January 17
Genesis 48:1 50:26

 And it came about after these things that it was said to Joseph: “Look, your father is becoming weak.” At that he took with him his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 Then it was reported to Jacob and said: “Here your son Joseph has come to you.” So Israel exerted his strength and sat up on his couch. 3 And Jacob proceeded to say to Joseph:

     “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan that he might bless me. 4 And he went on to say to me, ‘Here I am making you fruitful, and I will make you many and I will transform you into a congregation of peoples and I will give this land to your seed after you for a possession to time indefinite.’ 5 And now your two sons who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came here to you into Egypt, they are mine. Ephraim and Manasseh will become mine like Reuben and Simeon. 6 But your progeny to which you shall become father after them will become yours. Together with the name of their brothers they will be called in their inheritance. 7 And as for me, when I was coming from Paddan, Rachel died alongside me in the land of Canaan on the way while there was yet a good stretch of land before coming to Ephrath, so that I buried her there on the way to Ephrath, that is to say, Bethlehem.”

     8 Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons and said: “Who are these?” 9 So Joseph said to his father: “They are my sons whom God has given me in this place.” At this he said: “Bring them, please, to me that I may bless them.” 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dull from old age. He was unable to see. Accordingly he brought them close to him, and he then kissed them and embraced them. 11 And Israel went on to say to Joseph: “I had no idea of seeing your face, but here God has let me see also your offspring.” 12 After that Joseph brought them out away from his knees, and he bowed down with his face to the earth.

     13 Joseph now took the two of them, Ephraim by his right hand to Israel’s left, and Manasseh by his left hand to Israel’s right, and brought them close to him. 14 However, Israel put out his right hand and placed it on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head. He purposely laid his hands so, since Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he proceeded to bless Joseph and to say:

     “The [true] God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
     The [true] God who has been shepherding me during all my existence until this day,
16 The angel who has been recovering me from all calamity, bless the boys.
     And let my name be called upon them and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac,
     And let them increase to a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

     17 When Joseph saw that his father kept his right hand placed on Ephraim’s head, it was displeasing to him, and he tried to take hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Hence Joseph said to his father: “Not so, my father, because this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father kept refusing and said: “I know it, my son, I know it. He too will become a people and he too will become great. But, just the same, his younger brother will become greater than he will, and his offspring will become the full equivalent of nations.” 20 And he continued to bless them on that day, saying:

     “By means of you let Israel repeatedly pronounce blessing, saying,
     ‘May God constitute you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.’”
     Thus he kept putting Ephraim before Manasseh.

     21 After that Israel said to Joseph: “Look, I am dying, but God will certainly continue with YOU people and return YOU to the land of YOUR forefathers. 22 As for me, I do give you one shoulder [of land] more than to your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorites by my sword and by my bow.”

49  Later on Jacob called his sons and said: “Gather yourselves together that I may tell YOU what will happen to YOU in the final part of the days. 2 Assemble yourselves and listen, YOU sons of Jacob, yes, listen to Israel YOUR father.

     3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my vigor and the beginning of my generative power, the excellence of dignity and the excellence of strength. 4 With reckless license like waters, do not you excel, because you have gone up to your father’s bed. At that time you profaned my lounge. He went up to it!

     5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers. Instruments of violence are their slaughter weapons. 6 Into their intimate group do not come, O my soul. With their congregation do not become united, O my disposition, because in their anger they killed men, and in their arbitrariness they hamstrung bulls. 7 Cursed be their anger, because it is cruel, and their fury, because it acts harshly. Let me parcel them out in Jacob and let me scatter them in Israel.

     8 “As for you, Judah, your brothers will laud you. Your hand will be on the back of the neck of your enemies. The sons of your father will prostrate themselves to you. 9 A lion cub Judah is. From the prey, my son, you will certainly go up. He bowed down, he stretched himself out like a lion and, like a lion, who dares rouse him? 10 The scepter will not turn aside from Judah, neither the commander’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him the obedience of the peoples will belong. 11 Tying his full-grown ass to a vine and the descendant of his own she-ass to a choice vine, he will certainly wash his clothing in wine and his garment in the blood of grapes. 12 Dark red are his eyes from wine, and the whiteness of his teeth is from milk.

     13 “Zebulun will reside by the seashore, and he will be by the shore where the ships lie anchored; and his remote side will be toward Sidon.

     14 “Issachar is a strong-boned ass, lying down between the two saddlebags. 15 And he will see that the resting-place is good and that the land is pleasant; and he will bend down his shoulder to bear burdens and he will become subject to slavish forced labor.

