Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

How quick we are to judge something or someone with a standard we cannot live up to ourselves. When Judah discovered his daughter-in-law's prostitution, his first reaction was "Bring her out and burn her!" (Genesis 38:24). The problem he failed to realize was that he was the one who had hired her as a prostitute!

When Nathan told David a story about a poor man who had only one sheep that was stolen by a man who had many sheep, David was enraged. "As surely as the Lord lives," he vowed, "any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!" (2 Samuel 12:5). Verse 7 says, "Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are that man!' "

The Pharisees wrongly judged Jesus Christ when they said He cast out devils by the devil. Jesus asked them, "And if I am empowered by the prince of demons, what about your own followers? They cast out demons, too, so they will judge you for what you have said" (Matthew 12:27).

Jesus taught His disciples that they would be judged by the same standard with which they judged others (Matthew 7:2). It's hard to remove a splinter from someone else's eye when there is a log in your own!

Genesis 37:1-38:30

Joseph’s Dreams

37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed,S Ge 17:8 the land of Canaan.S Ge 10:19

This is the accountS Ge 2:4 of Jacob’s family line.

Joseph,S Ge 30:24 a young man of seventeen,Ge 41:46; 2Sa 5:4 was tending the flocksGe 46:32; 1Sa 16:11; 17:15; Ps 78:71; Am 7:15 with his brothers, the sons of BilhahGe 35:25 and the sons of Zilpah,Ge 35:26 his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report1Sa 2:24 about them.

Now IsraelS Ge 17:5 loved Joseph more than any of his other sons,S Ge 25:28 because he had been born to him in his old age;Ge 43:27; 44:20 and he made an ornateThe meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 23 and 32. robever 23, 31, 32; 2Sa 13:18-19 for him.Ge 43:34; 45:22; 1Sa 1:4-5; Est 2:9When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated himS ver 24; S Ge 27:41; Ac 7:9 and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph had a dream,S Ge 20:3; S 28:12 and when he told it to his brothers,ver 10 they hated him all the more.ver 8He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had:We were binding sheavesRu 2:7, 15 of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”ver 9, 10; Ge 27:29; 42:6, 9; 43:26, 28; 44:14; 50:18; 2Sa 1:2; 9:6

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?”Ge 41:44; 42:10; 44:16, 18; 48:22; 49:26; Dt 33:16 And they hated him all the morever 5 because of his dream and what he had said.

Then he had another dream,S ver 7; Ge 28:12 and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven starsRev 12:1 were bowing down to me.”Dt 4:19; 17:3

10 When he told his father as well as his brothers,ver 5 his father rebukedRu 2:16; Ps 9:5; 68:30; 106:9; 119:21; Isa 17:13; 54:9; Zec 3:2 him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”S ver 7; S Ge 9:25; S 33:311 His brothers were jealous of him,Ge 26:14; Ac 7:9 but his father kept the matter in mind.Lk 2:19, 51

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,S Ge 12:613 and IsraelS Ge 17:5 said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem.Ge 33:19 Come, I am going to send you to them.”

“Very well,” he replied.

14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers1Sa 17:18 and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.S Ge 13:18

When Joseph arrived at Shechem,15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”

17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.2Ki 6:13’”

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan.18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.1Sa 19:1; 2Ch 24:21; Ps 31:13, 20; 37:12, 32; S Mt 12:14; Mk 14:1; Ac 23:12

19 “Here comes that dreamer!S Ge 28:12” they said to each other.20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisternsver 22; Jer 38:6, 9 and say that a ferocious animalver 33; Lev 26:6, 22; Dt 32:24; 2Ki 17:25; Eze 34:25 devoured him.ver 31-33; S Ge 4:10 Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”Ge 50:20

21 When ReubenS Ge 29:32 heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.Ge 42:2222 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cisternS ver 20 here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.ver 29-30

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robever 3 he was wearing—24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern.S ver 4; Ge 49:23; Jer 38:6; 41:7; Eze 22:27 The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of IshmaelitesS Ge 16:11 coming from Gilead.S Ge 31:21; S SS 4:1 Their camels were loaded with spices, balmJer 8:22; 22:6; 46:11 and myrrh,Ge 43:11; Ex 30:23; Ps 45:8; Pr 7:17; SS 1:13; Mt 2:11 and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.ver 28; Ge 39:1; Ps 105:17

26 JudahS Ge 29:35 said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?S Ge 4:1027 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother,Ge 42:21 our own flesh and blood.S Ge 29:14” His brothers agreed.

