Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Israel's blessings started with the word may. As Jacob laid his hands upon the heads of Ephraim and Manasseh, he uttered the word and invoked a blessing with it three times.

The psalmist blessed Israel with equal force: "May the Lord respond to your cry. May the God of Israel keep you safe. . . . May he send you help. . . . May he remember all your gifts. . . . May he grant your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory. . . . May the Lord answer all your prayers" (Psalm 20:1-5).

The word may could be translated "allow." In other words, allow God to do what He wants to do for you. You must settle in your mind forever that God wants to bless you. Any doubt will always result in questioning His desire to answer your prayers or to increase, deliver, and help you.

God's Word has the same power to bless you, as did Jacob's words for his grandsons. "Pay attention, my child, to what I say. Listen carefully. Don't lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning" (Proverbs 4:20-22).

May the Lord bless you today!

Genesis 48:1-49:33

Manasseh and Ephraim

48 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and EphraimS Ge 41:52; Heb 11:21 along with him.When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israelver 8, 9, 11, 14, 20 rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God AlmightyHebrew El-ShaddaiS Ge 17:1 appeared to me at LuzS Ge 28:19 in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed meS Ge 28:13; S 32:29and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers.S Ge 12:2; S 17:6 I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this landS Ge 12:7; S 28:13 as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’S Ge 15:7

“Now then, your two sons born to you in EgyptS Ge 41:50-52 before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine,1Ch 5:1 just as ReubenS Ge 29:32 and SimeonS Ge 29:33 are mine.Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.As I was returning from Paddan,That is, Northwest MesopotamiaS Ge 25:20 to my sorrowS Ge 42:38 Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).Ge 35:19; Ru 1:2; 1Sa 16:4

When IsraelS ver 2 saw the sons of Joseph,ver 10 he asked, “Who are these?”

“They are the sons God has given me here,”S Ge 33:5 Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may blessS Ge 24:60 them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see.S Ge 27:1 So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed themS Ge 27:27 and embraced them.S Ge 29:13

11 IsraelS ver 2 said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again,S Ge 44:28 and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”Ge 50:23; Job 42:16; Ps 103:17; 128:6

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s kneesGe 50:23; Job 3:12 and bowed down with his face to the ground.S Ge 19:1; S 33:3; 37:1013 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand,Ps 16:8; 73:23; 110:1; Mt 25:33 and brought them close to him.14 But IsraelS ver 2 reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head,ver 17, 18 though he was the younger,S Ge 25:23 and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.S Ge 29:32; S 41:51

15 Then he blessedS Ge 24:60 Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers

Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,S Ge 5:22

the God who has been my shepherdGe 49:24; 2Sa 5:2; Ps 23:1; 80:1; Isa 40:11; Jer 23:4

all my life to this day,

16 the AngelS Ge 16:7 who has delivered me from all harmS Ge 24:50; 2Sa 4:9; Ps 71:4; Jer 15:21; Da 3:17

—may he blessS Ge 28:3 these boys.1Ch 5:1; Eze 47:13; Heb 11:21

May they be called by my name

and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,S Ge 28:13

and may they increase greatly

on the earth.”S Ge 12:2; S 13:14

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right handver 13 on Ephraim’s headS ver 14 he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”S ver 14

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great.Ge 17:20 Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he,S Ge 25:23 and his descendants will become a group of nations.S Ge 12:220 He blessedS Ge 24:60 them that dayHeb 11:21 and said,

“In yourThe Hebrew is singular. name will IsraelS ver 2 pronounce this blessing:Lev 9:22; Nu 6:23; Dt 10:8; 21:5

‘May God make you like EphraimNu 2:18; Jer 31:9 and Manasseh.S Ge 41:51; Nu 2:20; 10:23; Ru 4:11’”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with youThe Hebrew is plural.S Ge 26:3 and take youThe Hebrew is plural. back to the land of yourThe Hebrew is plural. fathers.S Ge 15:16; S 28:13; Dt 30:3; Ps 126:1; Jer 29:14; Eze 34:1322 And to you I give one more ridge of landThe Hebrew for ridge of land is identical with the place name Shechem.Jos 24:32; Jn 4:5 than to your brothers,Ge 37:8 the ridge I took from the Amorites with my swordS Ge 34:26 and my bow.”

