back to me with your youngest brother, and I know that you are honest men and not spies, I will restore your brother to you, and you may move about freely in the land.'”

35

When they were emptying their sacks, there in each one’s sack was his moneybag! At the sight of their moneybags, they and their father were dismayed.

36

Their father Jacob said to them: “Must you make me childless? Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone, and now you would take away Benjamin! Why must such things always happen to me?”

37

Then Reuben told his father: “Put him in my care, and I will bring him back to you. You may kill my own two sons if I do not return him to you.”

38

But Jacob replied: “My son shall not go down with you. Now that his full brother is dead, he is the only one left. If some disaster should befall him on the journey you must make, you would send my white head down to the nether world in grief.”

1 [9,12] The nakedness of the land: the military weakness of the land, like human nakedness, should not be seen by strangers.

2 [27-28] These two verses are from the Yahwist source, whereas the rest of the chapter is from the Elohist source, in which the men find the money in their sacks (not “bags” – a different Hebrew word) only when they arrive home ( Genesis 42:35); cf  Genesis 43:21.

Genesis – Chapter 41

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Genesis

Chapter 41

1

After a lapse of two years, Pharaoh had a dream. He saw himself standing by the Nile,

2

when up out of the Nile came seven cows, handsome and fat; they grazed in the reed grass.

3

Behind them seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile; and standing on the bank of the Nile beside the others,

4

the ugly, gaunt cows ate up the seven handsome, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

5

He fell asleep again and had another dream. He saw seven ears of grain, fat and healthy, growing on a single stalk.

6

Behind them sprouted seven ears of grain, thin and blasted by the east wind;

7

and the seven thin ears swallowed up the seven fat, healthy ears. Then Pharaoh woke up, to find it was only a dream.

8

Next morning his spirit was agitated. So he summoned all the magicians and sages of Egypt and recounted his dreams to them; but no one could interpret his dreams for him.

9

Then the chief cupbearer spoke up and said to Pharaoh: “On this occasion I am reminded of my negligence.

10

Once, when Pharaoh was angry, he put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the chief steward.

11

Later, we both had dreams on the same night, and each of our dreams had its own meaning.

12

There with us was a Hebrew youth, a slave of the chief steward; and when we told him our dreams, he interpreted them for us and explained for each of us the meaning of his dream.

13

And it turned out just as he had told us: I was restored to my post, but the other man was impaled.”

14

Pharaoh therefore had Joseph summoned, and they hurriedly brought him from the dungeon. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he came into Pharaoh’s presence.

15

Pharaoh then said to him: “I had certain dreams that no one can interpret. But I hear it said of you that the moment you are told a dream you can interpret it.”

16

“It is not I,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God who will give Pharaoh the right answer.”

17

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile,

18

when up from the Nile came seven cows, fat and well-formed; they grazed in the reed grass.

19

Behind them came seven other cows, scrawny, most ill-formed and gaunt. Never have I seen such ugly specimens as these in all the land of Egypt!

20

The gaunt, ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows.

21

But when they had consumed them, no one could tell that they had done so, because they looked as ugly as before. Then I woke up.

22

In another dream I saw seven ears of grain, fat and healthy, growing on a single stalk.

23

Behind them sprouted seven ears of grain, shriveled and thin and blasted by the east wind;

24

and the seven thin ears swallowed up the seven healthy ears. I have spoken to the magicians, but none of them can give me an explanation.”

25

Joseph said to Pharaoh: “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams have the same meaning. God has thus foretold to Pharaoh what he is about to do.

26

The seven healthy cows are seven years, and the seven healthy ears are seven years – the same in each dream.

27

So also, the seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven thin, wind-blasted ears; they are seven years of famine.

28

It is just as I told Pharaoh: God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.

29

Seven years of great abundance are now coming throughout the land of Egypt;

30

but these will be followed by seven years of famine, when all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. When the famine has ravaged the land,

31

no trace of the abundance will be found in the land because of the famine that follows it – so utterly severe will that famine be.

32

That Pharaoh had the same dream twice means that the matter has been reaffirmed by God and that God will soon bring it about.

33

“Therefore, let Pharaoh seek out a wise and discerning man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.

