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- The preparation for Jacob's funeral, ver. 1 - 6.
- The funeral itself, ver. 7 - 14.
- The settling of a good understanding between Joseph and his
brethren, after the death of Jacob, ver. 15 - 21.
- The age and death of Joseph, ver. 22 - 26.
1: And Joseph fell upon his father's face and wept upon him, and
kissed him - Joseph shewed his faith in God, and love to his father,
by kissing his pale and cold lips, and so giving an affectionate farewell.
Probably the rest of Jacob's sons did the same, much moved, no doubt,
with his dying words.
2: He ordered the body to be embalmed, not only because he died in
Egypt, and that was the manner of the Egyptians, but because he was
to be carried to Canaan, which would be a work of time.
3: He observed the ceremony of solemn mourning for him. Forty days
were taken up in embalming the body, which the Egyptians had an art of
doing so curiously, as to preserve the very features of the face unchanged.
All this time, and thirty days more, seventy in all, they either confined
themselves and sat solitary, or when they went out, appeared in the habit of
close mourners, according to the decent custom of the country. Even the
Egyptians, many of them, out of the respect they had for Joseph, put
themselves into mourning for his father.
5: He asked and obtained leave of Pharaoh to go to Canaan, to
attend the funeral of his father. It was a piece of necessary respect to
Pharaoh, that he would not go without leave; for we may suppose, though
his charge about the corn was long since over, yet he continued a prime
minister of state, and therefore would not be so long absent from his
business without license.
11: The solemn mourning for Jacob gave a name to the place;
Abel - mizraim - The mourning of the Egyptians: which served for a
testimony against the next generation of the Egyptians, who oppressed
the posterity of this Jacob, to whom their ancestors shewed such
15: Joseph will peradventure hate us - While their father lived, they
thought themselves safe under his shadow; but now he was dead, they feared
the worst. A guilty conscience exposeth men to continual frights; those
that would be fearless must keep themselves guiltless.
16: Thy father did command - Thus in humbling ourselves to Christ by
faith and repentance, we may plead that it is the command of his father and
our father we should do so.
17: We are the servants of the God of thy father - Not only children
of the same Jacob, but worshippers of the same Jehovah. Though we
must be ready to forgive all that injure us, yet we must especially take
heed of bearing malice towards any that are the servants of the God of
our father; those we should always treat with a peculiar tenderness, for
we and they have the same master. He wept when they spake to him - These
were tears of sorrow for their suspicion of him, and tears of tenderness
upon their submission.
19: Am I in the place of God? - He in his great humility thought they
shewed him too much respect, and faith to them in effect, as Peter to
Cornelius, Stand up, I myself also am a man. Make your peace with God,
and then you will find it an easy matter to make your peace with me.
20: Ye thought evil, but God meant it unto good - In order to the
making Joseph a greater blessing to his family than otherwise he could
21: Fear not, I will nourish you - See what an excellent spirit
Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He did not
tell them they were upon their good behaviour, and he would be kind to them
if he saw they carried themselves well: no, he would not thus hold them in
suspence, nor seem jealous of them, though they had been suspicious of him.
He comforted them, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly
to them. Those we love and forgive we must not only do well for, but
speak kindly to.
24: I die, but God will surely visit you - To this purpose Jacob
had spoken to him, (Ge 48:21). Thus must we comfort others with the
same comforts wherewith we ourselves have been comforted of God, and
encourage them to rest on those promises which have been our support.
Joseph was, under God, both the protector and benefactor of his
brethren, and what would become of them now he was dying? Why let this be
their comfort, God will surely visit you. God's gracious visits will
serve to make up the loss of our best friends, and bring you out of
this land - And therefore, they must not hope to settle there, nor look
upon it as their rest for ever; they must set their hearts upon the land of
promise, and call that their home.
25: And ye shall carry up my bones from hence - Herein he had an eye
to the promise, (Ge 15:13,14), and in God's name assures them of the
performance of it. In Egypt they buried their great men very
honourably, and with abundance of pomp; but Joseph prefers a plain
burial in Canaan, and that deferred almost two hundred years, before a
magnificent one in Egypt. Thus Joseph by faith in the doctrine
of the resurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave commandment
concerning his bones, (Heb 11:22).
He dies in Egypt; but lays his bones at stake, that God will surely
visit Israel, and bring them to Canaan.
26: He was put in a coffin in Egypt - But not buried till his
children had received their inheritance in Canaan, (Jos 24:32). If
the soul do but return to its rest with God, the matter is not great, though
the deserted body find not at all, or not quickly, its rest in the grave.
Yet care ought to be taken of the dead bodies of the saints, in the belief
of their resurrection; for there is a covenant with the dust which shall be
remembered, and a commandment given concerning the bones.