1 But the famine in the country grew worse,
2 and when they had finished eating the supplies which they had brought from Egypt their father said to them, ‘Go back and get us a little food.’
3 ‘But’, Judah replied, ‘the man expressly warned us, “You will not be admitted to my presence unless your brother is with you.”
4 If you are ready to send our brother with us, we will go down and get food for you.
5 But if you are not ready to send him, we will not go down, in view of the man’s warning, “You will not be admitted to my presence unless your brother is with you.” ‘
6 Then Israel said, ‘Why did you bring this misery on me by telling the man you had another brother?’
7 They replied, ‘He kept questioning us about ourselves and our family, asking, “Is your father still alive?” and, “Have you another brother?” That is why we told him. How could we know he was going to say, “Bring your brother down here”?’
8 Judah then said to his father Israel, ‘Send the boy with me, and let us be off and go, if we are to survive and not die, we, you, and our dependants.
9 I will go surety for him, and you can hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and produce him before you, let me bear the blame all my life.
10 Indeed, if we had not wasted so much time we should have been there and back twice by now!’
11 Then their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be so, then do this: take some of the country’s best products in your baggage and take them to the man as a gift: some balsam, some honey, gum tragacanth, resin, pistachio nuts and almonds.
12 Take double the amount of money with you and return the money put back in the mouths of your sacks; it may have been a mistake.
13 Take your brother, and go back to the man.
14 May El Shaddai move the man to be kind to you, and allow you to bring back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I must be bereaved, bereaved I must be.’
15 The men took this gift; they took double the amount of money with them, and Benjamin. They set off, went down to Egypt and presented themselves before Joseph.
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them he said to his chamberlain, ‘Take these men into the house. Slaughter a beast and prepare it, for these men are to eat with me at midday.’
17 The man did as Joseph had ordered, and took the men to Joseph’s house.
18 The men were afraid at being taken to Joseph’s house and said, ‘We are being taken there because of the money replaced in our sacks the first time. They will set on us; they will fall on us and make slaves of us, and take our donkeys too.’
19 So they went up to Joseph’s chamberlain and spoke to him at the entrance to the house.
20 ‘By your leave, sir,’ they said, ‘we came down once before to get supplies,
21 and when we reached camp and opened our sacks, there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, to the full. But we have brought it back with us,
22 and we have brought more money with us for the supplies. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.’
23 ‘Set your minds at ease,’ he replied, ‘do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.’ And he brought Simeon out to them.
24 The man then took the men into Joseph’s house. He offered them water to wash their feet, and gave their donkeys fodder.
25 They arranged their gift while they waited for Joseph to come at midday, for they had heard they were to dine there.
26 When Joseph arrived at the house they offered him the gift they had with them, bowing low before him.
27 He greeted them pleasantly, asking, ‘Is your father well, the old man you told me of ? Is he still alive?’
28 ‘Your servant our father is well,’ they replied, ‘he is still alive,’ and they bowed respectfully.
29 Looking about, he saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son. ‘Is this your youngest brother’, he asked, ‘of whom you told me?’ And he added, ‘God be good to you, my son.’
30 Joseph hurried out; so strong was the affection he felt for his brother that he wanted to cry. He went into his room and there he wept.
31 After washing his face he returned and, controlling himself, gave the order: ‘Serve the meal.’
32 He was served separately; so were they, and so were the Egyptians who ate in his household, for the Egyptians could not take food with Hebrews; Egyptians have a horror of doing so.
33 They were placed facing him in order of seniority, from the eldest to the youngest, and the men looked at one another in amazement.
34 He had portions carried to them from his own dish, the portion for Benjamin being five times larger than any of the others. And they feasted with him and drank freely.
1 Then Joseph instructed his chamberlain as follows: ‘Fill these men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack.
2 And put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack as well as the money for his rations.’ He did as Joseph had instructed.
3 At daybreak, the men were sent off with their donkeys.
4 They had gone only a little way from the city, when Joseph said to his chamberlain, ‘Away now and follow those men. When you catch up with them, say to them, “Why have you repaid good with evil?
