1 Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather round, so that I can tell you what is in store for you in the final days.
2 Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to Israel your father.
3 Reuben, you are my first-born, my vigour, and the first-fruit of my manhood, foremost in pride, foremost in strength,
4 uncontrolled as water: you will not be foremost, for you climbed into your father’s bed, and so defiled my couch, to my sorrow.
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers in carrying out their malicious plans.
6 May my soul not enter their council nor my heart join their company, for in their rage they have killed men and hamstrung oxen at their whim.
7 Accursed be their rage for its ruthlessness, their wrath for its ferocity. I shall disperse them in Jacob, I shall scatter them through Israel.
8 Judah, your brothers will praise you: you grip your enemies by the neck, your father’s sons will do you homage.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp; You stand over your prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, a mighty lion: who dare rouse him?
10 The sceptre shall not pass from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute be brought him and the peoples render him obedience.
11 He tethers his donkey to the vine, to its stock the foal of his she-donkey. He washes his clothes in wine, his robes in the blood of the grape.
12 His eyes are darkened with wine and his teeth are white with milk.
13 Zebulun will live by the seashore and be a sailor on board the ships, with Sidon on his flank.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey lying down among sheepfolds.
15 When he saw how good the resting-place and how pleasant the country, he bowed his shoulder to the load and became a slave to forced labour.
16 Dan will govern his people like any other of the tribes of Israel.
17 May Dan be a snake on the road, a viper on the path, who bites the horse on the hock so that its rider falls off backwards!
18 I long for your deliverance, Yahweh!
19 Gad will be raided by raiders, and he will raid at their heels.
20 Rich the food produced by Asher: he will furnish food fit for kings.
21 Naphtali is a swift hind bearing lovely fawns.
22 Joseph is a fruitful plant near a spring whose tendrils reach over the wall.
23 Archers in their hostility drew their bows and attacked him.
24 But their bows were broken by a mighty One, the sinews of their arms were snapped by the power of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Name of the Stone of Israel,
25 the God of your father who assists you, El Shaddai who blesses you: blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep lying below, blessings of the breasts and womb,
26 blessings of the grain and flowers, blessings of the eternal mountains, bounty of the everlasting hills — may they descend on Joseph’s head, on the crown of the one dedicated from among his brothers!
27 Benjamin is a ravening wolf, in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he is still sharing out the spoil.’
28 All these make up the tribes of Israel, twelve in number, and this is what their father said to them as he bade them farewell, giving each an appropriate blessing.
29 Then he gave them these instructions, ‘I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30 in the cave in the field at Machpelah, facing Mamre, in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site of his own.
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 which were bought from the Hittites.’
33 When Jacob had finished giving his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, and breathing his last was gathered to his people.
1 At this Joseph threw himself on his father’s face, covering it with tears and kisses.
2 Then Joseph ordered the doctors in his service to embalm his father. The doctors embalmed Israel,
3 and it took them forty days, for embalming takes forty days to complete. The Egyptians mourned him for seventy days.
4 When the period of mourning for him was over, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s household, ‘If you have any affection for me, see that this message reaches Pharaoh’s ears,
5 “My father put me under oath, saying: I am about to die. In the tomb which I dug for myself in Canaan, that is where you are to bury me. So may I have leave to go up and bury my father, and then come back?” ‘
6 Pharaoh replied, ‘Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.’
7 Joseph went up to bury his father, and with him went all Pharaoh’s officials, the dignitaries of his palace and all the dignitaries of Egypt,
8 as well as all Joseph’s family, his brothers and his father’s family. The only people they left behind in Goshen were those unfit to travel, and their flocks and cattle.
9 Chariots and horsemen went up with him too; it was a very large retinue.
10 On arriving at Goren-ha-Atad, which is across the Jordan, they there held a long and solemn lamentation, and Joseph observed seven days’ mourning for his father.
11 When the Canaanites, the local inhabitants, witnessed the mourning at Goren-ha-Atad, they said, ‘This is a solemn act of mourning by the Egyptians,’ which is why the place was given the name Abel-Mizraim-it is across the Jordan.
12 His sons did what he had ordered them to do for him.
13 His sons carried him to Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field at Machpelah, facing Mamre, which Abraham had bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site of his own.
14 Then Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all those who had come up with him to bury his father.
15 Seeing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph intends to treat us as enemies and pay us back for all the wrong we did him?’
16 So they sent this message to Joseph: ‘Before your father died, he gave us this order:
17 “You are to say to Joseph: Now please forgive the crime and faults of your brothers and all the wrong they did you.” So now please forgive the crime of the servants of your father’s God.’ Joseph wept at the message they sent to him.
18 Then his brothers went to him themselves and, throwing themselves at his feet, said, ‘Take us as your slaves!’
19 But Joseph replied, ‘Do not be afraid; is it for me to put myself in God’s place?
20 The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, to bring about the present result: the survival of a numerous people.
21 So there is no need to be afraid; I shall provide for you and your dependants.’ In this way he reassured them by speaking affectionately to them.
22 So Joseph stayed in Egypt with his father’s family; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years.
23 Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s line, as also the children of Machir son of Manasseh, who were born on Joseph’s lap.
24 At length Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die; but God will be sure to remember you kindly and take you out of this country to the country which he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’
25 And Joseph put Israel’s sons on oath, saying, ‘When God remembers you with kindness, be sure to take my bones away from here.’
26 Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten; he was embalmed and laid in a coffin in Egypt.
