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Genesis 47

1 So Joseph went and told Pharaoh, ‘My father and brothers have arrived from Canaan with their flocks and cattle and all their possessions. Here they are, in the region of Goshen.’

2 He had taken five of his brothers, and he now presented them to Pharaoh.

3 Pharaoh asked his brothers, ‘What is your occupation?’ and they gave Pharaoh the answer, ‘Your servants are shepherds, like our fathers before us.’

4 They went on to tell Pharaoh, ‘We have come to stay in this country for the time being, since there is no pasturage for your servants’ flocks, Canaan being stricken with famine. So now please allow your servants to settle in the region of Goshen.’

5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph,’They may stay in the region of Goshen, and if you know of any capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.’ Jacob and his sons went to Egypt where Joseph was. Pharaoh king of Egypt heard about this and said to Joseph, ‘Your father and brothers have come to you. The country of Egypt is open to you: settle your father and brothers in the best region.’

6 The country of Egypt is open to you: settle your father and brothers in the best region.’

7 Joseph brought his father and presented him to Pharaoh. Jacob paid his respects to Pharaoh.

8 Pharaoh asked Jacob, ‘How many years have you lived?’

9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The years of my stay on earth add up to one hundred and thirty years. Few and unhappy my years have been, falling short of my ancestors’ years in their stay on earth.’

10 Jacob then took leave of Pharaoh and withdrew from his presence.

11 Joseph then settled his father and brothers, giving them land holdings in Egypt, in the best part of the country, the region of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered.

12 Joseph provided his father, brothers and all his father’s family with food, down to the least of them.

13 And on all the earth around there was now no food anywhere, for the famine had grown very severe, and Egypt and Canaan were both weak with hunger.

14 Joseph accumulated all the money to be found in Egypt and Canaan, in exchange for the supplies being handed out, and put the money in Pharaoh’s palace.

15 When all the money in Egypt and Canaan was exhausted, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, pleading, ‘Give us food, unless you want us to die before your eyes! For our money has come to an end.’

16 Joseph replied, ‘Hand over your livestock and I shall issue you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money has come to an end.’

17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for horses and livestock, whether sheep or cattle, and for donkeys. Thus he saw them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the next year, and said to him, ‘We cannot hide it from my lord: the truth is, our money has run out and the livestock is in my lord’s possession. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our land.

19 If we and our land are not to perish, take us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will become Pharaoh’s serfs; only give us seed, so that we can survive and not die and the land not revert to desert!’

20 Thus Joseph acquired all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh, since one by one the Egyptians sold their fields, so hard pressed were they by the famine; and the whole country passed into Pharaoh’s possession,

21 while the people he reduced to serfdom from one end of Egypt to the other.

22 The only land he did not acquire belonged to the priests, for the priests received an allowance from Pharaoh and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them. Hence they had no need to sell their land.

23 Then Joseph said to the people, ‘This is how we stand: I have bought you out, with your land, on Pharaoh’s behalf. Here is seed for you to sow the land.

24 But of the harvest you must give a fifth to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you can have for sowing your fields, to provide food for yourselves and your households, and food for your children.’

25 ‘You have saved our lives!’ they replied. ‘If it please my lord, we will become serfs to Pharaoh.’

26 So Joseph made a law, still in force today, as regards the soil of Egypt, that one-fifth should go to Pharaoh. Only the land of the priests did not go to Pharaoh.

27 Thus Israel settled in Egypt, in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there; they were fruitful and grew very numerous.

28 Jacob lived seventeen years in Egypt; thus Jacob’s total age came to a hundred and forty-seven years.

29 When Israel’s time to die drew near he sent for his son Joseph and said to him, ‘If you really love me, place your hand under my thigh as pledge that you will act with faithful love towards me: do not bury me in Egypt!

30 When I lie down with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their tomb.’ ‘I shall do as you say,’ he replied.

31 ‘Swear to me,’ he insisted. So he swore to him, and Israel sank back on the pillow.

Genesis 48

1 Some time later, Joseph was informed, ‘Your father has been taken ill.’ So he took with him his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim.