5 Is this not what my lord uses for drinking and also for reading omens? What you have done is wrong.” ‘
6 So when he caught up with them he repeated these words.
7 They asked him, ‘What does my lord mean? Your servants would never think of doing such a thing.
8 Look, we brought you back the money we found in the mouths of our sacks, all the way from Canaan. Are we likely to have stolen silver or gold from your master’s house?
9 Whichever of your servants is found to have it shall die, and the rest of us shall be slaves of my lord.’
10 ‘Very well, then, it shall be as you say,’ he replied, ‘the one on whom it is found shall become my slave, but the rest of you can go free.’
11 Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each opened his own.
12 He searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest, and found the cup in Benjamin’s sack.
13 Then they tore their clothes, and when each man had reloaded his donkey they returned to the city.
14 When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house he was still there, so they fell on the ground in front of him.
15 ‘What do you mean by doing this?’ Joseph asked them. ‘Did you not know that a man such as I am is a reader of omens?’
16 ‘What can we answer my lord?’ Judah replied. ‘What can we say? How can we clear ourselves? God himself has uncovered your servants’ guilt. Here we are then, my lord’s slaves, we no less than the one in whose possession the cup was found.’
17 ‘I could not think of doing such a thing,’ he replied. ‘The man in whose possession the cup was found shall be my slave, but you can go back unhindered to your father.’
18 At this, Judah went up to him and said, ‘May it please my lord, let your servant have a word privately with my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.
19 My lord questioned his servants, “Have you father or brother?”
20 And we said to my lord, “We have an old father, and a younger brother born of his old age. His brother is dead, so he is the only one by that mother now left, and his father loves him.”
21 Then you said to your servants, “Bring him down to me, so that I can set eyes on him.”
22 We replied to my lord, “The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves him, his father will die.”
23 But you said to your servants, “If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not be admitted to my presence again.”
24 When we went back to your servant my father, we repeated to him what my lord had said.
25 So when our father said, “Go back and get us a little food,”
26 we said, “We cannot go down. We shall go only if our youngest brother is with us for, unless our youngest brother is with us, we shall not be admitted to the man’s presence.”
27 So your servant our father said to us, “You know that my wife bore me two children.
28 When one of them left me, I supposed that he must have been torn to pieces, and I have never seen him since.
29 If you take this one from me too and any harm comes to him, you will send my white head down to Sheol with grief.”
30 If I go to your servant my father now, and we do not have the boy with us, he will die as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, for his heart is bound up with him;
31 and your servants will have sent your servant our father’s white head down to Sheol with grief.
32 Now your servant went surety to my father for the boy. I said: “If I do not bring him back to you, let me bear the blame before my father all my life.”
33 Let your servant stay, then, as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, I implore you, and let the boy go back with his brothers.
34 How indeed could I go back to my father and not have the boy with me? I could not bear to see the misery that would overwhelm my father.’
1 Elihu continued his speech. He said:
2 Do you think you can prove yourself upright and establish your uprightness before God
3 by daring to say to him, ‘What does it matter to you, or how does it benefit me, whether I have sinned or not?’
4 Very well, I shall tell you and your friends as well.
5 Take a look at the skies and see, observe how high the clouds are above you.
6 If you sin, how can you affect him? If you heap up crimes, what effect has it on him?
7 If you are upright, what do you give him, what benefit does he receive at your hands?
8 Your wickedness affects only your fellows, your uprightness, other human beings.
9 They too groan under the weight of oppression, they cry for help under the tyranny of the mighty,
10 but none of them thinks of saying, ‘Where is God, my Maker, who makes glad songs ring out at night,
11 who has made us more intelligent than wild animals wiser than birds in the sky?’
