Bible: Job 37:1-24; 38:1-42:6
37:1 At this also my heart pounds
and leaps from its place.
37:2 Listen carefully 1 to the thunder of his voice,
to the rumbling 2 that proceeds from his mouth.
37:3 Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
even his lightning to the far corners 3 of the earth.
37:4 After that a voice roars;
he thunders with an exalted voice,
and he does not hold back his lightning bolts 4
when his voice is heard.
37:5 God thunders with his voice in marvelous ways; 5
he does great things beyond our understanding. 6
37:6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall 7 to earth,’
37:7 He causes everyone to stop working, 10
37:8 The wild animals go to their lairs,
and in their dens they remain.
37:9 A tempest blows out from its chamber,
icy cold from the driving winds. 13
37:10 The breath of God produces ice,
and the breadth of the waters freeze solid.
37:11 He loads the clouds with moisture; 14
he scatters his lightning through the clouds.
37:12 The clouds 15 go round in circles,
wheeling about according to his plans,
to carry out 16 all that he commands them
over the face of the whole inhabited world.
37:13 Whether it is for punishment 17 for his land,
or whether it is for mercy,
he causes it to find its mark. 18
37:14 “Pay attention to this, Job!
Stand still and consider the wonders God works.
37:15 Do you know how God commands them, 19
how he makes lightning flash in his storm cloud? 20
37:16 Do you know about the balancing 21 of the clouds,
that wondrous activity of him who is perfect in knowledge?
37:17 You, whose garments are hot
when the earth is still because of the south wind,
37:18 will you, with him, spread out 22 the clouds,
solid as a mirror of molten metal?
37:19 Tell us what we should 23 say to him.
We cannot prepare a case 24
because of the darkness.
37:20 Should he be informed that I want 25 to speak?
If a man speaks, surely he would be swallowed up!
it is bright in the skies –
after a wind passed and swept the clouds away. 28
37:22 From the north he comes in golden splendor; 29
around God is awesome majesty.
37:23 As for the Almighty, 30 we cannot attain to him!
He is great in power,
but justice 31 and abundant righteousness he does not oppress.
37:24 Therefore people fear him,
for he does not regard all the wise in heart.” 32
Judah and Tamar
38:2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man 4 named Shua. 5 Judah acquired her as a wife 6 and had marital relations with her. 7 38:3 She became pregnant 8 and had a son. Judah named 9 him Er. 38:4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 38:5 Then she had 10 yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib. 11
38:6 Judah acquired 12 a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 38:7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the
38:8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Have sexual relations with 13 your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise 14 up a descendant for your brother.” 15 38:9 But Onan knew that the child 16 would not be considered his. 17 So whenever 18 he had sexual relations with 19 his brother’s wife, he withdrew prematurely 20 so as not to give his brother a descendant. 38:10 What he did was evil in the
38:11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, 22 “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.” 23 So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
38:12 After some time 24 Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with 25 his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 38:13 Tamar was told, 26 “Look, your father-in-law is going up 27 to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 38:14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because 28 she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) 29
38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute 30 because she had covered her face. 38:16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come on! I want to have sex with you.” 31 (He did not realize 32 it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me in exchange for having sex with you?” 33 38:17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” 34 38:18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had sex with her. 35 She became pregnant by him. 38:19 She left immediately, 36 removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.
38:20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah 37 the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge, 38 but Hirah 39 could not find her. 38:21 He asked the men who were there, 40 “Where is the cult prostitute 41 who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 38:23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things 42 for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. 43 I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
38:24 After three months Judah was told, 44 “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, 45 and as a result she has become pregnant.” 46 Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 38:25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word 47 to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” 48 Then she said, “Identify 49 the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 38:26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright 50 than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have sexual relations with her 51 again.
38:27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 38:28 While she was giving birth, one child 52 put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 38:29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him. 53 She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!” 54 So he was named Perez. 55 38:30 Afterward his brother came out – the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand – and he was named Zerah. 56
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. 57 An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, 58 purchased him from 59 the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 39:2 The
Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 76 39:7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of 77 Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 78 39:8 But he refused, saying 79 to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought 80 to his household with me here, 81 and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 82 39:9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do 83 such a great evil and sin against God?” 39:10 Even though she continued to speak 84 to Joseph day after day, he did not respond 85 to her invitation to have sex with her. 86
39:11 One day 87 he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants 88 were there in the house. 39:12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran 89 outside. 90 39:13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 39:14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought 91 in a Hebrew man 92 to us to humiliate us. 93 He tried to have sex with me, 94 but I screamed loudly. 95 39:15 When he heard me raise 96 my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”
39:16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 39:17 This is what she said to him: 97 “That Hebrew slave 98 you brought to us tried to humiliate me, 99 39:18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”
39:19 When his master heard his wife say, 100 “This is the way 101 your slave treated me,” 102 he became furious. 103 39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 104 the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 105
39:21 But the
The Cupbearer and the Baker
40:1 After these things happened, the cupbearer 111 to the king of Egypt and the royal baker 112 offended 113 their master, the king of Egypt. 40:2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, 114 the cupbearer and the baker, 40:3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 40:4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them. 115
They spent some time in custody. 116 40:5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream 117 the same night. 118 Each man’s dream had its own meaning. 119 40:6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. 120 40:7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 121 40:8 They told him, “We both had dreams, 122 but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them 123 to me.”