2 When Jacob was told, ‘Look, your son Joseph has come to you,’ Israel, summoning his strength, sat up in bed.

3 ‘El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in Canaan,’ Jacob told Joseph, ‘and he blessed me,

4 saying to me, “I shall make you fruitful and numerous, and shall make you into an assembly of peoples and give this country to your descendants after you, to own in perpetuity.”

5 Now your two sons, born to you in Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be as much mine as Reuben and Simeon.

6 But with regard to the children you have had since them, they shall be yours, and they shall be known by their brothers’ names for the purpose of their inheritance.

7 ‘When I was on my way from Paddan, to my sorrow death took your mother Rachel from me in Canaan, on the journey while only a short distance from Ephrath. I buried her there on the road to Ephrath — now Bethlehem.’

8 When Israel saw Joseph’s two sons, he asked, ‘Who are these?’

9 ‘They are my sons, whom God has given me here,’ Joseph told his father. ‘Then bring them to me’, he said, ‘so that I may bless them.’

10 Now, Israel’s eyes were dim with age, and he could not see. So Joseph made them come closer to him and he kissed and embraced them.

11 Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘I did not think I should ever see you again, and now God has let me see your children as well!’

12 Then Joseph took them from his lap and bowed to the ground.

13 Then Joseph took the two of them, Ephraim with his right hand so that he should be on Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand, so that he should be on Israel’s right, and brought them close to him.

14 But Israel held out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and his left on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands — Manasseh was, in fact, the elder.

15 Then he blessed Joseph saying: May the God in whose presence my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd from my birth until this day,

16 the Angel who has saved me from all harm, bless these boys, so that my name may live on in them, and the names of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac, and they grow into teeming multitudes on earth!

17 Joseph saw that his father was laying his right hand on the head of Ephraim, and this he thought was wrong, so he took his father’s hand and tried to shift it from the head of Ephraim to the head of Manasseh.

18 Joseph protested to his father, ‘Not like that, father! This one is the elder; put your right hand on his head.’

19 But his father refused. ‘I know, my son, I know,’ he said. ‘He too shall become a people; he too will be great. But his younger brother will be greater, his offspring will be sufficient to constitute nations.’

20 So he blessed them that day, saying: By you shall Israel bless itself, saying, ‘God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!’ putting Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘Now I am about to die. But God will be with you and take you back to the land of your ancestors.

22 As for me, I give you a Shechem more than your brothers, the one I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.’

Job 39

1 Do you know when mountain goats give birth? Have you ever watched deer in labour?

2 Have you ever counted the months that they carry their young? Do you know when they give birth?

3 They crouch to drop their young, they get rid of their burdens

4 and the calves, having grown big and strong, go off into the desert and never come back to them.

5 Who has given the wild donkey his freedom, who has undone the harness of the brayer?

6 I have given him the wastelands as his home, the salt plain as his habitat.

7 He scorns the turmoil of the town, obeys no donkey-man’s shouts.

8 The mountains are the pastures that he ranges in quest of anything green.

9 Is the wild ox willing to serve you or spend a night beside your manger?

10 If you tie a rope round his neck will he harrow the furrows for you?

11 Can you rely on his massive strength and leave him to do your heavy work?

12 Can you depend on him to come home and pile your grain on your threshing-floor?

13 Can the wing of the ostrich be compared with the plumage of stork or falcon?

14 She leaves her eggs on the ground with only earth to warm them;

15 forgetting that a foot may tread on them or a wild animal crush them.

16 Cruel to her chicks as if they were not hers, little she cares if her labour goes for nothing.

17 God, you see, has deprived her of wisdom and given her no share of intelligence.

18 Yet, if she bestirs herself to use her height, she can make fools of horse and rider too.

19 Are you the one who makes the horse so brave and covers his neck with flowing mane?

20 Do you make him leap like a grasshopper? His haughty neighing inspires terror.

21 Exultantly he paws the soil of the valley, and charges the battle-line in all his strength.

22 He laughs at fear; he is afraid of nothing, he recoils before no sword.

23 On his back the quiver rattles, the flashing spear and javelin.

24 Trembling with impatience, he eats up the miles; when the trumpet sounds, there is no holding him.

25 At each trumpet blast he neighs exultantly. He scents the battle from afar, the thundering of the commanders and the war cry.

