Gen. 50:7-13 Egyptian Savior

            Gen. 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, 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 Abelmizraim, 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.”

            “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.”  To the Egyptians, Joseph was a savior who had saved great numbers of them from certain starvation by his planning and provision.  He also was the face of the government as he was the one that they had much more access to and interaction with than Pharaoh himself.  When the family member of a great and beloved leader in a nation dies, the whole nation mourns with the leader.  This was the case with the Egyptians mourning with Joseph over the loss and burial of his father.

            “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.”  To the children of Israel, Jacob along with his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham were the recipients of the promise of God that their offspring would one day become a great nation and would posses the land of Canaan.  They not only mourned their father as children and grandchildren, but they mourned him also as the father of their nation. 

            “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.”  Seven is the bible number associated with completion.  This indicates that when the seven days were accomplished the mourning was complete and finished.

            “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.”  Jacob had lived far longer in Canaan than he had in Egypt.  Yet, the Canaanites did not mourn for him in the same way that the Egyptians had mourned for him.  I suspect, the reason for the Egyptians mourning more for him was because of their love for Joseph. 

            “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.”  The sons of Jacob fulfilled the commandment of their father by burying him in the place he had commanded them to bury him. 


Gen. 50:14-21 The Brothers Fear Joseph

            Gen. 50:14 “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.

            “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.”  Joseph had kept his promise both to his father Jacob and to Pharaoh.  He promised Jacob that he would bury him where he had indicated.  He promised Pharaoh that he would return.  He kept both promises.  In the keeping of his promises he is like Christ.  Christ has never broken a promise, but he keeps all promises that he has ever made.  2 Cor. 1:20 “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”

            “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.”  The brethren of Joseph knew that they had done great evil unto Joseph.  They knew that Joseph had the right to punish them for the evil that they had done.  However, as long as their father was alive they felt that Joseph would forbear punishing them for that evil.  Now that Jacob was dead, they feared the vengeance of Joseph. 

            “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.”  The brethren of Joseph sought forgiveness of both their trespass and their sin from Joseph using as a basis for that forgiveness the commandment of Joseph’s father.  Please note that the words – trespass and sin – were both used in the text.  The trespass was against Joseph, but the sin was against God.  Now Joseph could forgive their trespass, but only God could forgive their sin.  (Sin is defined as the transgression of the law: 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.)” 

            “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?”  Joseph wept, perhaps because he had already shown unto them by his many actions towards them that he had forgiven their trespass.  As for the forgiveness of their sins Joseph said, “Fear not: for am I in the place of God?”  This should teach us that when we trespass against someone, that it is proper for us to ask them to forgive our trespass.  However, their forgiveness of our trespass is not the same as God’s forgiveness of our sin.  Before the bar of divine justice we have been forgiven of our sins by the atoning blood of Christ on the cross.  From a standpoint of the cleansing of our conscience, we seek God to cleanse our conscience through his heartfelt pardoning grace. 

            “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.”  The key to understanding this passage is found in the word, “it,” “It” refers to the dreams that Joseph had and told to his father and to his brethren.  It was because of the dreams that his brethren hated him and thought evil against him.  They thought it would be evil for Joseph to reign over them and for them to bow down to Joseph.  However, at this very time, they were bowing down to Joseph according to those dreams.  It was through the fulfillment of those dreams that many people were saved from famine and death.  Thus, God intended the dreams for good, whereas Joseph’s brethren interpreted the dreams to be evil against them. 

            “Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”  Just as Joseph promised to nourish and comfort his brethren and their little ones, so Christ has promised to nourish us spiritually and to comfort us concerning our sins and our eternal inheritance.  He has spoken kindly through the gospel unto us as well.


Gen. 50:22-26  Death of Joseph

            Gen. 50:22 “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.” 

            The life of Joseph is closed out in this passage.  Before he died, he reminded the children of Israel of the wonderful promises of God to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob that God would visit them in Egypt and bring them into the land of Canaan.  Joseph was confident that God would fulfill these promises for he made an oath with the children of Israel that when God visited them and delivered them that they carry up his bones out of Egypt and that he be buried in the land of Canaan.  Joseph remained in a coffin in Egypt until God fulfilled his promise and ultimately Joseph’s bones were taken up out of Egypt and buried in the land of Canaan.