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Genesis chapter 49

1
Then Jacob called for his sons and said: "Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
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"Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.
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"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.
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Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it.
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"Simeon and Levi are brothers-- their swords are weapons of violence.
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Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
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Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.
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"Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you.
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You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness-- who dares to rouse him?
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The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.
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He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.
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His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.
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"Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon.
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"Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down between two saddlebags.
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When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor.
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"Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
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Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider tumbles backward.
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"I look for your deliverance, O LORD.
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"Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels.
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"Asher's food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
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"Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns.
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"Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.
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With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility.
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But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
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because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.
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Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
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"Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder."
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All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.
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Then he gave them these instructions: "I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
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the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field.
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There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah.
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The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites."
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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.

Genesis chapter 50

1
Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him.
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Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him,
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taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
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When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh's court, "If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him,
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'My father made me swear an oath and said, "I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan." Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.'"
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Pharaoh said, "Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do."
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So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh's officials accompanied him-- the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt--
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besides all the members of Joseph's household and his brothers and those belonging to his father's household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen.
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Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.
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When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father.
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When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, "The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning." That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim.
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So Jacob's sons did as he had commanded them:
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They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field.
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After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.
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When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?"
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So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died:
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'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
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His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.
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But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God?
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You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
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So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
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Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father's family. He lived a hundred and ten years
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and saw the third generation of Ephraim's children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph's knees.
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Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
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And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place."
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So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Psalm chapter 8

1
For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
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From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
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When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
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what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
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You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
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You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
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all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
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the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
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O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Luke chapter 20

1
One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.
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"Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?"
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He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me,
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John's baptism-- was it from heaven, or from men?"
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They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?'
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But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."
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So they answered, "We don't know where it was from."
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Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
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He went on to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.
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At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
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He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed.
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He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
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"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.'
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"But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. 'This is the heir,' they said. 'Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'
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So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
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He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "May this never be!"
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Jesus looked directly at them and asked, "Then what is the meaning of that which is written: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone'?
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Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."
19
The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
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Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.
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So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
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Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
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He saw through their duplicity and said to them,
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"Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"
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"Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
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They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
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Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question.
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"Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.
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Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless.
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The second
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and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children.
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Finally, the woman died too.
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Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"
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Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.
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But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage,
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and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.
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But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'
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He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."
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Some of the teachers of the law responded, "Well said, teacher!"
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And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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Then Jesus said to them, "How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David?
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David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: "'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
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until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."'
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David calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?"
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While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples,
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"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
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They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."
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