28 So when the MidianiteS Ge 25:2 merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cisternJer 38:13 and soldEx 21:16 him for twenty shekelsThat is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams of silverLev 27:5; Mt 26:15 to the Ishmaelites,S Ge 16:11 who took him to Egypt.ver 36; Ge 39:1; 45:4-5; Ps 105:17; Jer 12:6; Ac 7:9

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.ver 34; Ge 44:13; Nu 14:6; Jos 7:6; 2Sa 1:11; 2Ki 2:12; 5:7; 11:14; 22:11; Job 1:20; 2:12; Isa 36:22; 37:1; Jer 36:24; 41:5; Joel 2:1330 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”ver 22

31 Then they got Joseph’s robe,S ver 3 slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.Rev 19:1332 They took the ornate robeS ver 3 back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animalS ver 20 has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”Ge 42:13, 38; 44:20, 28

34 Then Jacob tore his clothes,S ver 29 put on sackcloth2Sa 3:31; 1Ki 20:31; 21:27; 2Ki 6:30; 19:1, 2; Job 16:15; Ps 69:11; Isa 3:24; 15:3; 22:12; 32:11; 37:1; Jer 48:37; 49:3; Joel 1:13 and mourned for his son many days.Ge 50:3, 10, 11; Nu 20:29; Dt 34:835 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him,Job 2:11; 15:11; 16:5; 42:11 but he refused to be comforted.2Sa 12:17; Ps 77:2; Jer 31:15 “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son2Sa 12:23 in the grave.Ge 42:38; 44:22, 29, 31” So his father wept for him.

36 Meanwhile, the MidianitesSamaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac (see also verse 28); Masoretic Text MedanitesS Ge 25:2 sold JosephS ver 28 in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.Ge 39:1; 40:3; 41:10, 12; 1Sa 22:14

Judah and Tamar

38 At that time, JudahS Ge 29:35 left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of AdullamJos 12:15; 15:35; 1Sa 22:1; 2Sa 23:13; 2Ch 11:7 named Hirah.ver 12, 20There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua.ver 12; 1Ch 2:3 He married her and made love to her;she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er.ver 6; Ge 46:12; Nu 26:19She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan.ver 8, 9; Ge 46:12; Nu 26:19She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah.Nu 26:20 It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him.

Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.ver 11, 13But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight;S Ge 6:5 so the Lord put him to death.ver 10; Ge 46:12; Lev 10:1-2; 1Ch 2:3

Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.”Dt 25:5-6; Ru 4:5; Mt 22:24-28But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother.10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.S ver 7; Dt 25:7-10

11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-lawS Ge 11:31 Tamar,S ver 6 “Live as a widow in your father’s householdRu 1:8 until my son Shelahver 14, 26 grows up.”Ru 1:13 For he thought, “He may die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s household.

12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua,S ver 2 died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah,ver 14; Jos 15:10, 57; 19:43; Jdg 14:1, 2; 2Ch 28:18 to the men who were shearing his sheep,S Ge 31:19 and his friend Hirah the AdullamiteS ver 1 went with him.

13 When TamarS ver 6 was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,”S Ge 31:1914 she took off her widow’s clothes,ver 19 covered herself with a veilS Ge 24:65 to disguise herself, and then sat downJer 3:2 at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.S ver 12 For she saw that, though ShelahS ver 11 had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.

15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute,Jdg 11:1; 16:1 for she had covered her face.16 Not realizingGe 42:23 that she was his daughter-in-law,Lev 18:15; 20:12; Ru 1:6 he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”Ge 39:7, 12; 2Sa 13:11

“And what will you give me to sleep with you?”S Ge 30:15 she asked.