Jacob Blesses His Sons49:1-28Ref — Dt 33:1-29

49 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.Nu 24:14; Dt 31:29; Jer 23:20; Da 2:28, 45

“AssembleJos 24:1 and listen, sons of Jacob;

listen to your father Israel.ver 16, 28; Ps 34:11

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,S Ge 29:32; S 41:51

my might, the first sign of my strength,Dt 21:17; Ps 78:51; 105:36

excelling in honor,S Ge 34:19 excelling in power.

Turbulent as the waters,Isa 57:20; Jer 49:23 you will no longer excel,

for you went up onto your father’s bed,

onto my couch and defiled it.S Ge 29:29; S 34:5

“SimeonS Ge 29:33 and LeviGe 29:34 are brothers—

their swordsThe meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. are weapons of violence.S Ge 34:25; S Pr 4:17

Let me not enter their council,

let me not join their assembly,Ps 1:1; Pr 1:15; Eph 5:11

for they have killed men in their angerS Ge 34:26

and hamstrungJos 11:6, 9; 2Sa 8:4; 1Ch 18:4 oxen as they pleased.

Cursed be their anger, so fierce,

and their fury,Ge 34:7 so cruel!Ge 34:25

I will scatter them in Jacob

and disperse them in Israel.Jos 19:1, 9; 21:1-42

“Judah,Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.S Ge 29:35 your brothers will praise you;

your hand will be on the neckDt 28:48 of your enemies;

your father’s sons will bow down to you.S Ge 9:25; 1Ch 5:2

You are a lion’sNu 24:9; Ps 7:2; 10:9; Eze 19:5; Mic 5:8 cub,Eze 19:2 Judah;Rev 5:5

you return from the prey,ver 27; Nu 23:24; Job 38:39; Ps 17:12; 22:13; 104:21 my son.

Like a lion he crouches and lies down,

like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?

10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,Nu 24:17, 19; Jdg 1:1-2; 20:18; 1Ch 5:2; 28:4; Ps 60:7; 108:8

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,Or from his descendants

until he to whom it belongsOr to whom tribute belongs; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain. shall comeEze 21:27

and the obedience of the nations shall be his.Ps 2:9; 72:8-11; 98:3; 110:2; Isa 2:4; 26:18; 42:1, 4; 45:22; 48:20; 49:6; 51:5

11 He will tether his donkeyJdg 5:10; 10:4; Zec 9:9 to a vine,

his colt to the choicest branch;Dt 8:8; 2Ki 18:32

he will wash his garments in wine,

his robes in the blood of grapes.Dt 32:14; Isa 63:2

12 His eyes will be darker than wine,

his teeth whiter than milk.Or will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milkSS 5:12

13 “ZebulunS Ge 30:20 will live by the seashore

and become a haven for ships;

his border will extend toward Sidon.S Ge 10:19

14 “IssacharS Ge 30:18 is a rawbonedOr strong donkey

lying down among the sheep pens.Or the campfires; or the saddlebagsJdg 5:16; Ps 68:13

15 When he sees how good is his resting place

and how pleasant is his land,Jos 19:17-23

he will bend his shoulder to the burdenEze 29:18

and submit to forced labor.1Ki 4:6; 5:13; 9:21; Isa 14:2; 31:8

16 “DanDan here means he provides justice.Ge 30:6 will provide justice for his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.S ver 2

17 DanJdg 18:27 will be a snake by the roadside,

a viper along the path,Jer 8:17; Am 9:3

that bites the horse’s heelsver 19

so that its rider tumbles backward.

