50 Then Joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. Forty days were required for it, for that is how many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.
And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, ‘My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die: in my tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.” Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return.’” And Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear.” So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company. When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days. When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them, for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
God’s Good Purposes
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
The Death of Joseph
So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s house. Joseph lived 110 years. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph’s own. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
Genesis 50 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Joseph was a man who had such a tumultuous life. Here was a man who had everything going for him yet was stripped of it time and again. Here is a man who lived in the outlook of good even though his brothers planned evil against him. Joseph, a man who endured the false accusation from Potiphar’s wife, a cupbearers neglect, seven years of famine and countless years of not having his father there.
Upon Jacob’s death he wept and wept. Even then it was not over. His sorrow mounted once again as his brothers fearfully trying to protect their well-being concocted a story that before Jacob died he had said for Joseph to forgive them. Joseph miraculously stated such a divine outlook and even in the middle of his own sorrow comforted them.
“Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”Genesis 50:19-20
Joseph saw the hand of God in his life no matter what evil was brought against him. He trusted Him completely. And his life story is such a reminder that our lives are in the hand of God, not that of man. He showed love and compassion to his brothers even though they had done such evil against him. His ability to pull himself back from the heartache allowed him to be set free from bitterness that could have taken root. He showed himself to these not only in the words he used but practically in his actions as well. He trusted God through all the sorrow, all the tears, all the heartache his life had.
The question is do you trust God enough to wait for Him to bring from a bad situation? Do you trust Him enough to respond to those bent on evil against you in a way He desires? No matter what sorrow we have endured, what tragedy has come against us, Joseph’s life reminds us of God’s overarching plan being carried out despite. Do you trust Him?
Genesis 50 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
It is always fascinating to me when we come across a chapter in the Bible that captivates us with incredible detail and then quickly moves across history with sweeping summaries. We get both in the final chapter of Genesis. We read the details of Jacob’s funeral and Joseph’s death. However, at the same time, there were most likely 50 years of “ordinary life” that happened between these two events to which Scripture remains silent.
Chapter 50 bookends Genesis with a happy ending. It contrasts the introduction of sin and rebellion in earlier chapters and leaves us with hope for humanity. If there is one lesson we can learn from Genesis, it is wholly encapsulated in the wise words of Joseph.
You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.Genesis 50:20 HCSB
How many times did humanity rebel against God in Genesis? How many times would He have been justified to wipe humans from His presence over and over again? How many times were we surprised by the degree of patience and grace that God displayed while fulfilling every promise He made?
Genesis very clearly defines the role of both God and man. On a wide spectrum of blatant disobedience and good intentions, humanity has proven that we do not have the power to fulfill the desires of God – let alone the desires of ourselves. We plot and scheme with selfish motives and God waits patiently for our plans to fail so we can marvel at how He takes planned evil and uses it for His good – to bring about the result He desires.
This is my story. Is this not your story as well?
It is easy to read through Genesis and see God’s standard. It is natural to see how He defines good and bad, light and darkness, life and death, etc. It is easy to look at the lives of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and pick out the instances where they completely failed as leaders. But when we begin to think about our own story and put our names in place of theirs, we realize we are just like them. We realize the grace they were shown is the same grace we were shown.
It is the grace we walk in this very day. If we read Genesis and miss God’s grace, His sovereignty, His patience, and His perseverance, much has been lost.
What man has planned for evil, God has planned for good.