1 Two years later it happened that Pharaoh had a dream: there he was, standing by the Nile,
2 and there, coming up from the Nile, were seven cows, sleek and fat, and they began to feed among the rushes.
3 And then seven other cows, wretched and lean, came up from the Nile, behind them; and these went over and stood beside the other cows on the bank of the Nile.
4 The wretched and lean cows ate the seven sleek and fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5 He fell asleep and dreamed a second time: there, growing on one stalk, were seven ears of grain, full and ripe.
6 And then sprouting up, behind them, came seven ears of grain, meagre and scorched by the east wind.
7 The scanty ears of grain swallowed the seven full and ripe ears of grain. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8 In the morning Pharaoh, feeling disturbed, had all the magicians and wise men of Egypt summoned to him. Pharaoh told them his dream, but there was no one to interpret it for Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief cup-bearer addressed Pharaoh, ‘Today, I recall having been at fault.
10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, he put myself and the chief baker in custody in the house of the commander of the guard.
11 We had a dream on the same night, he and I, and each man’s dream had a meaning for himself.
12 There was a young Hebrew with us, one of the slaves belonging to the commander of the guard. We told our dreams to him and he interpreted them for us, telling each of us what his dream meant.
13 It turned out exactly according to his interpretation: I was restored to my position, but the other man was hanged.’
14 Then Pharaoh had Joseph summoned, and they hurried him from the dungeon. He shaved and changed his clothes, and presented himself before Pharaoh.
15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one to interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can interpret a dream the instant you hear it.’
16 ‘Not I,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘God will give Pharaoh a favourable answer.’
17 So Pharaoh told Joseph, ‘In my dream there I was, standing on the bank of the Nile.
18 And there were seven cows, fat and sleek, coming up out of the Nile, and they began to feed among the rushes.
19 And then seven other cows came up, behind them, starved, very wretched and lean; I have never seen such poor cows in all Egypt.
20 The lean and wretched cows ate up the first seven fat cows.
21 But when they had eaten them up, it was impossible to tell they had eaten them, for they looked as wretched as ever. Then I woke up.
22 And then again in my dream, there, growing on one stalk, were seven ears of grain, beautifully ripe;
23 but then sprouting up behind them came seven ears of grain, withered, meagre and scorched by the east wind.
24 Then the shrivelled ears of grain swallowed the seven ripe ears of grain. I have told the magicians, but no one has given me the answer.’
25 Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same: God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is going to do.
26 The seven fine cows are seven years and the seven ripe ears of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream.
27 The seven gaunt and lean cows coming up behind them are seven years, as are the seven shrivelled ears of grain scorched by the east wind: there will be seven years of famine.
28 It is as I have told Pharaoh: God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is going to do.
29 Seven years are coming, bringing great plenty to the whole of Egypt,
30 but seven years of famine will follow them, when all the plenty in Egypt will be forgotten, and famine will exhaust the land.
31 The famine that is to follow will be so very severe that no one will remember what plenty the country used to enjoy.
32 The reason why Pharaoh had the same dream twice is that the event is already determined by God, and God will shortly bring it about.
33 ‘Pharaoh should now find someone intelligent and wise to govern Egypt.
34 Pharaoh should take action and appoint supervisors for the country, and impose a tax of one-fifth on Egypt during the seven years of plenty.
35 They will collect all the food produced during these good years that are coming, and store the grain under Pharaoh’s authority, putting it in the towns and keeping it.
36 This food will form a reserve for the country against the seven years of famine which are coming on Egypt, so that the country will not be destroyed by the famine.’
37 Pharaoh and all his ministers approved of what he had said.
38 Then Pharaoh asked his ministers, ‘Can we find anyone else endowed with the spirit of God, like him?’
39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has given you knowledge of all this, there can be no one as intelligent and wise as you.
40 You shall be my chancellor, and all my people shall respect your orders; only this throne shall set me above you.’
41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I hereby make you governor of the whole of Egypt.’