17 “I’ll send you a young goatJdg 15:1 from my flock,” he said.

“Will you give me something as a pledgever 20 until you send it?” she asked.

18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?”

“Your sealver 25; 1Ki 21:8; Est 3:12; 8:8; SS 8:6; Isa 49:16; Jer 22:24; Hag 2:23; 2Co 1:22; Eph 1:13 and its cord, and the staffS Ge 32:10; S Ex 4:2 in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.S Ge 19:3219 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothesver 14 again.

20 Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the AdullamiteS ver 1 in order to get his pledgever 17 back from the woman, but he did not find her.21 He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostituteS Ge 19:5; Lev 19:29; Dt 22:21; 23:17; 2Ki 23:7; Hos 4:14 who was beside the road at Enaim?”

“There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” they said.

22 So he went back to Judah and said, “I didn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, ‘There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here.’”

23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has,ver 18 or we will become a laughingstock.Ex 32:25; Job 12:4; Jer 20:7; La 3:14 After all, I did send her this young goat, but you didn’t find her.”

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.”

Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”Lev 20:10, 14; 21:9; Dt 22:21, 22; Jos 7:25; Jdg 15:6; 1Sa 31:12; Job 31:11, 28; Eze 16:38

25 As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.”S ver 18

26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I,1Sa 24:17 since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.S ver 11” And he did not sleep with her again.

27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.Ge 25:2428 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwifeS Ge 35:17 took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wristver 30 and said, “This one came out first.”29 But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out,Ge 25:26 and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.Perez means breaking out.Ge 46:12; Nu 26:20, 21; Ru 4:12, 18; 2Sa 5:20; 6:8; 1Ch 2:4; 9:4; Isa 28:21; Mt 1:330 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist,ver 28 came out. And he was named Zerah.Zerah can mean scarlet or brightness.Ge 46:12; 1Ch 2:4; Ne 11:24

Joseph’s Dreams

37 So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.

This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.

JacobHebrew Israel; also in 37:13. See note on 35:21. loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.Traditionally rendered a coat of many colors. The exact meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.

One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.“Listen to this dream,” he said.“We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”

His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.

Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”

10 This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?”11 But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.

12 Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem.13 When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”

“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.

14 “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron.

15 When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked.

16 “I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?”

17 “Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.

Joseph Sold into Slavery

18 When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him.19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said.20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”

21 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said.22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.

23 So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing.24 Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.25 Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.

26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime.Hebrew cover his blood.27 Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed.28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty piecesHebrew 20 [shekels], about 8 ounces or 228 grams in weight. of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.

29 Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief.30 Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”

31 Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood.32 They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”

33 Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!”34 Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time.35 His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my graveHebrew go down to Sheol. mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.

36 Meanwhile, the Midianite tradersHebrew the Medanites. The relationship between the Midianites and Medanites is unclear; compare 37:28. See also 25:2. arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.

Judah and Tamar

38 About this time, Judah left home and moved to Adullam, where he stayed with a man named Hirah.There he saw a Canaanite woman, the daughter of Shua, and he married her. When he slept with her,she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and he named the boy Er.Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, and she named him Onan.And when she gave birth to a third son, she named him Shelah. At the time of Shelah’s birth, they were living at Kezib.

In the course of time, Judah arranged for his firstborn son, Er, to marry a young woman named Tamar.But Er was a wicked man in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord took his life.Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and marry Tamar, as our law requires of the brother of a man who has died. You must produce an heir for your brother.”

But Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he spilled the semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child who would belong to his brother.10 But the Lord considered it evil for Onan to deny a child to his dead brother. So the Lord took Onan’s life, too.

11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Go back to your parents’ home and remain a widow until my son Shelah is old enough to marry you.” (But Judah didn’t really intend to do this because he was afraid Shelah would also die, like his two brothers.) So Tamar went back to live in her father’s home.

12 Some years later Judah’s wife died. After the time of mourning was over, Judah and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to Timnah to supervise the shearing of his sheep.13 Someone told Tamar, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.”

