Genesis 50

1 Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him.
2 Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him,
3 taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4 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,
5 ‘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.’ ”
6 Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”
7 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—
8 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.
9 Chariots and horsemen[a] also went up with him. It was a very large company.
10 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.
11 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.[b]
12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them:
13 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 along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite.
14 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.

Joseph Reassures His Brothers

15 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?”
16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died:
17 ‘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.
18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years
23 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.[c]
24 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.”
25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Images for Genesis 50

Genesis 50 Commentary

Chapter 50

The mourning for Jacob. (1-6) His funeral. (7-14) Joseph's brethren crave his pardon, He comforts them. (15-21) Joseph's direction concerning his bones, His death. (22-26)

Verses 1-6 Though pious relatives and friends have lived to a good old age, and we are confident they are gone to glory, yet we may regret our own loss, and pay respect to their memory by lamenting them. Grace does not destroy, but it purifies, moderates, and regulates natural affection. The departed soul is out of the reach of any tokens of our affection; but it is proper to show respect to the body, of which we look for a glorious and joyful resurrection, whatever may become of its remains in this world. Thus Joseph showed his faith in God, and love to his father. He ordered the body to be embalmed, or wrapped up with spices, to preserve it. See how vile our bodies are, when the soul has forsaken them; they will in a very little time become noisome, and offensive.

Verses 7-14 Jacob's body was attended, not only by his own family, but by the great men of Egypt. Now that they were better acquainted with the Hebrews, they began to respect them. Professors of religion should endeavour by wisdom and love to remove the prejudices many have against them. Standers-by took notice of it as a grievous mourning. The death of good men is a loss to any place, and ought to be greatly lamented.

Verses 15-21 Various motives might cause the sons of Jacob to continue in Egypt, notwithstanding the prophetic vision Abraham had of their bondage there. Judging of Joseph from the general temper of human nature, they thought he would now avenge himself on those who hated and injured him without cause. Not being able to resist, or to flee away, they attempted to soften him by humbling themselves. They pleaded with him as the servants of Jacob's God. Joseph was much affected at seeing this complete fulfilment of his dreams. He directs them not to fear him, but to fear God; to humble themselves before the Lord, and to seek the Divine forgiveness. He assures them of his own kindness to them. See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He comforted them, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must be bound up and encouraged. Those we love and forgive, we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to.

Verses 22-26 Joseph having honoured his father, his days were long in the land, which, for the present, God had given him. When he saw his death approaching, he comforted his brethren with the assurance of their return to Canaan in due time. We must comfort others with the same comforts with which we have been comforted of God, and encourage them to rest on the promises which are our support. For a confession of his own faith, and a confirmation of theirs, he charges them to keep his remains unburied till that glorious day, when they should be settled in the land of promise. Thus Joseph, by faith in the doctrine of the resurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave commandment concerning his bones. This would keep up their expectation of a speedy departure from Egypt, and keep Canaan continually in their minds. This would also attach Joseph's posterity to their brethren. The death, as well as the life of this eminent saint, was truly excellent; both furnish us with strong encouragement to persevere in the service of God. How happy to set our early in the heavenly race, to continue stedfastly, and to finish the course with joy! This Joseph did, this we also may do. Even when the pains of death are upon us, if we have trusted in Him upon whom the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles depended, we need not fear to say, "My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