42 Pharaoh took the ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain round his neck.
43 He made him ride in the best chariot he had after his own, and they shouted ‘Abrek!’ ahead of him. Thus he became governor of the whole of Egypt.
44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Although I am Pharaoh, no one is to move hand or foot without your permission throughout Egypt.’
45 Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-Paneah, and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Josephbegan to journey all over Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. After leaving Pharaoh’s presence, Joseph travelled throughout the length and breadth of Egypt.
47 During the seven years of plenty, the soil yielded generously.
48 He collected all the food of the seven years while there was an abundance in Egypt, and stored the food in the towns, placing in each the food from the surrounding countryside.
49 Joseph gathered in grain like the sand of the sea, in such quantity that he gave up keeping count, since it was past accounting.
50 Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph: Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore him these.
51 Joseph named the first-born Manasseh, ‘Because’, he said, ‘God has made me completely forget my hardships and my father’s House.’
52 He named the second Ephraim, ‘Because’, he said, ‘God has made me fruitful in the country of my misfortune.’
53 Then the seven years of plenty that there had been in Egypt came to an end,
54 and the seven years of famine set in, as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in every country, but throughout Egypt there was food.
55 But when all Egypt too began to feel the famine and the people appealed to Pharaoh for food, Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.’
56 There was famine all over the world. Then Joseph opened all the granaries and rationed out grain to the Egyptians, as the famine grew even worse in Egypt.
57 People came to Egypt from all over the world to get supplies from Joseph, for the famine had grown severe throughout the world.
1 Jacob, seeing that there were supplies to be had in Egypt, said to his sons, ‘Why do you keep staring at one another?
2 I hear’, he said, ‘that there are supplies in Egypt. Go down and procure some for us there, so that we may survive and not die.’
3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to procure grain in Egypt.
4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers. ‘Nothing must happen to him,’ he thought.
5 Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to get supplies, there being famine in Canaan.
6 It was Joseph, as the man in authority over the country, who allocated the rations to the entire population. So Joseph’s brothers went and bowed down before him, their faces touching the ground.
7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers he recognised them. But he did not make himself known to them, and he spoke harshly to them. ‘Where have you come from?’ he asked. ‘From Canaan to get food,’ they replied.
8 Now when Joseph recognised his brothers, but they did not recognise him,
9 Joseph remembered the dreams he had had about them, and said to them, ‘You are spies. You have come to discover the country’s weak points.’
10 ‘No, my lord,’ they said, ‘your servants have come to get food.
11 We are all sons of the same man. We are honest men, your servants are not spies.’
12 ‘Oh no,’ he replied, ‘you have come to discover the country’s weak points.’
13 ‘Your servants were twelve brothers,’ they said, ‘sons of the same man in Canaan, but the youngest is at present with our father, and the other one is no more.’
14 To which Joseph retorted, ‘It is as I said, you are spies.
15 This is the test you are to undergo: as sure as Pharaoh lives you shall not leave unless your youngest brother comes here.
16 Send one of your number to fetch your brother; you others will remain under arrest, so that your statements can be tested to see whether or not you are honest. If not, then as sure as Pharaoh lives you are spies.’
17 Whereupon, he put them all into custody for three days.
18 On the third day Joseph said to them, ‘Do this and you will live, for I am a man who fears God.
19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be detained where you are imprisoned; the rest of you, go and take supplies home for your starving families.
20 But you must bring your youngest brother back to me; in this way, what you have said will be verified, and you will not have to die!’ And this is what they did.
21 And they said to one another, ‘Clearly, we are being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw his deep misery when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen, and now this misery has come home to us.’
22 Reuben retorted to them, ‘Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. Now comes the accounting.’
23 They did not know that Joseph understood, because there was an interpreter between them.
24 He turned away from them and wept. When he was able to speak to them again, he chose Simeon out of their number and had him bound while they looked on.
25 Joseph gave the order to fill their panniers with grain, to put back each man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.
26 Then they loaded their supplies on their donkeys and went away.
27 But when they camped for the night, one of them opened his sack to give his donkey some fodder and saw his money — there it was in the mouth of his sack.
