Weekly Bible Reading
Parashat Vayigash | Gen. 44:18 - 47:27
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18Then Judah approached him and said, “I beg your pardon, my lord. Please let your servant say a word in my lord’s ears, and don’t be angry with your servant, since you are like Pharaoh.
19My lord asked his servants saying, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’
20So we said to my lord, ‘We have a father who is old, a child born to him of his old age is young. Now his brother is dead, so he is the only one of his mother’s children left, and his father loves him.’
21Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so that I can look at him.’
22But we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he were to leave his father, he would die.’
23Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you won’t see my face again.’
24“Now when we went up to your servant, my father, we told him my lord’s words.
25Then our father said, ‘Go back, buy us a little grain for food.’
26So we said, ‘We won’t go down unless we have our youngest brother with us—then we’ll go down. For we won’t see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27“Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore me two sons.
28One went out from me, so I said, “He must have been torn to shreds,” and I haven’t seen him since.
29And if you also take this one away from before me and an accident happens to him, then you’ll bring my grey hair down to the evil of Sheol.’
30“Now if I come to your servant my father and the boy isn’t with us, since his life is bound to his life,
31when he sees that the boy is no more, he’ll die. Then your servants will bring the grey hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief.
32For your servant became pledge for the boy with my father saying, ‘If I don’t bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before my father all my days.’
33So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave in the boy’s place, and let the boy go up with his brothers.
34For how can I go up to my father and the boy is not with me? Else I must see the evil that would come upon my father!”
Joseph Reveals Himself
1Now Joseph could no longer restrain himself in front of all those who were standing by him, so he cried out, “Get everyone away from me!” So no one stood with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
2But he gave his voice to weeping so that the Egyptians heard, and Pharaoh’s household heard.
3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” And his brothers were unable to answer him because they were terrified at his presence.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me.” So they came near. “I’m Joseph, your brother—the one you sold to Egypt,” he said.
5“So now, don’t be grieved and don’t be angry in your own eyes that you sold me here—since it was for preserving life that God sent me here before you.
6For there has been two years of famine in the land, and there will be five more years yet with no plowing or harvesting.
7But God sent me ahead of you to ensure a remnant in the land and to keep you alive for a great escape.
8So now, it wasn’t you, you didn’t send me here, but God! And He made me as a father to Pharaoh, lord over his whole house and ruler over the entire land of Egypt.
9“Go up quickly to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son, Joseph: God has made me lord over all Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t delay.
10Then you’ll live in the land of Goshen, and be close to me, you and your children and your children’s children, your flocks and your cattle, and everything that belongs to you.
11I’ll provide food for you there—for the famine will last another five years—otherwise you’ll lose everything, you and your household, and everything that belongs to you.’
12And look, you and my brother Benjamin can see with your own eyes that it’s my mouth that’s speaking to you.
13You must tell my father about all my honor in Egypt, and about all that you’ve seen. And you must quickly bring my father down here.”
14Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept while Benjamin wept upon his neck,
15and he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. Finally after this, his brothers talked with him.
16When the commotion was heard in Pharaoh’s house—“Joseph’s brothers have come!”—it was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants,
17So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers: ‘Do this! Load your animals and go to the land of Canaan.
18Then get your father, your households, and come to me. I’ll give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land.’
19You are also commanded to say: “Do this! Take for yourselves wagons from the land of Egypt for your little children and for your wives, and pick up your father and come.
20Don’t be concerned about your goods, because the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”
21So the sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them carts by Pharaoh’s command and he gave them provisions for the journey.
22To each of them he gave a change of clothes, while to Benjamin he gave 300 pieces of silver and five sets of clothes.
23Also to his father he sent the following: ten donkeys carrying from the best of Egypt, and ten female donkeys carrying grain and food and provisions for his father’s journey.
24Then he sent his brothers off, and as they departed, he said to them, “Don’t be anxious on the way.”
25Then they went up from Egypt and came to the land of Canaan, to Jacob their father.
26They told him saying, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler of the whole land of Egypt!” His heart went numb, for he did not believe them.
27But they told him all of Joseph’s words that he had told them. When he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to pick him up, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.
28Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him, before I die.”
Jacob Goes to Egypt
1So Israel set out, along with everything that belonged to him. When he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2In visions of the night God said to Israel, “Jacob, Jacob.” “Hineni,” he said.
3“I am God, the God of your father,” He said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will turn you into a great nation there.
4I Myself will go down with you to Egypt and I Myself will also most certainly bring you up. Joseph will put his hands on your eyes.”
5Then Jacob arose from Beersheba and Israel’s sons carried Jacob their father, their little children, and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6They also took their livestock and their possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan and they came to Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him.
7His sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his offspring, he brought with him to Egypt.
8Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Jacob’s firstborn, Reuben,
9and Reuben’s sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi.
10Simeon’s sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zochar and Shaul the son of the Canaanite woman.
11Levi’s sons: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
12Judah’s sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah. Er died along with Onan in the land of Canaan. Perez’s sons were Hezron and Hamul.
13Issachar’s sons: Tola, Puvah, Iob and Shimron.
14Zebulun’s sons: Sered, Elon and Jahleel.
15These are Leah’s sons whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, along with his daughter Dinah. The tally of all of his sons and daughters was 33 people.
16Gad’s sons: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.
17Asher’s sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and Serah their sister. Beriah’s sons: Heber and Malchiel.
18These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter. She bore these to Jacob: 16 people.
19The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
20Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph in the land of Egypt—Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On bore them to him.
21Benjamin’s sons: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.
22These are Rachel’s sons who were born to Jacob. The tally of all the people was 14.
23The sons of Dan: Hushim
24Naphtali’s sons: Yachzeel, Guni, Yezer and Shillem.
25These are the sons of Bilhah whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter and she bore these to Jacob. The tally of all the people was seven.
26All the people belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt—those coming from his loins (not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons)—the tally of all the people was 66.
27The sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt was a tally of two people. The tally of all the people belonging to Jacob’s house who came to Egypt was 70.
28Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph to show him the way to Goshen. When they came to the land of Goshen,
29Joseph harnessed his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as he appeared before him, he fell upon his neck, and wept on his neck for some time.
30Then Israel said to Joseph, “At this time I am ready to die, after seeing your face in person—for you’re still alive!”
31Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I’ll go up and tell Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have come to me.
32The men are shepherds, for they’ve been men who handle livestock, who have brought their flocks and cattle and everything that they possess.’
33So when Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’
34you must say, ‘Your servants have been men who handle livestock since the time of our youth until now, both we and our fathers,’ so that you can live in the land of Goshen, because every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”
Jacob Blesses Pharaoh
1Then Joseph came and informed Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers and their flocks and their cattle and everything that belongs to them have come from the land of Canaan, and behold, they are in the land of Goshen.”
2From among his brothers he took five men and presented them before Pharaoh.
3Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” So they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers.”
4Then they said to Pharaoh, “We came to dwell temporarily in the land, since there is no pasture for the flocks that belong to your servants, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. So now, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.”
5Pharaoh said to Joseph saying, “Your father and your brothers came to you.
6The land of Egypt is before you—settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in the land of Goshen. If you know of any capable men among them, make them overseers of the livestock—over those that are mine.”
7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8 Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How many days are the years of your life?”
9Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourn are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life. Moreover, the days of the years of my life have not attained the days of the years of the lives of my fathers, in the days of their sojourn.”
10And Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from Pharaoh’s presence.
11Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh commanded.
12And Joseph supported his father and his brothers and his father’s entire household with food for the mouths of the little ones.
Joseph’s Leadership in the Famine
13Now there was no food in all the land because the famine was very severe. Both the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.
14Joseph collected all the money that could be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain that they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.
15Then the money of the land of Egypt and of the land of Canaan ran out and all of Egypt came to Joseph saying, “Give us food. Why should we die in front of you because the money is gone?”
16Joseph said, “Give your livestock and I’ll give it to you for your livestock, if the money is gone.”
17So they brought their livestock to Joseph and Joseph gave them food in exchange for horses, for flocks of sheep, for herds of cattle and for donkeys. He provided them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year.
18When that year came to an end, they came to him in the second year and said to him, “We won’t hide from my lord that the money has run out and the livestock and the domestic animals are my lord’s. There is nothing left in my lord’s sight except our bodies and our land.
19Why should we die before your eyes—both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food—we and our land will become Pharaoh’s slaves. Provide seed so that we may live and not die, and the land won’t be deserted.”
20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh because the Egyptians, each one, sold his field, for the famine overcame them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s.
21He made the people slaves from one end of Egypt’s border to the other.
22Only he did not buy the land belonging to the priests, because the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they ate their allotment that Pharaoh gave them. Therefore they did not sell their land.
23Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. Here is seed for you, so that you can sow the land.
24During the harvest you must give a fifth part to Pharaoh and four-fifths will be for you, for seed for the field and for your food, and for those in your houses, and for food for your little ones.”
25“You’ve saved our lives,” they said. “We find favor in the eyes of my lord, and we’ll be Pharaoh’s slaves.”
26So Joseph set it as a statute until this very day concerning the land of Egypt: a fifth-part goes to Pharaoh. Only the priests’ land did not become Pharaoh’s.
27Meanwhile, Israel settled in the land of Egypt in the land of Goshen, acquired property in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.