34

Pharaoh should also take action to appoint overseers, so as to regiment the land during the seven years of abundance.

35

They should husband all the food of the coming good years, collecting the grain under Pharaoh’s authority, to be stored in the towns for food.

36

This food will serve as a reserve for the country against the seven years of famine that are to follow in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish in the famine.”

37

This advice pleased Pharaoh and all his officials.

38

“Could we find another like him,” Pharaoh asked his officials, “a man so endowed with the spirit of God?”

39

So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Since God has made all this known to you, no one can be as wise and discerning as you are.

40

You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people shall dart at your command. Only in respect to the throne shall I outrank you.

41

Herewith,” Pharaoh told Joseph, “I place you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.”

42

1 With that, Pharaoh took off his signet ring and put it on Joseph’s finger. He had him dressed in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck.

43

2 He then had him ride in the chariot of his vizier, and they shouted “Abrek!” before him. Thus was Joseph installed over the whole land of Egypt.

44

“I, Pharaoh, proclaim,” he told Joseph, “that without your approval no one shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

45

3 Pharaoh also bestowed the name of Zaphnath-paneah on Joseph, and he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis.

46

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. After Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he traveled throughout the land of Egypt.

47

During the seven years of plenty, when the land produced abundant crops,

48

he husbanded all the food of these years of plenty that the land of Egypt was enjoying and stored it in the towns, placing in each town the crops of the fields around it.

49

Joseph garnered grain in quantities like the sands of the sea, so vast that at last he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.

50

Before the famine years set in, Joseph became the father of two sons, borne to him by Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis.

51

4 He named his first-born Manasseh, meaning, “God has made me forget entirely the sufferings I endured at the hands of my family”;

52

5 and the second he named Ephraim, meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

53

When the seven years of abundance enjoyed by the land of Egypt came to an end,

54

the seven years of famine set in, just as Joseph had predicted. Although there was famine in all the other countries, food was available throughout the land of Egypt.

55

When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them.

56

When the famine had spread throughout the land, Joseph opened all the cities that had grain and rationed it to the Egyptians, since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt.

57

In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain, for famine had gripped the whole world.

1 [42] Signet ring: a finger ring in which was set a stamp seal, different from the cylinder seal such as Judah wore; see note on  Genesis 38:18. This is an authentic detail. By receiving Pharaoh’s signet ring, Joseph was made vizier of Egypt ( Genesis 41:43); the vizier was known as “seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt.” Another authentic detail is the gold chain, a symbol of high office in ancient Egypt.

2 [43] Abrek: apparently a cry of homage, though the word’s derivation and actual meaning are uncertain.

3 [45] Zaphenath-paneah: a Hebrew transcription of an Egyptian name meaning “the god speaks and he (the new-born child) lives.” Asenath: means “belonging to (the Egyptian goddess) Neith.” Potiphera: means “he whom Ra (the Egyptian god) gave”; a shorter form of the same name was borne by Joseph’s master ( Genesis 37:36). Heliopolis: in Hebrew, On, a city seven miles northeast of modern Cairo, site of the chief temple of the sun god; it is mentioned also in  Genesis 41:50;  46:20;  Ezekiel 30:17.

4 [51] Manasseh: allusion to this name is in the Hebrew expression, nishshani, “he made me forget.”

5 [52] Ephraim: related to the Hebrew expression hiphrani, “(God) has made me fruitful.”

Genesis – Chapter 40

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Genesis

Chapter 40

1

Some time afterward, the royal cupbearer and baker gave offense to their lord, the king of Egypt.

2

Pharaoh was angry with his two courtiers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,

3

and he put them in custody in the house of the chief steward (the same jail where Joseph was confined).

4

The chief steward assigned Joseph to them, and he became their attendant. After they had been in custody for some time,

5

the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt who were confined in the jail both had dreams on the same night, each dream with its own meaning.

6

When Joseph came to them in the morning, he noticed that they looked disturbed.

7

So he asked Pharaoh’s courtiers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”

8

They answered him, “We have had dreams, but there is no one to interpret them for us.” Joseph said to them, “Surely, interpretations come from God. Please tell the dreams to me.”

9

Then the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I saw a vine in front of me,

10

and on the vine were three branches. It had barely budded when its blossoms came out, and its clusters ripened into grapes.