40:9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: 124 “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 40:10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 40:11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his 125 cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 126
40:12 “This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent 127 three days. 40:13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you 128 and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before 129 when you were cupbearer. 40:14 But remember me 130 when it goes well for you, and show 131 me kindness. 132 Make mention 133 of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, 134 40:15 for I really was kidnapped 135 from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”
40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, 136 he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread 137 on my head. 40:17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”
40:18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent 138 three days. 40:19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you 139 and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”
40:20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” 140 the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position 141 so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 40:22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. 142 40:23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph – he forgot him. 143
Joseph’s Rise to Power
41:1 At the end of two full years 144 Pharaoh had a dream. 145 As he was standing by the Nile, 41:2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, 146 and they grazed in the reeds. 41:3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, 147 and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river. 148 41:4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
41:5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing 149 on one stalk, healthy 150 and good. 41:6 Then 151 seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 152
41:8 In the morning he 153 was troubled, so he called for 154 all the diviner-priests 155 of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, 156 but no one could interpret 157 them for him. 158 41:9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 159 41:10 Pharaoh was enraged with his servants, and he put me in prison in the house of the captain of the guards – me and the chief baker. 41:11 We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning. 160 41:12 Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant 161 of the captain of the guards, 162 was with us there. We told him our dreams, 163 and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us. 164 41:13 It happened just as he had said 165 to us – Pharaoh 166 restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.” 167
41:14 Then Pharaoh summoned 168 Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh. 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, 169 and there is no one who can interpret 170 it. But I have heard about you, that 171 you can interpret dreams.” 172 41:16 Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, 173 but God will speak concerning 174 the welfare of Pharaoh.” 175
41:17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing 176 by the edge of the Nile. 41:18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 177 41:19 Then 178 seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows 179 as these in all the land of Egypt! 41:20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven 180 fat cows. 41:21 When they had eaten them, 181 no one would have known 182 that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 41:22 I also saw in my dream 183 seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 41:23 Then 184 seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this 185 to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.” 186
41:25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. 187 God has revealed 188 to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 189 41:26 The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. 190 41:27 The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent 191 seven years of famine. 41:28 This is just what I told 192 Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 41:30 But seven years of famine will occur 193 after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate 194 the land. 41:31 The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered 195 because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe. 196 41:32 The dream was repeated to Pharaoh 197 because the matter has been decreed 198 by God, and God will make it happen soon. 199
41:33 “So now Pharaoh should look 200 for a wise and discerning man 201 and give him authority 202 over all the land of Egypt. 41:34 Pharaoh should do 203 this – he should appoint 204 officials 205 throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt 206 during the seven years of abundance. 41:35 They should gather all the excess food 207 during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority 208 they should store up grain so the cities will have food, 209 and they should preserve it. 210 41:36 This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.” 211
41:37 This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials. 212 41:38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph, 213 one in whom the Spirit of God is present?” 214 41:39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning 215 as you are! 41:40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. 216 Only I, the king, will be greater than you. 217
41:41 “See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place 218 you in authority over all the land of Egypt.” 219 41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen 220 clothes and put a gold chain around his neck. 41:43 Pharaoh 221 had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, 222 and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” 223 So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission 224 no one 225 will move his hand or his foot 226 in all the land of Egypt.” 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. 227 He also gave him Asenath 228 daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 229 to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of 230 all the land of Egypt.
41:46 Now Joseph was 30 years old 231 when he began serving 232 Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by 233 Pharaoh and was in charge of 234 all the land of Egypt. 41:47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests. 235 41:48 Joseph 236 collected all the excess food 237 in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities. 238 In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it. 41:49 Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, 239 until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.
41:50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. 240 Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother. 241 41:51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, 242 saying, 243 “Certainly 244 God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 41:52 He named the second child Ephraim, 245 saying, 246 “Certainly 247 God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
41:53 The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end. 41:54 Then the seven years of famine began, 248 just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 41:55 When all the land of Egypt experienced the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to all the people of Egypt, 249 “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
41:56 While the famine was over all the earth, 250 Joseph opened the storehouses 251 and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 41:57 People from every country 252 came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.
Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt
42:1 When Jacob heard 253 there was grain in Egypt, he 254 said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?” 255 42:2 He then said, “Look, I hear that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us 256 so that we may live 257 and not die.” 258
42:3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 42:4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, 259 for he said, 260 “What if some accident 261 happens 262 to him?” 42:5 So Israel’s sons came to buy grain among the other travelers, 263 for the famine was severe in the land of Canaan.