28 He said to his brothers, ‘My money has been put back; here it is, in my sack!’ Their hearts sank, and they looked at one another in panic, saying, ‘What is this that God has done to us?’
29 Returning to their father Jacob in Canaan, they gave him a full report of what had happened to them,
30 ‘The man who is lord of the country spoke harshly to us, accusing us of spying on the country.
31 We told him, “We are honest men, we are not spies.
32 We were twelve brothers, sons of the same father. One of us is no more, and the youngest is at present with our father in Canaan.”
33 But the man who is lord of the country said to us, “This is how I shall know whether you are honest: leave one of your brothers with me. Take supplies for your starving families and be gone,
34 but bring me back your youngest brother and then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I shall give your brother back to you and you will be free to move about the country.” ‘
35 As they emptied their sacks, each discovered his bag of money in his sack. On seeing their bags of money they were afraid, and so was their father.
36 Then their father Jacob said to them, ‘You are robbing me of my children; Joseph is no more; Simeon is no more; and now you want to take Benjamin. I bear the brunt of all this!’
37 Then Reuben said to his father, ‘You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care and I willbring him back to you.’
38 But he replied, ‘My son is not going down with you, for now his brother is dead he is the only one left. If any harm came to him on the journey you are undertaking, you would send my white head down to Sheol with grief!’
1 So, Job, please listen to my words and attend to all I have to say.
2 Now as I open my mouth, and my tongue shapes words against my palate,
3 I shall utter words of wisdom from the heart, my lips will speak in all sincerity.
4 God’s was the spirit that made me, Shaddai’s the breath that gave me life.
5 Refute me, if you can. Prepare yourself, take up your position!
6 Look, I am your equal, not some god, like you I was moulded out of clay.
7 No fear of me, therefore, need affright you, my hand will not lie heavy over you.
8 How could you say in my hearing — for the sound of your words did not escape me-
9 ‘I am clean, and sinless, I am pure, without fault.
10 But he keeps inventing excuses against me and regards me as his enemy.
11 He puts me in the stocks, he watches my every path’?
12 In saying so, I tell you, you are wrong: for God is greater than any human being.
13 Why then quarrel with him for not replying to you, word for word?
14 God speaks first in one way, and then in another, although we do not realise it.
15 In dreams and in night-visions, when slumber has settled on humanity and people are asleep in bed,
16 he speaks in someone’s ear, frightens him with apparitions
17 to turn him from what he is doing and to put an end to his pride.
18 And thus he preserves his soul from the abyss, his life from passing down the Canal.
19 Or again, he corrects by the sufferings of the sick-bed, when someone’s bones tremble continuously
20 and the thought of food revolts him, however tasty it is,
21 and his flesh rots away while you watch it and the bones beneath begin to show,
22 and his soul is drawing nearer to the abyss and his life to the dwelling of the dead.
23 Then, if there is an Angel near him, a Mediator, one in a thousand, to remind him where his duty lies,
24 to take pity on him and to say, ‘Spare him from going down to the abyss: I have found the ransom for his life,’
25 his flesh will recover its childhood freshness, he will return to the days of his youth.
26 He will pray to God who has restored him to favour, and will come into his presence with joy. He will tell others how he has received saving justice
27 and sing this hymn before his companions, ‘I sinned and left the path of right, but God has not punished me as my sin deserved.
28 He has spared my soul from going down to the abyss and is making my life see the light.’
29 All this is what God keeps doing again and yet again for human beings,
30 to snatch souls back from the abyss and to make the light of the living still shine.
31 Pay attention, Job, listen to me: keep quiet, I have more to say.
32 If you have anything to say, refute me, speak out, for I would gladly accept that you are upright.
33 If not, then listen to me: keep quiet, and I will teach you wisdom.
1 Elihu continued his speech. He said:
2 And now, you sages, listen to what I say, lend me your ears, you learned men.
3 The ear distinguishes the value of what is said, just as the palate can tell one food from another.
4 Let us consider together God’s ruling and decide what we all mean by good.
5 Job has been saying, ‘I am upright and God denies me fair judgement.
6 My judge is treating me cruelly, my wound is incurable, for no fault of mine.’
7 Can anyone else exist like Job, who laps up mockery like water,
8 who consorts with evil-doers and marches in step with the wicked?