14 Tamar was aware that Shelah had grown up, but no arrangements had been made for her to come and marry him. So she changed out of her widow’s clothing and covered herself with a veil to disguise herself. Then she sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.15 Judah noticed her and thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face.16 So he stopped and propositioned her. “Let me have sex with you,” he said, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law.

“How much will you pay to have sex with me?” Tamar asked.

17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” Judah promised.

“But what will you give me to guarantee that you will send the goat?” she asked.

18 “What kind of guarantee do you want?” he replied.

She answered, “Leave me your identification seal and its cord and the walking stick you are carrying.” So Judah gave them to her. Then he had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant.19 Afterward she went back home, took off her veil, and put on her widow’s clothing as usual.

20 Later Judah asked his friend Hirah the Adullamite to take the young goat to the woman and to pick up the things he had given her as his guarantee. But Hirah couldn’t find her.21 So he asked the men who lived there, “Where can I find the shrine prostitute who was sitting beside the road at the entrance to Enaim?”

“We’ve never had a shrine prostitute here,” they replied.

22 So Hirah returned to Judah and told him, “I couldn’t find her anywhere, and the men of the village claim they’ve never had a shrine prostitute there.”

23 “Then let her keep the things I gave her,” Judah said. “I sent the young goat as we agreed, but you couldn’t find her. We’d be the laughingstock of the village if we went back again to look for her.”

24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has acted like a prostitute. And now, because of this, she’s pregnant.”

“Bring her out, and let her be burned!” Judah demanded.

25 But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent this message to her father-in-law: “The man who owns these things made me pregnant. Look closely. Whose seal and cord and walking stick are these?”

26 Judah recognized them immediately and said, “She is more righteous than I am, because I didn’t arrange for her to marry my son Shelah.” And Judah never slept with Tamar again.

27 When the time came for Tamar to give birth, it was discovered that she was carrying twins.28 While she was in labor, one of the babies reached out his hand. The midwife grabbed it and tied a scarlet string around the child’s wrist, announcing, “This one came out first.”29 But then he pulled back his hand, and out came his brother! “What!” the midwife exclaimed. “How did you break out first?” So he was named Perez.Perez means “breaking out.”30 Then the baby with the scarlet string on his wrist was born, and he was named Zerah.Zerah means “scarlet” or “brightness.”

37 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.

13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.

14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?

16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.

17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;

32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.

33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.

38 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.

And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.

And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.

And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.

And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.

And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.

11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.

12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.

13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.

14 And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.

15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?

17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?

18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

19 And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.

20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not.

21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.

22 And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place.

23 And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.

24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.

25 When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.

26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.

27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.

28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.

29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.

30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.

Matthew 12:22-45

Jesus and Beelzebul12:25-29pp — Mk 3:23-27; Lk 11:17-22

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.S Mt 4:2423 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”S Mt 9:27

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul,S Mk 3:22 the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”Mt 9:34

25 Jesus knew their thoughtsS Mt 9:4 and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.26 If SatanS Mt 4:10 drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul,ver 24 by whom do your peopleAc 19:13 drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of GodS Mt 3:2 has come upon you.

29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.Mk 9:40; Lk 11:2331 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.Mk 3:28, 29; Lk 12:1032 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this ageTit 2:12 or in the age to come.Mk 10:30; Lk 20:34, 35; Eph 1:21; Heb 6:5

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.Mt 7:16, 17; Lk 6:43, 4434 You brood of vipers,Mt 3:7; 23:33 how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaksMt 15:18; Lk 6:45 what the heart is full of.35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”Job 15:6; Pr 10:14; 18:21; Jas 3:2

The Sign of Jonah12:39-42pp — Lk 11:29-3212:43-45pp — Lk 11:24-26

38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a signS Jn 2:11; S 4:48 from you.”Mt 16:1; Mk 8:11, 12; Lk 11:16; Jn 2:18; 6:30; 1Co 1:22

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.Mt 16:4; Lk 11:2940 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish,Jnh 1:17 so the Son of ManS Mt 8:20 will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.S Mt 16:2141 The men of NinevehJnh 1:2 will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah,Jnh 3:5 and now something greater than Jonah is here.42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came1Ki 10:1; 2Ch 9:1 from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.2Pe 2:20 That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus and the Prince of Demons

22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan,Greek Beelzeboul; also in 12:27. Other manuscripts read Beezeboul; Latin version reads Beelzebub. the prince of demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive.27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said.28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.

