God’s Renewing Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
Genesis 49:29—50:14: After blessing his sons (see 49:1-28), Jacob dies and Joseph arranges for his father’s body to be embalmed and then buried in Canaan.
The Death and Burial of Jacob
29 Then Jacob commanded his sons, “Now that I am going to join my people in death, bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 at Machpelah east of Mamre in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought this cave and field from Ephron for a burial ground. 31 That is where they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; that is where they buried Isaac and his wife Rebecca; and that is where I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites. Bury me there.” 33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he lay back down and died.
50 Joseph threw himself on his father, crying and kissing his face. 2 Then Joseph gave orders to embalm his father’s body. 3 It took forty days, the normal time for embalming. The Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4 When the time of mourning was over, Joseph said to the king’s officials, “Please take this message to the king: 5 ‘When my father was about to die, he made me promise him that I would bury him in the tomb which he had prepared in the land of Canaan. So please let me go and bury my father, and then I will come back.’”
6 The king answered, “Go and bury your father, as you promised you would.”
7 So Joseph went to bury his father. All the king’s officials, the senior men of his court, and all the leading men of Egypt went with Joseph. 8 His family, his brothers, and the rest of his father’s family all went with him. Only their small children and their sheep, goats, and cattle stayed in the region of Goshen. 9 Men in chariots and men on horseback also went with him; it was a huge group.
10 When they came to the threshing place at Atad east of the Jordan, they mourned loudly for a long time, and Joseph performed mourning ceremonies for seven days. 11 When the citizens of Canaan saw those people mourning at Atad, they said, “What a solemn ceremony of mourning the Egyptians are holding!” That is why the place was named Abel Mizraim.
12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them; 13 they carried his body to Canaan and buried it in the cave at Machpelah east of Mamre in the field which Abraham had bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground. 14 After Joseph had buried his father, he returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone with him for the funeral.
Today’s Key Verse: Genesis 50:14
After Joseph had buried his father, he returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone with him for the funeral.
What were Jacob’s instructions to his sons regarding his burial? Following a period of mourning, what message did Joseph send to the king? Have you ever had to plan funeral arrangements for a loved one? Are their ways in which you saw God’s hands in the process? If so, explain.
Holy God, I lift up to you all who are grieving the death of loved ones. Comfort them and assure them of your presence and fill their hearts with the peace and hope that comes from knowing you as their Lord and Savior. Amen.
Genesis 50:15-26: Joseph reassures his brothers.