26 Is it your wisdom that sets the hawk flying when he spreads his wings to travel south?

27 Does the eagle soar at your command to make her eyrie in the heights?

28 She spends her nights among the crags with a needle of rock as her fortress,

29 from which she watches for prey, fixing it with her far-ranging eye.

30 Even her young drink blood; where anyone has been killed, she is there.

Job 40

1 Still speaking to Job, Yahweh said:

2 Is Yahweh’s opponent going to give way? Has God’s critic thought up an answer?

3 Job replied to Yahweh:

4 My words have been frivolous: what can I reply? I had better lay my hand over my mouth.

5 I have spoken once, I shall not speak again; I have spoken twice, I have nothing more to say.

6 Yahweh gave Job his answer from the heart of the tempest. He said:

7 Brace yourself like a fighter, I am going to ask the questions, and you are to inform me!

8 Do you really want to reverse my judgement, put me in the wrong and yourself in the right?

9 Has your arm the strength of God’s, can your voice thunder as loud?

10 Come on, display your majesty and grandeur, robe yourself in splendour and glory.

11 Let the fury of your anger burst forth, humble the haughty at a glance!

12 At a glance, bring down all the proud, strike down the wicked where they stand.

13 Bury the lot of them in the ground, shut them, every one, in the Dungeon.

14 And I shall be the first to pay you homage, since your own right hand is strong enough to save you.

15 But look at Behemoth, my creature, just as you are! He feeds on greenstuff like the ox,

16 but what strength he has in his loins, what power in his stomach muscles!

17 His tail is as stiff as a cedar, the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.

18 His bones are bronze tubes, his frame like forged iron.

19 He is the first of the works of God. His Maker threatened him with the sword,

20 forbidding him the mountain regions and all the wild animals that play there.

21 Under the lotus he lies, he hides among the reeds in the swamps.

22 The leaves of the lotus give him shade, the willows by the stream shelter him.

23 If the river overflows, he does not worry: Jordan might come up to his mouth, but he would not care.

24 Who is going to catch him by the eyes or put poles through his nose?

25 Leviathan, too! Can you catch him with a fish-hook or hold his tongue down with a rope?

26 Can you put a cane through his nostrils or pierce his jaw with a hook?

27 Will he plead lengthily with you, addressing you in diffident tones?

28 Will he strike a bargain with you to become your slave for life?

29 Will you make a pet of him, like a bird, keep him on a lead to amuse your little girls?

30 Is he to be sold by the fishing guild and then retailed by merchants?

31 Riddle his hide with darts? Or his head with fishing spears?

32 You have only to lay a finger on him never to forget the struggle or risk it again!

Psalm 16

1 [In a quiet voice Of David] Protect me, O God, in you is my refuge.

2 To Yahweh I say, ‘You are my Lord, my happiness is in none

3 of the sacred spirits of the earth.’ They only take advantage of all who love them.

4 People flock to their teeming idols. Never shall I pour libations to them! Never take their names on my lips.

5 My birthright, my cup is Yahweh; you, you alone, hold my lot secure.

6 The measuring-line marks out for me a delightful place, my birthright is all I could wish.

7 I bless Yahweh who is my counsellor, even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I keep Yahweh before me always, for with him at my right hand, nothing can shake me.

9 So my heart rejoices, my soul delights, my body too will rest secure,

10 for you will not abandon me to Sheol, you cannot allow your faithful servant to see the abyss.

11 You will teach me the path of life, unbounded joy in your presence, at your right hand delight for ever.

Thoughts and Reflection

Today in the book of Job, we have confirmation that he has done nothing do endure this suffering. God mysteriously allows Satan to deprive Job of everything. Job’s friends believe that his suffering is from a sin and call him to repent. Instead, God reveals that even though we may not understand the moment, it still has meaning. There is a purpose for everything.

Suffering can call us to repent, but can also be an opportunity to grow. God reveals to Job that there is a meaning to his suffering. Only the Lord knows the meaning of our suffering.

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!

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