Genesis Chapter 50

Jacob, also known as Israel, died in the previous chapter of the Bible, just after giving his twelve sons, and the two sons of Joseph, patriarchal blessings. He had had his favored son Joseph make a promise to him that his body would be buried in the land of Canaan, where his family was buried. The book of Genesis continues as follows:

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.

Joseph showed his love for his father as he cried over his loss. Then, Jacob was embalmed, as was Egyptian tradition I believe, and the people went through their standard time of mourning for him. Then Joseph requested of Pharaoh, that he be allowed to leave and take his father’s body to Canaan for burial. He explained that it was a promise he had made to his father. He also promised to return to Egypt. Pharaoh, honored his request and allowed him leave.

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.

Joseph took a great multitude with him, to bury Jacob. The family and friends mourned greatly for him. Jacob had been loved by the Egyptians as well as his family. Considering they went to Egypt being a family of farmers who would have been looked down upon, this seems like a lot. I am sure that the Egyptians had been blessed to have Jacob in their presence, as they were blessed to have Joseph serve them. The family of Jacob buried him in the cave where their ancestors had been buried.

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.

Joseph and his family returned to Egypt. Joseph’s brothers worried among themselves, that since Jacob was dead, Joseph would have feelings of hatred or anger towards them for the things that they had done years before. They sent a message to Joseph, asking for forgiveness from him and saying it was at the request of their father. Joseph, who seems so tender-hearted in moments like these, told them not to worry about this because he was where he was that day because of the trials they had brought upon him. He recognized that it may have started as evil intentions, but God had made it good for him and for his family. Joseph told them he would continue to take care of them and their families.

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 Joseph Smith translation of these verses says the following:

24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die, and go unto my fathers; and I go down to my grave with joy. The God of my father Jacob be with you, to deliver you out of affliction in the days of your bondage; for the Lord hath visited me, and I have obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of my loins, the Lord God will raise up a righteous branch out of my loins; and unto thee, whom my father Jacob hath named Israel, a prophet; (not the Messiah who is called Shilo;) and this prophet shall deliver my people out of Egypt in the days of thy bondage.
25 And it shall come to pass that they shall be scattered again; and a branch shall be broken off, and shall be carried into a far country; nevertheless they shall be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, when the Messiah cometh; for he shall be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the Spirit of power; and shall bring them out of darkness into light; out of hidden darkness, and out of captivity unto freedom.
26 A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
27 Thus saith the Lord God of my fathers unto me, A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren.
28 And he shall bring them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers; and he shall do whatsoever work I shall command him.
29 And I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work; and he shall be great like unto him whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; for a seer will I raise up to deliver my people out of the land of Egypt; and he shall be called Moses. And by this name he shall know that he is of thy house; for he shall be nursed by the king’s daughter, and shall be called her son.
30 And again, a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth of my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them in the last days;
31 Wherefore the fruit of thy loins shall write, and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to a knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
32 And out of weakness shall he be made strong, in that day when my work shall go forth among all my people, which shall restore them, who are of the house of Israel, in the last days.
33 And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation.
34 And the Lord sware unto Joseph that he would preserve his seed forever, saying, I will raise up Moses, and a rod shall be in his hand, and he shall gather together my people, and he shall lead them as a flock, and he shall smite the waters of the Red Sea with his rod.
35 And he shall have judgment, and shall write the word of the Lord. And he shall not speak many words, for I will write unto him my law by the finger of mine own hand. And I will make a spokesman for him, and his name shall be called Aaron.
36 And it shall be done unto thee in the last days also, even as I have sworn. Therefore, Joseph said unto his brethren, God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land, unto the land which he sware unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and to Jacob.
37 And Joseph confirmed many other things unto his brethren, and took an oath of the children of Israel, saying unto them, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
38 So Joseph died when he was an hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and they put him in a coffin in Egypt; and he was kept from burial by the children of Israel, that he might be carried up and laid in the sepulchre with his father. And thus they remembered the oath which they sware unto him.

Joseph and his family, the children of Israel, continued to live in Egypt and to have generations of family. It seems that Joseph acted as the patriarch of his family. I think this was because he had been given the birthright, as well as being their source of refuge in Egypt. After 110 years, of which about 80 years was with the Egyptians, he knew he would die soon. He promised his family that they would eventually be brought out of that land by the hand of God, in fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the Joseph Smith Translation, more of the promise to the children of Israel is given. He talks of the prophet who would help to bring them out of bondage, who was Moses. He tells them that after they are delivered from bondage by Moses, they will again be scattered. The broken branch that will be removed is the family of Lehi, who were descendants of Joseph. Then in the latter days, the Savior would be made manifest to Joseph Smith, the seer of the seed of Joseph of Egypt. Joseph would be like Moses and lead the people out of their own bondage, the bondage of sin. He would do this by bringing forth the word of God, which is the restoration of the gospel. The word of God would come through the Bible (the stick of Judah) and the Book of Mormon (the stick of Joseph). Joseph prophesied of Moses parting the red sea and of the ten commandments which would be given to him. He prophesied that he would have Aaron as a spokesman for him. Then, he told them that he wanted his bones to be moved when the children of Israel eventually were moved from Egypt. Then he died and was placed in a coffin in the land of Egypt, leaving his family as servants of Pharaoh in that land.

There is a great example of forgiveness and love through the blessings of God. Joseph, who could have hated his brothers for all they had done, knew that he had been guided by the hand of God. It is an example of how God can use us for good, even in the worst of situations. Joseph had greater gratitude and love for God then any ill feelings towards his brothers, and because of that, he could fully forgive them and take care of them to the end of his days. Forgiveness is not about forgetting how others may have trespassed against us, but rather, it is about turning our hearts to God and allowing Him to help us see the blessings we have been given instead. Joseph loved his family, but more importantly, he loved God.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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