Genesis 50

The Death of Israel

1 Then Joseph fell on his father's face, and wept over him and kissed him.
2 Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians 1embalmed Israel.
3 Now forty days were required for it, for such is the period required for embalming. And the Egyptians 2wept for him seventy days.
4 When the days of mourning for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, "If now I have found favor in your sight, please speak to Pharaoh, saying,
5 '3My father made me swear, saying, "Behold, I am about to die; in my grave 4which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me." Now therefore, please 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."
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father, and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
8 and all the household of Joseph and his brothers and his father's household; they left only their little ones and their flocks and their herds in the land of Goshen.
9 There also went up with him both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company.
10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they 5lamented there with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed seven days mourning for his father.
11 Now when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, "This is a grievous mourning for the Egyptians." Therefore * it was named * Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.

Burial at Machpelah

12 Thus his sons did for him as he had charged them;
13 for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in 6the cave of the field of Machpelah before * Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field for a burial site from Ephron the Hittite.
14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers, and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "7What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!"
16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father charged before he died, saying,
17 'Thus you shall say to Joseph, "Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also came and 8fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants."
19 But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place?
20 "As for you, 9you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
21 "So therefore, do not be afraid; 10I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Death of Joseph

22 Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father's household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years.
23 Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim's sons; also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were 11born on Joseph's knees.
24 Joseph said to his brothers, "12I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to 13Abraham, to 14Isaac and to 15Jacob."
25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, "God will surely take care of you, and 16you shall carry my bones up from here."
26 So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was 17embalmed and 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 17

  • 1. Genesis 50:26; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Matthew 26:12; Mark 16:1; John 19:39, 40
  • 2. Genesis 50:10; Numbers 20:29; Deuteronomy 34:8
  • 3. Genesis 47:29-31
  • 4. 2 Chronicles 16:14; Isaiah 22:16; Matthew 27:60
  • 5. Acts 8:2
  • 6. Genesis 23:16-20; Acts 7:16
  • 7. Genesis 37:28; Genesis 42:21, 22
  • 8. Genesis 37:8-10; Genesis 41:43
  • 9. Genesis 37:26, 27; Genesis 45:5, 7
  • 10. Genesis 45:11; Genesis 47:12
  • 11. Genesis 30:3
  • 12. Genesis 48:21; Exodus 3:16, 17; Hebrews 11:22
  • 13. Genesis 13:15, 17; Genesis 15:7, 8, 18
  • 14. Genesis 26:3
  • 15. Genesis 28:13; Genesis 35:12
  • 16. Genesis 47:29, 30; Exodus 13:19; Joshua 24:32; Hebrews 11:22
  • 17. Genesis 50:2

Footnotes 20

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 50

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