Gen. 50:1-3  Judgment of Sin

            Gen. 50:1 “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.”

            “And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.”  Most often one mourns for the loss of one’s father.  With Joseph this was true.  Joseph was the first born of Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel.  Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son and Jacob did much to cause Joseph to realize this.  Jacob mourned for his son all the time that he thought he was dead.  The bond of love was strong between Joseph and Jacob.  While death is not an end of things, it is the end of fellowship while here on earth.  The felt loss of fellowship is strong when we lose the companionship of those we love.

            “And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.”  Joseph sought to preserve the body of his father as long as Egyptian embalming would allow him to.  This action parallels the action of Christ who has eternally preserved the elect unto glory: John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”  By covenant arrangement we are preserved in Christ unto eternal glory. 

            “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.”  In the scriptures there are associations between certain bible numbers and associated subjects.  For instance the number two is association with witness; the number three is associated with the Godhead, the number five is associated with death; etc. 

            The number forty in scripture is associated with trial and judgment.  Jacob, like all of mankind was a sinner.  The judgment of sin is death.  Jacob’s body now was experiencing the judgment of sin as the forty days suggest.

            The number seventy is a kingdom number.  The numbers one, twelve, and seventy are closely associated with the kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of God:

                        1.  The one man, Jacob, had twelve sons and seventy descendants that came into Egypt.  This was the beginning of the kingdom of Israel.

                        2.  When the children of Israel departed Egypt and came into the wilderness, they came unto Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees.

                        3.  When God established Israel as a kingdom through covenant with them, God was king over them and the nation had twelve princes and seventy elders according to God’s arrangement. 

                        4.  When Christ came as the King of the Kingdom of God, he appointed twelve apostles and seventy other elders in the beginning of His kingdom. 

            When the Egyptians mourned for Jacob seventy days, it was an indication that they were mourning for a king.  So in the estimation of the Egyptians, Jacob held the status of a king in their eyes.


Gen. 50:4-6  Joseph's Promise to Return

            Gen. 50:4 “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.”

            Joseph recognized the authority of the government of Egypt and of Pharaoh the king of Egypt in the above passage.  It was not only by the providence of God that Joseph came into Egypt and came to the position he had in Egypt, but also by the authority of Pharaoh and his government that had been gracious unto Joseph and to his family.  Joseph sought the approval of Pharaoh to temporarily leave Egypt to fulfill his covenant promise to his father Jacob concerning Jacob’s burial request. 

            Moreover, Pharaoh recognized the blessings of God that brought Joseph into Egypt and the wisdom that God gave Joseph in delivering Egypt in the midst of a great famine.  Pharaoh showed his appreciation unto Joseph in his ready willingness to let Joseph leave Egypt to bury his father.

            Joseph promised to Pharaoh that he would return unto Egypt after burying his father.  This is another parallel between the life and circumstances of Joseph and the life and circumstances of Christ.  Christ also in leaving promised to come again: John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also…28 “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”  Just like Joseph left Egypt and returned to Egypt, so Christ left the earth and will return at the appointed time to earth to take his children home.