30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

31 “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

The Sign of Jonah

38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”

39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.42 The queen of ShebaGreek The queen of the south. will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.

43 “When an evilGreek unclean. spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none.44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order.45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Psalm 16:1-11

Psalm 16

A miktamTitle: Probably a literary or musical term of David.

Keep me safe,S Ps 12:7 my God,

for in you I take refuge.Ps 2:12

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;Ps 31:14; 118:28; 140:6

apart from you I have no good thing.”Ps 73:25

I say of the holy peopleDt 33:3; Ps 30:4; 85:8; Da 7:18; Ac 9:13; Ro 1:7 who are in the land,Ps 101:6

“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”

Those who run after other godsEx 18:11; 20:3; S Dt 8:19; S 31:20 will sufferPs 32:10; Pr 23:29 more and more.

I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods

or take up their namesS Ex 23:13 on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portionS Lev 2:2 and my cup;Ps 23:5; 75:8; 116:13; Isa 51:17; La 4:21; Eze 23:32-34; Hab 2:16

you make my lotS Job 31:2 secure.

The boundary linesS Dt 19:14; Ps 104:9; Pr 8:29; Jer 5:22 have fallen for me in pleasant places;

surely I have a delightful inheritance.S Job 22:26

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;Ps 73:24; Pr 15:22; Isa 11:2

even at nightJob 35:10; Ps 42:8; 77:6 my heart instructs me.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.

With him at my right hand,1Ki 2:19; 1Ch 6:39; Ps 73:23 I will not be shaken.Ps 15:5

Therefore my heart is gladPs 4:7; 13:5; 28:7; 30:11 and my tongue rejoices;

my body also will rest secure,S Dt 33:28

10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,S Nu 16:30; Ps 30:3; 31:17; 86:13; Hos 13:14

nor will you let your faithfulOr holy oneS 2Ki 19:22 see decay.S Job 17:14; Ac 2:31; 13:35*

11 You make known to me the path of life;Ps 139:24; Mt 7:14

you will fill me with joy in your presence,Ac 2:25-28*

with eternal pleasuresPs 21:6 at your right hand.Ps 80:17

Psalm 16

A psalmHebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term. of David.

Keep me safe, O God,

for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!

Every good thing I have comes from you.”

The godly people in the land

are my true heroes!

I take pleasure in them!

Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.

I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood

or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.

You guard all that is mine.

The land you have given me is a pleasant land.

What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;

even at night my heart instructs me.

I know the Lord is always with me.

I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.Greek version reads and my tongue shouts his praises. Compare Acts 2:26.

My body rests in safety.

10 For you will not leave my soul among the deadHebrew in Sheol.

or allow your holy oneOr your Holy One. to rot in the grave.

11 You will show me the way of life,

granting me the joy of your presence

and the pleasures of living with you forever.Greek version reads You have shown me the way of life, / and you will fill me with the joy of your presence. Compare Acts 2:28.

16 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.

O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;

But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Proverbs 3:27-32

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,

when it is in your power to act.

28 Do not say to your neighbor,

“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—

when you already have it with you.Lev 19:13; Dt 24:15; Lk 10:25-37

29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,

who lives trustfully near you.Zec 8:17

30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—

when they have done you no harm.

31 Do not envyS Ps 37:1; Pr 24:1-2 the violent

or choose any of their ways.

32 For the Lord detests the perverseS Ps 101:4

but takes the upright into his confidence.S Job 29:4

27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it

when it’s in your power to help them.

28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,

“Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”

29 Don’t plot harm against your neighbor,

for those who live nearby trust you.

30 Don’t pick a fight without reason,

when no one has done you harm.

31 Don’t envy violent people

or copy their ways.

32 Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord,

but he offers his friendship to the godly.

27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

32 For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.

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