18 “I look for your deliverance,S Ge 45:7; Ps 40:1-3 Lord.Ps 119:166, 174

19 “GadGad sounds like the Hebrew for attack and also for band of raiders.S Ge 30:11 will be attacked by a band of raiders,

but he will attack them at their heels.ver 17

20 “Asher’sS Ge 30:13 food will be rich;Isa 25:6

he will provide delicacies fit for a king.Job 29:6

21 “NaphtaliS Ge 30:8 is a doe set free

that bears beautiful fawns.Or free; / he utters beautiful wordsJob 39:1

22 “JosephGe 30:24 is a fruitful vine,S Ge 17:6; Ps 128:3; Eze 19:10

a fruitful vine near a spring,

whose branchesPs 80:10 climb over a wall.Or Joseph is a wild colt, / a wild colt near a spring, / a wild donkey on a terraced hill

23 With bitterness archers attacked him;1Ch 10:3

they shot at him with hostility.S Ge 27:41; S 37:24

24 But his bow remained steady,Job 29:20

his strong armsPs 18:34; Isa 63:12 stayedOr archers will attack … will shoot … will remain … will stay limber,

because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,Ps 132:2, 5; Isa 1:24; 10:34; 49:26; 60:16

because of the Shepherd,S Ge 48:15 the Rock of Israel,Dt 32:4, 15, 18, 31; 1Sa 2:2; 2Sa 22:32; Ps 18:2, 31; 19:14; 78:35; 89:26; 144:1; Isa 17:10; 26:4; 30:29; 44:8; Hab 1:12

25 because of your father’s God,S Ge 28:13 who helpsEx 18:4; Ps 27:9 you,

because of the Almighty,Hebrew ShaddaiS Ge 17:1 who blesses you

with blessings of the skies above,

blessings of the deep springs below,S Ge 27:28

blessings of the breastIsa 66:11 and womb.Dt 7:13; 28:4; Ps 107:38; Pr 10:22

26 Your father’s blessings are greater

than the blessings of the ancient mountains,

thanOr of my progenitors, / as great as the bounty of the age-old hills.Hab 3:6

Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,1Ch 5:1; Eze 47:13

on the brow of the prince amongOr of the one separated from his brothers.S Ge 37:8

27 “BenjaminGe 35:18; Jdg 20:12-13 is a ravenous wolf;Hab 1:8; Zep 3:3

in the morning he devours the prey,S ver 9

in the evening he divides the plunder.”Nu 31:11; Dt 2:35; Jos 7:21; 8:2; 22:8; Jdg 8:24

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel,S ver 2 and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessingS Ge 27:4 appropriate to him.

The Death of Jacob

29 Then he gave them these instructions:Ge 50:16 “I am about to be gathered to my people.S Ge 25:8 Bury me with my fathersS Ge 15:15; 50:25; 2Sa 2:32; 19:37 in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,S Ge 25:930 the cave in the field of Machpelah,S Ge 23:9 near MamreS Ge 13:18 in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the fieldS Ge 23:20 as a burial placeS Ge 23:4 from Ephron the Hittite.31 There AbrahamGe 25:9 and his wife SarahGe 23:19 were buried, there Isaac and his wife RebekahS Ge 24:67 were buried, and there I buried Leah.S Ge 23:20; S 29:1632 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.Or the descendants of HethS Ge 10:15

33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.S Ge 25:8; Ac 7:15

Jacob Blesses Manasseh and Ephraim

48 One day not long after this, word came to Joseph, “Your father is failing rapidly.” So Joseph went to visit his father, and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

When Joseph arrived, Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” So JacobHebrew Israel; also in 48:8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 21. See note on 35:21. gathered his strength and sat up in his bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God AlmightyHebrew El-Shaddai. appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me.He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful, and I will multiply your descendants. I will make you a multitude of nations. And I will give this land of Canaan to your descendantsHebrew seed; also in 48:19. after you as an everlasting possession.’

“Now I am claiming as my own sons these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I arrived. They will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are.But any children born to you in the future will be your own, and they will inherit land within the territories of their brothers Ephraim and Manasseh.

“Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan-aram,Hebrew Paddan, referring to Paddan-aram; compare Gen 35:9. Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, some distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.”

Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked.

“Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.”

And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.”

10 Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them.11 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!”

12 Joseph moved the boys, who were at their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground.13 Then he positioned the boys in front of Jacob. With his right hand he directed Ephraim toward Jacob’s left hand, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand.14 But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the firstborn.15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham

and my father, Isaac, walked—

the God who has been my shepherd

all my life, to this very day,

16 the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—

may he bless these boys.

