Day 24

Day 24

Genesis 48

Manasseh and Ephraim

1 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’

5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7 As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers

    Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,

the God who has been my shepherd

    all my life to this day,

16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm

    —may he bless these boys.

May they be called by my name

    and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,

and may they increase greatly

    on the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said,

“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:

    ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of landthan to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Genesis 49

Jacob Blesses His Sons

1 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

2 “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;

    listen to your father Israel.

3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,

    my might, the first sign of my strength,

    excelling in honor, excelling in power.

4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,

    for you went up onto your father’s bed,

    onto my couch and defiled it.

5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers—

    their swords are weapons of violence.

6 Let me not enter their council,

    let me not join their assembly,

for they have killed men in their anger

    and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.

7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce,

    and their fury, so cruel!

I will scatter them in Jacob

    and disperse them in Israel.

8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you;

    your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;

    your father’s sons will bow down to you.

9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;

    you return from the prey, my son.

Like a lion he crouches and lies down,

    like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?

10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until he to whom it belongs shall come

    and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,

    his colt to the choicest branch;

he will wash his garments in wine,

    his robes in the blood of grapes.

12 His eyes will be darker than wine,

    his teeth whiter than milk.

13 “Zebulun will live by the seashore

    and become a haven for ships;

    his border will extend toward Sidon.

14 “Issachar is a rawboned donkey

    lying down among the sheep pens.

15 When he sees how good is his resting place

    and how pleasant is his land,

he will bend his shoulder to the burden

    and submit to forced labor.

16 “Dan will provide justice for his people

    as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan will be a snake by the roadside,

    a viper along the path,

that bites the horse’s heels

    so that its rider tumbles backward.

18 “I look for your deliverance, Lord.

19 “Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,

    but he will attack them at their heels.

20 “Asher’s food will be rich;

    he will provide delicacies fit for a king.

21 “Naphtali is a doe set free

    that bears beautiful fawns.

22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,

    a fruitful vine near a spring,

    whose branches climb over a wall.

23 With bitterness archers attacked him;

    they shot at him with hostility.

24 But his bow remained steady,

    his strong arms stayed limber,

because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,

    because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

25 because of your father’s God, who helps you,

    because of the Almighty, who blesses you

with blessings of the skies above,

    blessings of the deep springs below,

    blessings of the breast and womb.

26 Your father’s blessings are greater

    than the blessings of the ancient mountains,

    than the bounty of the age-old hills.

Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,

    on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;

    in the morning he devours the prey,

    in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

The Death of Jacob

29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people.Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”

33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.

Matthew 15:29-39

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people;they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.

Matthew 16:1-12

The Demand for a Sign

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Psalm 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;

    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

2 May he send you help from the sanctuary

    and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices

    and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart

    and make all your plans succeed.

5 May we shout for joy over your victory

    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.

6 Now this I know:

    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.

He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary

    with the victorious power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,

    but we rise up and stand firm.

9 Lord, give victory to the king!

    Answer us when we call!

Proverbs 4:20-27

My son, pay attention to what I say;

    turn your ear to my words.

21 Do not let them out of your sight,

    keep them within your heart;

22 for they are life to those who find them

    and health to one’s whole body.

23 Above all else, guard your heart,

    for everything you do flows from it.

24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;

    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;

    fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet

    and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;

    keep your foot from evil.