11

Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes, pressed them out into his cup, and put it in Pharaoh’s hand.”

12

Joseph said to him: “This is what it means. The three branches are three days;

13

1 within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your post. You will be handing Pharaoh his cup as you formerly used to do when you were his cupbearer.

14

So if you will still remember, when all is well with you, that I was here with you, please do me the favor of mentioning me to Pharaoh, to get me out of this place.

15

The truth is that I was kidnaped from the land of the Hebrews, and here I have not done anything for which I should have been put into a dungeon.”

16

When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given this favorable interpretation, he said to him: “I too had a dream. In it I had three wicker baskets on my head;

17

in the top one were all kinds of bakery products for Pharaoh, but the birds were pecking at them out of the basket on my head.”

18

Joseph said to him in reply: “This is what it means. The three baskets are three days;

19

within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and have you impaled on a stake, and the birds will be pecking the flesh from your body.”

20

And in fact, on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, when he gave a banquet to all his staff, with his courtiers around him, he lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and chief baker.

21

He restored the chief cupbearer to his office, so that he again handed the cup to Pharaoh;

22

but the chief baker he impaled-just as Joseph had told them in his interpretation.

23

Yet the chief cupbearer gave no thought to Joseph; he had forgotten him.

1 [13] Lift up your head: signifying “pardon you.” In  Genesis 40:19 “to lift up the head” means “to behead”; and finally, in  Genesis 40:20, the same expression means “to review the case (of someone).” Joseph couches his interpretation of the dreams in equivocal terms.

Genesis – Chapter 39

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Genesis

Chapter 39

1

1 When Joseph was taken down to Egypt, a certain Egyptian (Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh and his chief steward) bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there.

2

But since the LORD was with him, Joseph got on very well and was assigned to the household of his Egyptian master.

3

When his master saw that the LORD was with him and brought him success in whatever he did,

4

he took a liking to Joseph and made him his personal attendant; he put him in charge of his household and entrusted to him all his possessions.

5

From the moment that he put him in charge of his household and all his possessions, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; in fact, the LORD’S blessing was on everything he owned, both inside the house and out.

6

Having left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge, he gave no thought, with Joseph there, to anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was strikingly handsome in countenance and body.

7

After a time, his master’s wife began to look fondly at him and said, “Lie with me.”

8

But he refused. “As long as I am here,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, but has entrusted to me all he owns.

9

He wields no more authority in this house than I do, and he has withheld from me nothing but yourself, since you are his wife. How, then, could I commit so great a wrong and thus stand condemned before God?”

10

Although she tried to entice him day after day, he would not agree to lie beside her, or even stay near her.

11

One such day, when Joseph came into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were then in the house,

12

she laid hold of him by his cloak, saying, “Lie with me!” But leaving the cloak in her hand, he got away from her and ran outside.

13

When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand as he fled outside,

14

she screamed for her household servants and told them, “Look! my husband has brought in a Hebrew slave to make sport of us! He came in here to lie with me, but I cried out as loud as I could.

15

When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran away outside.”

16

She kept the cloak with her until his master came home.

17

Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave whom you brought here broke in on me, to make sport of me.

18

But when I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and fled outside.”

19

As soon as the master heard his wife’s story about how his slave had treated her, he became enraged.

20

He seized Joseph and threw him into the jail where the royal prisoners were confined. But even while he was in prison,

21

the LORD remained with Joseph; he showed him kindness by making the chief jailer well-disposed toward him.

22

The chief jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners in the jail, and everything that had to be done there was done under his management.

23

The chief jailer did not concern himself with anything at all that was in Joseph’s charge, since the LORD was with him and brought success to all he did.

1 [1] (Potiphar . . . chief steward): These words in the text serve to harmonize Genesis 39 from the Yahwist source with Genesis 37;36;  40:1-23 from the Elohist. In the former, the Ishmaelites who bought Joseph from his brothers ( Genesis 37:28) sold him to the unnamed “Egyptian master” of ch 39. In the latter, the Midianites who kidnaped Joseph ( Genesis 37:28;  40:15) sold him to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s chief steward ( Genesis 37:36), whose house was used as a royal prison ( Genesis 40:2-3).