     16 “Dan will judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Let Dan prove to be a serpent by the roadside, a horned snake at the wayside, that bites the heels of the horse so that its rider falls backward. 18 I shall indeed wait for salvation from you, O Jehovah.

     19 “As for Gad, a marauder band will raid him, but he will raid the extreme rear.
20 “Out of Asher his bread will be fat, and he will give the dainties of a king.
21 “Naphtali is a slender hind. He is giving words of elegance.

     22 “Offshoot of a fruit-bearing tree, Joseph is the offshoot of a fruit-bearing tree by the fountain, that propels its branches up over a wall. 23 But the archers kept harassing him and shot at him and kept harboring animosity against him. 24 And yet his bow was dwelling in a permanent place, and the strength of his hands was supple. From the hands of the powerful one of Jacob, from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel. 25 He is from the God of your father, and he will help you; and he is with the Almighty, and he will bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, with the blessings of the watery deep lying down below, with the blessings of the breasts and womb. 26 The blessings of your father will indeed be superior to the blessings of the eternal mountains, to the ornament of the indefinitely lasting hills. They will continue upon the head of Joseph, even upon the crown of the head of the one singled out from his brothers.

     27 “Benjamin will keep on tearing like a wolf. In the morning he will eat the animal seized and at evening he will divide spoil.”

     28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them when he was blessing them. He blessed them each one according to his own blessing.

     29 After that he commanded them and said to them: “I am being gathered to 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 that is in front of Mamre in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite for the possession of a burial place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field purchased and the cave that is in it were from the sons of Heth.”

     33 Thus Jacob finished giving commands to his sons. Then he gathered his feet up onto the couch and expired and was gathered to his people.

50 Then  Joseph fell upon the face of his father and burst into tears over him and kissed him. 2 After that Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel, 3 and they took fully forty days for him, for this many days they customarily take for the embalming, and the Egyptians continued to shed tears for him seventy days.

     4 Finally the days of weeping for him passed, and Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s household, saying: “If, now, I have found favor in YOUR eyes, speak, please, in the hearing of Pharaoh, saying, 5 ‘My father made me swear, saying: “Look! I am dying. In my burial place which I have excavated for myself in the land of Canaan is where you are to bury me.” And now, please, let me go up and bury my father, after which I am willing to return.’” 6 Accordingly Pharaoh said: “Go up and bury your father just as he made you swear.”

     7 So Joseph went up to bury his father, and there went up with him all of Pharaoh’s servants, the older men of his household and all the older men of the land of Egypt, 8 and all of Joseph’s household and his brothers and the household of his father. Only their little children and their flocks and their herds they left in the land of Goshen. 9 There also went up with him both chariots and horsemen, and the camp came to be very numerous. 10 Then they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is in the region of the Jordan, and there they carried on a very great and heavy wailing and he kept up the mourning rites for his father seven days. 11 And the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, got to see the mourning rites in the threshing floor of Atad, and they exclaimed: “This is a heavy mourning for the Egyptians!” That is why its name was called Abel-mizraim, which is in the region of the Jordan.

     12 And his sons proceeded to do for him exactly as he had commanded them. 13 So his sons carried him into the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, the field that Abraham had purchased for the possession of a burial place from Ephron the Hittite in front of Mamre. 14 Afterward Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all those who went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

     15 When the brothers of Joseph saw that their father was dead, they began to say: “It may be that Joseph is harboring animosity against us and he will be sure to repay us for all the evil that we have rendered him.” 16 So they expressed a command to Joseph in these words: “Your father gave the command before his death, saying, 17 ‘This is what YOU are to say to Joseph: “I beseech you, pardon, please, the revolt of your brothers and their sin in that they have rendered evil to you.”’ And now pardon, please, the revolt of the servants of your father’s God.” And Joseph burst into tears when they spoke to him. 18 Following that his brothers also came and fell down before him and said: “Here we are as slaves to you!” 19 Then Joseph said to them: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for YOU, YOU had evil in mind against me. God had it in mind for good for the purpose of acting as at this day to preserve many people alive. 21 So now do not be afraid. I myself shall keep supplying YOU and YOUR little children with food.” Thus he comforted them and spoke reassuringly to them.

     22 And Joseph continued to dwell in Egypt, he and the house of his father; and Joseph lived for a hundred and ten years. 23 And Joseph got to see Ephraim’s sons of the third generation, also the sons of Machir, Manasseh’s son. They were born upon Joseph’s knees. 24 At length Joseph said to his brothers: “I am dying; but God will without fail turn his attention to YOU, and he will certainly bring YOU up out of this land to the land about which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.” 25 Hence Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying: “God will without fail turn his attention to YOU. Accordingly YOU must take my bones up out of here.” 26 After that Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten years; and they had him embalmed, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.