9 Did he not say, ‘No one derives any benefit from enjoying the society of God’?
10 Listen to me then, like intelligent people. Far be evil from God or injustice from Shaddai!
11 For he pays people back for what they do, treating each as his own conduct deserves.
12 Be sure of it: God never does wrong, Shaddai does not pervert what is just.
13 Did someone else entrust the world to his care was he given charge of the universe by someone else?
14 If he were to recall his spirit, to concentrate his breath back in himself,
15 all flesh would instantly perish and all people would return to dust.
16 If you have any intelligence, listen to this, lend your ear to the sound of my words.
17 Could an enemy of fair judgement ever govern? Would you dare condemn the Upright One, the Almighty,
18 who says to a king, ‘You are a scoundrel!’ and to nobles, ‘You are wicked!’,
19 who is unimpressed by princes and makes no distinction between rich and poor, since all alike have been made by him?
20 They die suddenly, at dead of night, they perish — these great ones — and disappear: it costs him no effort to remove a tyrant.
21 For his eyes keep watch on human ways, and he observes every step.
22 No darkness, no shadow dark as death where wrong-doers can hide!
23 He serves no writ on anyone, no summons to appear before God’s court:
24 he breaks the powerful without enquiry and sets up others in their places.
25 He knows the sort of things they do! He overthrows them at night, to be trampled on.
26 He beats them like criminals chained up for all to see,
27 since they have turned their backs on him, having understood so little of his ways
28 as to make the cries of the weak rise to him and let him hear the appeal of the afflicted.
29 But if he is still silent and no one can move him, if he veils his face, so that no one can see him, he is taking pity on nations and individuals,
30 is setting some wrong-doer free from the meshes of affliction.
31 When such a one says to God, ‘I was misled, I shall not do wrong any more;
32 although I have sinned, instruct me; although I did wrong, I will not do it again,’
33 in your opinion, should he punish such a one — you who have rejected his decisions? This is for you to decide — not for me!- so kindly enlighten us!
34 Ordinary sensible people, however, will say to me, and so will any sage who has been listening to me,
35 ‘Job’s words are spoken without any knowledge, what he says shows no intelligence.
36 Kindly examine him thoroughly, since his answers imply that he is a criminal.
37 For to his sin he now adds rebellion, bringing law to an end among us and heaping abuse on God.’
Proverbs 4 [1-9]
1 Listen, my children, to a father’s instruction; pay attention, and learn what understanding is.
2 What I am offering you is sound doctrine: do not forsake my teaching.
3 I too was once a child with a father, in my mother’s eyes a tender child, unique.
4 This was what he used to teach me, ‘Let your heart treasure what I have to say, keep my principles and you will live;
5 acquire wisdom, acquire understanding, never forget her, never deviate from my words.
6 Do not desert her, she will keep you safe; love her, she will watch over you.
7 The first principle of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; at the cost of all you have, acquire understanding!
8 Hold her close, and she will make you great; embrace her, and she will be your pride;
9 she will provide a graceful garland for your head, bestow a crown of honour on you.’
Thoughts and Reflection
In the Genesis readings today we hear the words, “go to Joseph.” These words elevate Joseph for people who have a special devotion to St. Joseph – who later became the father of Jesus. Later in the New Testament, when we go to Our Lady Mary she points us to Jesus. St. Joseph does the same – he points us to Jesus.
In the New Testament, Joseph is the one who takes care of Jesus.
In the Old Testament, Joseph is the son of Jacob and has a heart like God’s – a faithful heart. Even though he has opportunities to rebel and sin, he remains faithful to God.
St. Joseph is available to us for intercession and we can ask him to take us to Jesus.
Pope Francis wrote an apostolic letter on St. Joseph – Patris Corde. This is an excellent resource to learn more about St. Joseph.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!