Cross References 64

  • 1. S Genesis 29:11; S Genesis 46:4
  • 2. ver 26; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Matthew 26:12; Mark 16:1; John 19:39-40
  • 3. S Genesis 37:34; S Deuteronomy 1:3; Numbers 20:29; Deuteronomy 34:8
  • 4. S Genesis 27:41
  • 5. ver 7
  • 6. S Genesis 30:27; S Genesis 32:5
  • 7. S Genesis 24:37; Genesis 47:31
  • 8. ver 24
  • 9. 2 Samuel 18:18; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Isaiah 22:16; Matthew 27:60
  • 10. Genesis 47:31
  • 11. Matthew 8:21
  • 12. Genesis 45:16
  • 13. ver 4
  • 14. ver 14
  • 15. S Genesis 45:10
  • 16. S Genesis 41:43
  • 17. Numbers 15:20; Ruth 3:2; 2 Samuel 24:18; 1 Kings 22:10
  • 18. 2 Samuel 1:17; 2 Samuel 3:33; 2 Chronicles 35:25; Ezekiel 32:16; Acts 8:2
  • 19. 1 Samuel 31:13; Job 2:13; Ezekiel 3:15
  • 20. S Genesis 27:41; S Leviticus 10:6
  • 21. S Genesis 37:34
  • 22. S Genesis 10:18
  • 23. S Genesis 37:34
  • 24. Genesis 49:29
  • 25. S Genesis 23:9
  • 26. S Genesis 13:18
  • 27. S Genesis 25:9
  • 28. S Genesis 23:20; Acts 7:16
  • 29. ver 8
  • 30. S Genesis 27:41
  • 31. ver 17; S Genesis 9:5; Genesis 37:28; Genesis 42:21-22; Zephaniah 3:11; 1 Peter 3:9
  • 32. Genesis 49:29
  • 33. S Matthew 6:14
  • 34. S ver 15
  • 35. S Genesis 28:13
  • 36. S Genesis 29:11
  • 37. S Genesis 37:7
  • 38. S Genesis 43:18
  • 39. S Genesis 30:2; S Exodus 32:34; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30
  • 40. Genesis 37:20
  • 41. Isaiah 10:7; Micah 4:11-12
  • 42. Romans 8:28
  • 43. S Genesis 45:5; Esther 4:14
  • 44. S Genesis 45:11; Genesis 47:12
  • 45. S Genesis 34:3; Ephesians 4:32
  • 46. S Genesis 25:7; Joshua 24:29
  • 47. Job 42:16
  • 48. S Genesis 41:52
  • 49. S Genesis 48:11
  • 50. Numbers 26:29; Numbers 27:1; Numbers 32:39,40; Numbers 36:1; Deuteronomy 3:15; Joshua 13:31; Joshua 17:1; Judges 5:14
  • 51. S Genesis 41:51
  • 52. S Genesis 48:12
  • 53. ver 5; Genesis 48:21
  • 54. Ruth 1:6; Psalms 35:2; Psalms 106:4; Isaiah 38:14; Exodus 3:16-17
  • 55. S Genesis 15:14
  • 56. S Genesis 13:17
  • 57. S Genesis 17:19
  • 58. S Genesis 12:7; S Genesis 15:16; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 28:13; Genesis 35:12
  • 59. S Genesis 24:37
  • 60. S Genesis 49:29
  • 61. S Genesis 47:29-30; Exodus 13:19; Joshua 24:32; Hebrews 11:22
  • 62. Exodus 1:6
  • 63. S Genesis 25:7
  • 64. S ver 2

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or "charioteers"
  • [b]. "Abel Mizraim" means "mourning of the Egyptians."
  • [c]. That is, were counted as his

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a short account of what happened from the death of Jacob to the death of Joseph, and is chiefly concerned with the funeral of Jacob; it first gives an account how Joseph was affected with his father's death, of his orders to the physicians to embalm him, and of the time of their embalming him, and of the Egyptians mourning for him, Ge 50:1-3, next of his request to Pharaoh to give him leave to go and bury his father in Canaan, and his grant of it, Ge 50:4-6 and then of the grand funeral procession thither, the mourning made for Jacob, and his interment according to his orders, Ge 50:7-13 upon the return of Joseph and his brethren to Egypt, they fearing his resentment of their former usage of him, entreat him to forgive them; which they said they did at the direction of their father, to which Joseph readily agreed, and comforted them, and spoke kindly to them, and bid them not fear any hurt from him, for whatever were their intention, God meant it, and had overruled it for good, Ge 50:14-21 and the chapter is concluded with an account of Joseph's age and death, and of his posterity he saw before his death, and of the charge he gave to his brethren to carry his bones with them, when they should depart from Egypt, Ge 50:22-26.

Genesis 50 Commentaries

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