January 23: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

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John 15. Jesus continued his instructions to the disciples. There are many memorable quotes from this chapter: “I am the true vine, I am the vine, you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing, as the Father has loved me, so have I loved you, love each other as I have loved you, greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends, this is my command: Love each other” and “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

In Genesis 45 Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, and all rejoiced. It contains the phrase “But God” and shows clearly that God was in control all the time.

In Genesis 46 Jacob joined Joseph’s brothers in going to resettle in Egypt, and is a retelling of the names of all that went, sixty-six in total – not counting women and children.

Genesis 47 tells of how Jacob and his descendants settled in Goshen, about the continuing famine, and how Joseph, controlling the food supply enslaved the people. All power corrupts, and so even Joseph failed in comparison to Jesus, who came to set people free.

January 22: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

John 14:15-31 records the events of the hour after the Passover meal before they all depart to Gethsemane. Since Jesus told his disciples he was leaving, he promised to send another comforter or advocate. (I have put in a short explanation on the difference in the interpretation of this passage between Christianity and Islam). Jesus then explained clearly he will be going away and send the Holy Spirit in his place.

In Genesis 42 there was famine in Canaan, as happened quite regularly, so Joseph’s brothers went down to Egypt to buy food. They met Joseph, now governor of Egypt, and he demanded to see Benjamin, who was left behind with Jacob. They agreed to do so and left one of the brothers behind as collateral. Joseph was very distraught at the proposition, since Joseph and Benjamin were his favorite children.

And in Genesis 43 the famine continued, so they had to go back to Egypt for more. This time they had to bring Benjamin with them to keep their promise to Joseph. Joseph gave them all food from his table, and he gave a five times larger portion to Benjamin. So ends that chapter.

Genesis 44 tells how Joseph tested his brothers by having Joseph’s own silver cup placed in Benjamin’s sack as the brothers returned back to Canaan. They all passed the test and returned to Joseph to await his judgment.

January 21: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

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John 14:1-14 records the events of the hour after the Passover meal before they all depart to Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples he is going away to prepare a mansion, more precisely a dwelling place for them. Thomas, always questioning him, asked him “How can we know the way?” And Philip added “Show us the Father“. Jesus answer? “Believe in me“.

Genesis 40 deals with dreams. Joseph’s two fellow cellmates in prison each had a dream, Joseph interpreted the dreams that the cup-bearer would be released and restored to his former position, while the baker would be hanged on a tree.

In Genesis 41  Pharaoh himself had a dream, and Joseph was released from prison to interpret the dream. It dealt with seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Joseph interpreted the dream so well that Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all affairs of Egypt. The seven years of plenty came and good harvests filled the storehouses. Then came the seven years of famine.

Psalm 8 has been set to music many times. Even I have sung it many times, both as a choir number, and the first verse as an introit. Looking for the music I found a far better, very free rendition of the Psalm, this one by Marty Goetz.

January 20: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

John 13 begins the last 24 hours before the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet before the Passover meal, a task normally performed by the lowest servant. During the meal he announced his betrayal, and then he gave the disciples a new commandment “love one another”. He also predicted Simon Peter’s denial.

Genesis 38 tells  the story of Judah and Tamar. One of the rules of the Old Testament is that if a man dies without producing an heir it was the duty of his brother to try to produce an offspring to his widow. Onan shirked this responsibility, and that was the sin of Onan. Tamar was thus still barren, so she tricked Judah into committing adultery. You can read it for yourself. Judah finally confessed: She is more righteous than I.

Genesis 39 then picks up the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. The story is a classic, and for doing the right thing, Joseph is falsely accused and thrown in jail.

Psalm 7 is a shiggaion, a dithyrambic ode of David. I would love to hear what the music to this Psalm sounded like.

January 19: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

John 12:20-50 . Some Greeks came to Jesus and Jesus prophesied  about his being “lifted up, and draw all men to himself”, and some believed. Many Jews also believed but kept quiet for fear of being kept out of the synagogues.

In Genesis 36 is recorded the genealogy of Esau and the rulers of Edom.

Genesis 37 tells of Joseph’s dreams, outrageous as they were they made his brothers jealous, so they sold him into slavery to Potiphar in Egypt.