May they preserve my name

and the names of Abraham and Isaac.

And may their descendants multiply greatly

throughout the earth.”

17 But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.18 “No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.”

20 So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors.22 And beyond what I have given your brothers, I am giving you an extra portion of the landOr an extra ridge of land. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”

Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons

49 Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come.

“Come and listen, you sons of Jacob;

listen to Israel, your father.

“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength,

the child of my vigorous youth.

You are first in rank and first in power.

But you are as unruly as a flood,

and you will be first no longer.

For you went to bed with my wife;

you defiled my marriage couch.

“Simeon and Levi are two of a kind;

their weapons are instruments of violence.

May I never join in their meetings;

may I never be a party to their plans.

For in their anger they murdered men,

and they crippled oxen just for sport.

A curse on their anger, for it is fierce;

a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel.

I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob;

I will disperse them throughout Israel.

“Judah, your brothers will praise you.

You will grasp your enemies by the neck.

All your relatives will bow before you.

Judah, my son, is a young lion

that has finished eating its prey.

Like a lion he crouches and lies down;

like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?

10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants,Hebrew from between his feet.

until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,Or until tribute is brought to him and the peoples obey; traditionally rendered until Shiloh comes.

the one whom all nations will honor.

11 He ties his foal to a grapevine,

the colt of his donkey to a choice vine.

He washes his clothes in wine,

his robes in the blood of grapes.

12 His eyes are darker than wine,

and his teeth are whiter than milk.

13 “Zebulun will settle by the seashore

and will be a harbor for ships;

his borders will extend to Sidon.

14 “Issachar is a sturdy donkey,

resting between two saddlepacks.Or sheepfolds, or hearths.

15 When he sees how good the countryside is

and how pleasant the land,

he will bend his shoulder to the load

and submit himself to hard labor.

16 “Dan will govern his people,

like any other tribe in Israel.

17 Dan will be a snake beside the road,

a poisonous viper along the path

that bites the horse’s hooves

so its rider is thrown off.

18 I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!

19 “Gad will be attacked by marauding bands,

but he will attack them when they retreat.

20 “Asher will dine on rich foods

and produce food fit for kings.

21 “Naphtali is a doe set free

that bears beautiful fawns.

22 “Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey,

the foal of a wild donkey at a spring—

one of the wild donkeys on the ridge.Or Joseph is a fruitful tree, / a fruitful tree beside a spring. / His branches reach over the wall. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

23 Archers attacked him savagely;

they shot at him and harassed him.

24 But his bow remained taut,

and his arms were strengthened

by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,

by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.

25 May the God of your father help you;

may the Almighty bless you

with the blessings of the heavens above,

and blessings of the watery depths below,

and blessings of the breasts and womb.

26 May my fatherly blessings on you

surpass the blessings of my ancestors,Or of the ancient mountains.

reaching to the heights of the eternal hills.

May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,

who is a prince among his brothers.

27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,

devouring his enemies in the morning

and dividing his plunder in the evening.”

28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message.

Jacob’s Death and Burial

29 Then Jacob instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite.30 This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a permanent burial site.31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah.32 It is the plot of land and the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites.”

33 When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.

48 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,

And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.

And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.

And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.

And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these?

And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.

10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.

11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.

12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.

13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.

14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,

16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.

18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.

22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

49 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.

Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.

Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.

14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.

16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

18 I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.

19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.

22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:

24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:

26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.

29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,

30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.

31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.

32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.

33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

Matthew 15:29-16:12

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand15:29-31pp — Mk 7:31-3715:32-39pp — Mk 8:1-1015:32-39Ref — Mt 14:13-21

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.S Mt 4:2331 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.S Mt 9:8

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people;S Mt 9:36 they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke themS Mt 14:19 and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.Mt 16:1038 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.

The Demand for a Sign16:1-12pp — Mk 8:11-21

16 The Pharisees and SadduceesS Ac 4:1 came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.S Mt 12:38

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.Some early manuscripts do not have When evening comes … of the times.Lk 12:54-56A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”Mt 12:39 Jesus then left them and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”Lk 12:1

They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith,S Mt 6:30 why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?Mt 14:17-2110 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?Mt 15:34-3811 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.S Ac 4:1

Jesus Heals Many People

29 Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down.30 A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.31 The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus Feeds Four Thousand

32 Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.”

