As it is an honor to die lamented, so it is a duty to honor the dead who have been useful in the Lord.
Sincere and humble lament over Godly men is proper, for their death is a great loss to any place.
1 And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
4 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,
5 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.
6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.
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,
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.
9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
10 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.
11 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 Abel-mizraim, which is beyond Jordan.
12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them:
13 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.
14 ¶ 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.
15 ¶ 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.
16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
17 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.
18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 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.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
22 ¶ And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.
23 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.
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.
25 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.
26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
Genesis 50:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 50:4-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 50:14-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 50:21-26 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 50:4-14 – Jacob Mourned and Buried
The days of mourning for Jacob were only two less in number than for a king. Three hundred miles were traversed by that splendid funeral cavalcade, which included not only the family of Israel, but the magnates of Egypt. The words, beyond Jordan (Genesis 50:10), indicate that this book was finished on the further side of Jordan, where Moses afterward died.
The evident grief with which the precious remains were laid beside the great dead, reminds us that when God wills to do honor to any servant of His, He can secure it in remarkable ways—and ways which are entirely independent of human methods and reasoning. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). At birth He cared for your helpless body; when you die He will see to its sepulcher. The bones of the saints hold the earth for the ultimate reign of Christ! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 50:15-26 – Joseph Loves until His Death
The fear of Joseph’s brethren illustrates the insecurity of a position which is conceded only at the bidding of the tender caprice of love, apart from satisfaction based on satisfied justice. As Joseph had pardoned, so he might retract his pardon. No satisfaction, beyond tears, had been rendered for that faraway sin. Might he not even now require it! So fears might legitimately arise in our own hearts, had not the divine forgiveness been based on the finished work of the Cross!
How significant that sentence (v. 20): “God meant it unto good.” There are meanings in life. Things do not happen by chance, and what happens is meant for good. All things work together for good for them that love God. Ninety-three years had passed since he was lifted from the pit; sixty since he buried his father. Finally Joseph’s end came. His bones were not buried, but awaited the summons for the Exodus. That coffin seemed to be the end of all. Nay! it was the seed of the coming harvest. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 50:20 – God meant it unto good.
God’s deeper meanings! We are apt to see a malicious meaning; are we equally apt to detect the Divine and benevolent one? Our enemies are many, and they hate us with perfect hatred; they are ever laying their plots, and working their unholy purposes. But there is a greater and wiser than they, who, through all these plottings, is prosecuting his Divine purpose. There is another and deeper meaning than appears to the short sight of sense.
Let us believe that there is a Divine and deeper meaning in the adversities of our lives.—Joseph might be forgiven for not doing so; but with his history and that of many others before us, we have no excuse for despair in the face of crushing sorrow. Whether it comes from man or devil, all creatures are under the Divine control, holding to our lips cups which the Father’s hand has mixed. He has no complicity with their evil, but they unconsciously perform his will. Even if you cannot see the Divine meaning, dare to believe that it is there.
Await the disclosures of time.—Even here we sometimes reach an eminence from which we detect the meaning of the path by which we have been conducted. It may have been rough and circuitous, but there was a reason in it all. Often God rewards patient trust by allowing us to see and know.
And for the full revelation of eternity.—One day God will call us to his side in the clear light of eternity, and will explain his meanings in life’s most sorrowful experiences; and we shall learn that we suffered, not for ourselves only, but for others, and, as part of his great remedial scheme, “to save much people alive.” —Our Daily Homily