Genesis 47:31

31 “Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.

Genesis 47:31 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 47:31

And he said, swear unto me
This he required, not from any distrust of Joseph, but to show his own eagerness, and the intenseness of his mind about this thing, how much he was set upon it, and what an important thing it was with him; as also, that if he should have any objections made to it, or arguments used with him to divert him from it, by Pharaoh or his court, he would be able to say his father had bound him by an oath to do it, which would at once stop their mouths, and be judged a sufficient reason for what he did, see ( Genesis 50:5 Genesis 50:6 ) : and he sware unto him;
not only gave his promise, but confirmed it with an oath: and Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head:
not in a way of civil respect to Joseph, giving him thanks for the assurance he had given him, that he would bury him, not in Egypt, but in Canaan; but in a religious way to God, giving thanks to him that he had lived to see his son Joseph, who, according to the promise, would close his eyes, and that he had inclined his heart to fulfil his request; though some think that no more is meant, than that after Jacob had spent himself in discoursing with Joseph, he sunk down and reclined on his pillow at his bed's head, to take some rest; for as for what the apostle says in ( Hebrews 11:21 ) ; that refers to another thing at another time; (See Gill on Hebrews 11:21).

Genesis 47:31 In-Context

29 As the time of his death drew near, Jacob called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt.
30 When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.” So Joseph promised, “I will do as you ask.”
31 “Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Greek version reads and Israel bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. Compare Heb 11:21 .
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