33 The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?”

34 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”

They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.”

35 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground.36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.

37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food.38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children.39 Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.

Leaders Demand a Miraculous Sign

16 One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow;red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times!Several manuscripts do not include any of the words in 16:2-3 after He 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.Greek the sign of Jonah. Then Jesus left them and went away.

Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread.“Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread.Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread?Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up?10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up?11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”

12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

29 And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.

30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:

31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?

34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.

36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.

38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.

39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.

16 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.

Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Psalm 20:1-9

Psalm 20In Hebrew texts 20:1-9 is numbered 20:2-10.

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;Ps 4:1

may the name of the God of JacobEx 3:6; Ps 46:7, 11 protect you.Ps 59:1; 69:29; 91:14

May he send you helpPs 30:10; 33:20; 37:40; 40:17; 54:4; 118:7 from the sanctuaryS Nu 3:28

and grant you supportS Ps 18:18 from Zion.Ps 2:6; 128:5; 134:3; 135:21

May he rememberAc 10:4 all your sacrifices

and accept your burnt offerings.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.S Dt 33:11

May he give you the desire of your heartPs 21:2; 37:4; 145:16, 19; Isa 26:8; Eze 24:25; Ro 10:1

and make all your plans succeed.Ps 140:8; Pr 16:3; Da 11:17

May we shout for joyS Job 3:7 over your victory

and lift up our bannersS Nu 1:52; Ps 60:4; Isa 5:26; 11:10, 12; 13:2; 30:17; 49:22; 62:10; Jer 50:2; 51:12, 27 in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.1Sa 1:17

Now this I know:

The Lord gives victory to his anointed.S 2Sa 23:1; Ps 28:8

He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary

with the victorious power of his right hand.S Job 40:14; Hab 3:13

Some trust in chariotsS 2Ki 19:23 and some in horses,S Dt 17:16; Ps 33:17; 147:10; Pr 21:31; Isa 31:1; 36:8, 9

but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.S 2Ch 32:8

They are brought to their knees and fall,Ps 27:2; Isa 40:30; Jer 46:6; 50:32

but we rise upMic 7:8 and stand firm.S Job 11:15; Ps 37:23; Pr 10:25; Isa 7:9

Lord, give victory to the king!

Answer usPs 17:6 when we call!

Psalm 20

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.

May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.

May he send you help from his sanctuary

and strengthen you from Jerusalem.Hebrew Zion.

May he remember all your gifts

and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Interlude

May he grant your heart’s desires

and make all your plans succeed.

May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory

and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.

May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed king.

He will answer him from his holy heaven

and rescue him by his great power.

Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,

but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.

Those nations will fall down and collapse,

but we will rise up and stand firm.

Give victory to our king, O Lord!

Answer our cry for help.

20 The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;

Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;

Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.

Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.

Proverbs 4:20-27

20 My son,Ps 34:11-16; Pr 1:8-9 pay attention to what I say;

turn your ear to my words.Pr 5:1

21 Do not let them out of your sight,Pr 3:21

keep them within your heart;

22 for they are life to those who find them

and health to one’s whole body.S Pr 3:8

23 Above all else, guardS 2Ki 10:31 your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.Pr 10:11; Lk 6:45

24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;

keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25 Let your eyesS Job 31:1 look straight ahead;

fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to theOr Make level paths for your feetHeb 12:13*

and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;S Lev 10:11; S Dt 5:32

keep your foot from evil.

20 My child, pay attention to what I say.

Listen carefully to my words.

21 Don’t lose sight of them.

Let them penetrate deep into your heart,

22 for they bring life to those who find them,

and healing to their whole body.

23 Guard your heart above all else,

for it determines the course of your life.

24 Avoid all perverse talk;

stay away from corrupt speech.

25 Look straight ahead,

and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;

stay on the safe path.

27 Don’t get sidetracked;

keep your feet from following evil.

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Jan 23 Jan 25
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