Scripture Readings

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Genesis 43:26-31, 45:1-16 (Vespers, 1st reading)

And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth.
Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves.
Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.
Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the bread.”
Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.
And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.
“But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
“For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.
“And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
“So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
“Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph: “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry.
“You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have.
“There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.”’
“And behold, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my mouth that speaks to you.
“So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here.”
Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.
Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.
Now the report of it was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, “Joseph’s brothers have come.” So it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well.