1 Any hope you might have would be futile, the mere sight of him would overwhelm you.
2 When roused, he grows ferocious, who could ever stand up to him?
3 Who has ever attacked him with impunity? No one beneath all heaven!
4 Next I will talk of his limbs and describe his matchless strength-
5 who can undo the front of his tunic or pierce the double armour of his breastplate?
6 Who dare open the gates of his mouth? Terror reigns round his teeth!
7 His back is like rows of shields, sealed with a stone seal,
8 touching each other so close that no breath could pass between,
9 sticking to one another making an impervious whole.
10 His sneezes radiate light, his eyes are like the eyelashes of the dawn.
11 From his mouth come fiery torches, sparks of fire fly out of it.
12 His nostrils belch smoke like a cauldron boiling on the fire.
13 His breath could kindle coals, flame issues from his mouth.
14 His strength resides in his neck, violence leaps before him as he goes.
15 The strips of his flesh are jointed together, firmly set in and immovable.
16 His heart is as hard as rock unyielding as the lower millstone.
17 When he stands up, the waves take fright and the billows of the sea retreat.
18 Sword may strike but will not stick in him, no more will spear, javelin or lance.
19 Iron means no more to him than straw, nor bronze than rotten wood.
20 No arrow can make him flee, a sling-stone tickles him like hay.
21 Club seems to him like straw, he laughs at the whirring javelin.
22 He has sharp potsherds underneath, and moves across the slime like a harrow.
23 He makes the depths seethe like a cauldron, he makes the sea fume like a scent burner.
24 Behind him he leaves a glittering wake — a white fleece seems to float on the deeps.
25 He has no equal on earth, being created without fear.
26 He looks the haughtiest in the eye; of all the lordly beasts he is king.
1 This was the answer Job gave to Yahweh:
2 I know that you are all-powerful: what you conceive, you can perform.
3 I was the man who misrepresented your intentions with my ignorant words. You have told me about great works that I cannot understand, about marvels which are beyond me, of which I know nothing.
4 (Listen, please, and let me speak: I am going to ask the questions, and you are to inform me.)
5 Before, I knew you only by hearsay but now, having seen you with my own eyes,
6 I retract what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes.
7 When Yahweh had finished saying this to Job, he said to Eliphaz of Teman, ‘I burn with anger against you and your two friends, for not having spoken correctly about me as my servant Job has done.
8 So now find seven bullocks and seven rams, and take them back with you to my servant Job and make a burnt offering for yourselves, while Job, my servant, offers prayers for you. I shall show him favour and shall not inflict my displeasure on you for not having spoken about me correctly, as my servant Job had done.’
9 Eliphaz of Teman, Bildad of Shuah and Zophar of Naamath went away to do as Yahweh had ordered, and Yahweh listened to Job with favour.
10 And Yahweh restored Job’s condition, while Job was interceding for his friends. More than that, Yahweh gave him double what he had before.
11 And all his brothers and all his sisters and all his friends of former times came to see him. Over dinner in his house, they showed their sympathy and comforted him for all the evils Yahweh had inflicted on him. Each of them gave him a silver coin, and each a gold ring.
12 Yahweh blessed Job’s latter condition even more than his former one. He came to own fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand she-donkeys.
13 He had seven sons and three daughters;
14 his first daughter he called ‘Turtledove’, the second ‘Cassia’ and the third ‘Mascara’.
15 Throughout the land there were no women as beautiful as the daughters of Job. And their father gave them inheritance rights like their brothers.
16 After this, Job lived for another one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and his children’s children to the fourth generation.
17 Then, old and full of days, Job died.
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen, Yahweh, to an upright cause, pay attention to my cry, lend an ear to my prayer, my lips free from deceit.
2 From your presence will issue my vindication, your eyes fixed on what is right.
3 You probe my heart, examine me at night, you test me by fire and find no evil. I have not sinned with my mouth
4 as most people do. I have treasured the word from your lips,
5 my steps never stray from the paths you lay down, from your tracks; so my feet never stumble.
6 I call upon you, God, for you answer me; turn your ear to me, hear what I say.
7 Show the evidence of your faithful love, saviour of those who hope in your strength against attack.
8 Guard me as the pupil of an eye, shelter me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the presence of the wicked who would maltreat me; deadly enemies are closing in on me.
10 Engrossed in themselves they are mouthing arrogant words.
11 They are advancing against me, now they are closing in, watching for the chance to hurl me to the ground,
12 like a lion preparing to pounce, like a young lion crouching in ambush.
13 Arise, Yahweh, confront him and bring him down, with your sword save my life from the wicked,
14 Yahweh, from mortals, by your hand, from mortals whose part in life is in this world. You fill their bellies from your store, their childrenwill have all they desire, and leave their surplus to their children.
Thoughts and Reflection
In this final chapter of Genesis we learn that Jacob does not bless his first three sons. Instead he blesses his furth son stating that the scepter will not depart from him until it comes to whom it belongs. This is important because Jesus comes from the line of Judah and David and later he establishes the kingdom on earth and in heaven.
I found it interesting that Joseph’s brothers tells him that his dad wanted him for forgive them. It shows the lack of trust they have in Joseph and how they are scared of his power. Joseph showed his grace once again and wept due to the lack of trust.
In the final chapters of the book of Job, we read that God never answered as to why he allows the suffering to happen. Rather the Lord doesn’t abandon us, he remains next to us. God says the solution to suffering and evil is himself and trusting in him.
My take away is that even when we are feeling sad and alone, Jesus is right there next to us.
Today marks the end of the Patriarchs. Tomorrow is a whole new chapter of Egypy and Exodus. Stay tunned!
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!