Genesis 50: Burial in the Promised Land

Right after their father died, in what different ways did the sons and grandsons react?

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Genesis 50:1–2 Joseph hugged his departed father, cried over him, and kissed him, 2 then ordered his embalming by the physicians.
King James
Genesis 50:1–2 And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.

Why was Jacob embalmed and not just buried in the next few days? Why did the embalming process take forty days?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 50:1–2 Joseph hugged his departed father, cried over him, and kissed him, 2 then ordered his embalming by the physicians.
King James
Genesis 50:1–2 And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.

Why did the Egyptians need to mourn for seventy days?

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Genesis 50:3 After the forty-day embalming process, the Egyptians mourned Jacob’s death for seventy days.
King James
Genesis 50:3 After the forty-day embalming process, the Egyptians mourned Jacob’s death for seventy days.

Why didn’t Joseph speak directly to Pharaoh concerning his father?

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Genesis 50:4–5 When the days of mourning were over, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s advisers, “If you would be so kind, please speak to Pharaoh on my behalf. My father made me swear that I would lay him to rest in his burial cave in Canaan. Ask him for permission to go and bury my father, and I will return.”
King James
Genesis 50:4–5 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.

Was Jacob placed in an Egyptian coffin for transporting him to Canaan and burial?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 50:6 “Go to Canaan,” Pharaoh said. “Keep your promise and bury your father.”
King James
Genesis 50:6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.

After seventy days of mourning, why did so many Egyptian servants, officials, and dignitaries need to travel to Canaan for the burial?

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Genesis 50:7 Accompanied by many of Pharaoh’s servants, officials, and dignitaries, Joseph left Egypt to bury his father.
King James
Genesis 50:7 And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,

While the households of Jacob and his sons were gone, who cared for the children, possessions, and livestock?

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Genesis 50:8 All the households of Jacob and his sons joined the procession. Only the children, possessions, and livestock were left behind.
King James
Genesis 50:8 And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father’s house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.

As the caravan traveled through the territories, how did the local people react to what they saw?

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Genesis 50:9–11 A huge caravan with chariots and horses were formed for the long journey with Joseph.
Near the Jordan River, they stopped at the threshing floor of Atad for seven days of mourning—a memorial time of both grieving and celebration. When the Canaanites in the area saw the Egyptians in great mourning, they called the place Abel Mizraim, “Egypt in mourning.”
King James
Genesis 50:9–11 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.

Why did the caravan stop near the Jordan River for seven days? What were they celebrating?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 50:9–11 A huge caravan with chariots and horses were formed for the long journey with Joseph.
Near the Jordan River, they stopped at the threshing floor of Atad for seven days of mourning—a memorial time of both grieving and celebration. When the Canaanites in the area saw the Egyptians in great mourning, they called the place Abel Mizraim, “Egypt in mourning.”
King James
Genesis 50:9–11 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.

Which seemed longer, the journey to the burial or the journey back to Egypt? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 50:12–14 Jacob’s sons did as they were instructed, carrying Jacob to Mamre in Canaan and burying him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial place.
After Jacob was buried, Joseph, his brothers, and the rest of the caravan returned to Egypt.
King James
Genesis 50:12–14 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 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 for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

Why did the brothers think Joseph might punish them for their sins against him?

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Genesis 50:15–17 With their father dead, Joseph’s brothers became concerned. “What if Joseph hates us,” they asked one another. “Surely he will punish us for what we did to him.”
They sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Before our father died, he said we should beg your forgiveness for the evil we did to you. So now we are pleading with you as servants of the God of your father.”
Joseph wept when he read what they were asking him.
King James
Genesis 50:15–17 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.

What was Joseph’s reaction to his brother’s request for forgiveness? Why that reaction?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 50:16–17 They sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Before our father died, he said 17 we should beg your forgiveness for the evil we did to you. So now we are pleading with you as servants of the God of your father.”
King James
Genesis 50:16–17 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.

Why did the brothers offer to be Joseph’s slaves?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 50:18 His brothers came and bowed before him. “We are your willing slaves,” they said.
King James
Genesis 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.

What did Joseph promise his brothers instead of vengeance? Why did he do that?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 50:19–21 “You need not fear me,” Joseph said. “Can I be a judge in God’s place, deciding what he should do? You intended to injure me, but God allowed your wrongdoing for a good purpose, to save all the people you see alive today. So don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”
With Joseph’s words of mercy and kindness, the brothers were comforted.
Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance is mine, and I’ll see justice done. Don’t worry. When their day comes, punishment will be swift and their fall will be great.
Matthew 5:38–39 “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say you should not try to get even. If people slap you on the cheek, do not retaliate, but allow them to slap the other cheek.”
Romans 12:19 Fellow believers, don’t seek vengeance when people mistreat you. If needed, God will handle punishment better than you can, for he says in Scripture, Vengeance is mine, and I’ll see justice done.
King James
Genesis 50:19–21 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
Deuteronomy 32:35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
Matthew 5:38–39 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

What were Joseph’s responsibilities after the seven years of famine? What was his relationship with Pharaoh like? With Potiphar? The butler whose dreams he interpreted? His brothers and others?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 50:22–23 Joseph remained in Egypt with all his father’s families. He lived to be 110 years old and lived to see his son Ephraim’s great-grandchildren. He sat upon his knees the children of Makir, Manasseh’s son, as they grew up.
King James
Genesis 50:22–23 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees.

Except for Benjamin, Joseph was the youngest of Jacob’s sons. How many of them were alive when Joseph said he was dying? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 50:24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying. One day, God will visit you and take you from Egypt to the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
King James
Genesis 50:24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Why didn’t Joseph ask to be taken from Egypt when Israel left the land instead of being buried with his father right then?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 50:25–26 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear they would carry his bones with them when they left Egypt.
So at the age of 110, Joseph died, and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.
King James
Genesis 50:25–26 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.