12 Cry they may, but get no answer, to be spared from the arrogance of the wicked.
13 Of course God does not listen to trivialities, Shaddai pays no attention to them.
14 And how much less when you say, ‘I cannot see him, my case is open and I am waiting for him.’
15 Or, ‘His anger never punishes, he does not seem aware of human rebellion.’
16 Hence, when Job speaks, he talks nonsense, ignorantly babbling on and on.
1 Elihu went on speaking. He said:
2 Be patient a little longer while I explain, for I have more to say on God’s behalf.
3 I shall range far afield for my arguments to prove my Maker just.
4 I guarantee, nothing I shall say will be untrue: you have a man of sound learning here.
5 God does not reject anyone whose heart is pure
6 or let the sinner live on in all his power. He does accord fair judgement to the afflicted;
7 he does uphold what the upright deserve. When he raises kings to thrones, if they grow proud of their unending rule,
8 then he fetters them with chains, they are caught in the bonds of affliction.
9 He shows them the import of their deeds, of the sins of pride they have committed.
10 In their ears he sounds a warning, ordering them to turn back from doing wrong.
11 If they take notice and obey him, the rest of their days are prosperous and the years pass pleasantly.
12 If not, they go down the Canal and perish in their stupidity.
13 The stubborn, who cherish their anger and do not cry for help when he chains them,
14 die in the bloom of youth or live among the male prostitutes of the temple.
15 But God saves the afflicted by his affliction, warning him in his misery.
16 You, too, he would like to snatch from torment. While you were enjoying boundless abundance, with rich food piled high on your table,
17 you did not bring the wicked to trial and did not give fair judgement to the orphan.
18 Beware of being led astray by abundance, of being corrupted by expensive presents.
19 Take the powerful to law, not merely the penniless, those whose arm is strong, not merely the weak.
20 Do not crush people you do not know to install your relations in their place.
21 Avoid any tendency to wrong-doing, for this is why affliction is testing you now.
22 See, God is sublime in his strength and who can teach lessons as he does?
23 Who has even told him which course to take, or dared to say to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
24 Consider, rather, how you may praise his work, a theme that many have sung.
25 This is something that everyone can see, gazing, as we do, from afar.
26 Yes, the greatness of God exceeds our knowledge, the number of his years is past counting.
27 It is he who makes the raindrops small and pulverises the rain into mist.
28 And the clouds then pour this out, sending it streaming down on the human race.
29 And who can fathom how he spreads the clouds, or why such crashes thunder from his tent?
30 He spreads a mist before him and covers the tops of the mountains.
31 By these means, he sustains the peoples, giving them plenty to eat.
32 He gathers up the lightning in his hands, assigning it the mark where to strike.
33 His crashing gives warning of its coming, anger flashes out against iniquity.
Proverbs 4 [10-19]
10 Listen, my child, take my words to heart, and the years of your life will be multiplied.
11 I have educated you in the ways of wisdom, I have guided you along the path of honesty.
12 When you walk, your going will be unhindered, if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold fast to discipline, never let her go, keep your eyes on her, she is your life.
14 Do not follow the path of the wicked, do not walk the way that the evil go.
15 Avoid it, do not take it, turn your back on it, pass it by.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have first done wrong, they miss their sleep if they have not made someone stumble;
17 for the bread of wickedness is what they eat, and the wine of violence is what they drink.
18 The path of the upright is like the light of dawn, its brightness growing to the fullness of day;
19 the way of the wicked is as dark as night, they cannot tell the obstacles they stumble over.
Thoughts and Reflection
Today we revisit Joseph’s brothers that were so jealous of the love shown upon him by his father that his brothers were willing to kill him or sell him to slavery. They chose the latter. As the years pass by, Joseph’s brothers’ heart change. When the next younger brother is threatened, they put their own lives on the line for him. This shows us that everyone can change, regardless how broken we maybe.
Another example of how people should change is Judah. He sins by having sexual relations with his daughter-in-law thinking she is a prostitute. Later, when his family is threatened, Judah becomes a shining son and brother.
Today we should pray to not only be like Joseph but also be like Judah, whose heart changes.
How have you changed your life?
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!