Egypt mourns Jacob. Joseph speaks kindly to his despicable brothers. Joseph passes away.
VERSE 1. Joseph fell on his father’s face, wept on him, and kissed him.
VERSE 2. Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father; and the physicians embalmed Israel.
VERSE 3. Forty days were used for him, for that is how many the days it takes to embalm. The Egyptians wept for Israel for seventy days.
The Egyptians wept for him for seventy days. The blessings upon Joseph overflowed to his father Jacob. All of Egypt mourned Jacob’s death.
All that for an unknown immigrant herder who had lived in tents.
But actually, they are not honoring Jacob. Rather, they are honoring Joseph.
VERSE 4. When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s staff, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s staff. Joseph did not speak directly to Pharaoh. Rather, he spoke to Pharaoh’s staff members.
VERSE 5. ‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am dying. Bury me in my grave which I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come again.’ ”
My father made me swear. Jacob imposed a very great burden upon Joseph.
Joseph was given the answer he sought.
VERSE 7. Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, all the elders of the land of Egypt,
The burial of Jacob was a State event. All of Pharaoh’s cabinet and leaders were in attendance:
- all the servants of Pharaoh,
- the elders of his house,
- and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
VERSE 8. all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.
VERSE 9. Both chariots and horsemen went up with him. It was a very great company.
VERSE 10. They came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and severe lamentation. He mourned for his father seven days.
He mourned for his father seven days. There is a time and a place for mourning.
For Joseph, the threshing floor of Atad was it.
VERSE 11. When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore its name was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
a grievous mourning by the Egyptians. The Egyptians truly mourned the death of Joseph’s father.
Abel Mizraim. The Hebrew words are אָבֵל מִצְרַיִם. (’ā·ḇêl miṣ·ra·yim). They mean “meadow of Egypt.”
VERSE 12. His sons did to him just as he commanded them,
VERSE 13. for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, as a possession for a burial site, from Ephron the Hittite, near Mamre.
VERSE 14. Joseph returned into Egypt—he, and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
VERSE 15. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all the evil which we did to him.”
It may be that Joseph will hate us. If Joseph were to exact retribution upon his evil brothers, most people would say it was justified.
They sent a message to Joseph. This message is a lie. Jacob did not say this.
The brothers of Joseph are as despicable as ever.
VERSE 17. ‘You shall tell Joseph, “Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers, and their sin, because they did evil to you.” ’ Now, please forgive the disobedience of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers. This message is a lie. Jacob did not say this.
The brothers of Joseph are as despicable as ever.
VERSE 18. His brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
Don’t be afraid. Joseph told that to his despicable brothers.
A godly person can transcend the despicable actions of other people. And even be an avenue of grace for them.
VERSE 20. As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to save many people alive, as is happening today.
God meant it for good. The LORD God can salvage good out of bad situations. He can turn the worst things around for us. He can cause all things to work together for our good. Read more »
That is, the LORD God was able to salvage good out of a terrible situation of domestic abuse.
It does not seem likely that God wished for domestic abuse to happen.
God does not need evil in order to bring about good.
It would seem wrong if Joseph would have said, “God willed that I be sold into slavery.” And Joseph said no such thing.
VERSE 21. Now therefore don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones.” He comforted them, and spoke kindly to them.
He comforted them, and spoke kindly to them. Many people refer to this section as Joseph “forgiving” his brothers for the evil they did to him.
However, the text does not say he spoke words of forgiveness to them. Rather, it says he spoke kindly words to them.
Some evil deeds are so heinous, and the perpetrator is so deranged, that it would not be wise for the victim to speak words of forgiveness to the perpetrator.
VERSE 22. Joseph lived in Egypt, he, and his father’s house. Joseph lived one hundred ten years.
VERSE 23. Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children also of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph’s knees.
VERSE 24. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying, but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
God will surely … bring you up out of this land. This seems very prophetic!
VERSE 25. Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
you shall carry up my bones from here. Jacob had imposed a very heavy burden upon Joseph. It was that Joseph must transport Joseph’s body to the Holy Land for burial.
Now Joseph imposes the same burden upon his own descendents.
VERSE 26. So Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.