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The Deaths of Jacob & Joseph

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 49:28-33; Genesis 50:1-26

INTRODUCTION:  The story is ending.  The last of the founding patriarchs are dying.  This is a story of burials and not of births. Yet, hope remains.  It remains in the hearts.  It remains in the last request of Joseph to carry his bones back to the land of Canaan when God visits His people.

  1. THE DEATH OF JACOB (Genesis 49:28-33)
    1. Jacob Blesses the Twelve Tribes (Genesis 49:28).
    2. Jacob’s Burial to be in Canaan (Genesis 49:29-32)
      1. In the cave of Machpelah (Genesis 49:29-30)
      2. Purchased by Abraham as a burying place (Genesis 49:31-32; Genesis 23)
    3. Jacob Yields up the Ghost (Genesis 49:33).
      1. He made an end of commanding his sons.
      2. He gathers his feet into the bed.
      3. He yields up the ghost (Genesis 35:18; Matthew 27:50).
      4. He was gathered to his people.
        1. Not identical to his burial since they did not even begin the trip to Canaan for 70 days (Genesis 50:3)
        2. Neither was it burial in the family plot alongside a person’s relatives. Consider Moses who was gathered unto his people (Deuteronomy 32:50) though no one knew where he was buried (Deuteronomy 34:5-6).
        3. Consider those who were gathered unto their people or the fathers.
          1. Abraham (Genesis 25:8)
          2. Ishmael (Genesis 25:17)
          3. Isaac (Genesis 35:29)
          4. Jacob (Genesis 49:33)
          5. Aaron (Numbers 20:24)
          6. Moses (Deuteronomy 32:50)
          7. The people who served the Lord the days of Joshua (Judges 2:10)
          8. Josiah (2 Kings 22:20)
        4. Done for the purpose of future gathering unto Shiloh, the Messiah (Genesis 49:10)
        5. Refers to the Old Testament saints being gathered together in Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22) to be taken up by Christ at His resurrection and ascension (Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8)
  2. THE BURIAL OF JACOB (Genesis 50:1-13)
    1. Jacob’s Body Is Prepared for Burial (Genesis 50:1-3).
      1. Joseph weeps for him (Genesis 50:1).
      2. Jacob’s body is embalmed (Genesis 50:2-3a).
        1. At the command of Joseph
        2. Done by the Egyptian physicians
        3. Takes a period of forty days
      3. The Egyptians mourn for seventy days (Genesis 50:3b).
      4. Note:  Mourning for the dead
        1. Thirty days – the amount of time that they wept for Moses (Deuteronomy 34:8) and Aaron (Numbers 20:29)
        2. Seven days – the common time of mourning for the Jews (Genesis 50:8-10; 1 Samuel 31:11-13)
        3. Seventy days – possibly the standard amount of time the Egyptians mourned (Genesis 50:2-3)
        4. Notice that the Jews did not mourn for their dead in the same manner as the Egyptians.  In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, we are told, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”
    2. Plans Are Made to Transport the Body (Genesis 50:4-6).
      1. Joseph makes a request of Pharaoh (Genesis 50:4-5).
        1. Joseph pleads for grace from Pharaoh (Genesis 50:4).
        2. Joseph asks to be able to keep his word to his father, and bury him in the land of Canaan (Genesis 50:5).
        3. Joseph promises to return (Genesis 50:5).
      2. Pharaoh grants his request (Genesis 50:6).
    3. The Burial Party Travels to Canaan (Genesis 50:7-11).
      1. The burial party leaves the land of Egypt (Genesis 50:7-9).
        1. The company travelling with Joseph (Genesis 50:7-8)
          1. All the servants of Pharaoh
          2. The elders of Pharaoh’s house
          3. The elders of the land of Egypt
          4. All the house of Joseph
          5. Joseph’s brethren
        2. The company included chariots and horsemen (Genesis 50:9).
      2. They mourn for seven days at the floor of Atad (Genesis 50:10-11).
        1. Upon arrival at the threshingfloor of Atad, Joseph lamented sore for the loss of his father (Genesis 50:10).
        2. The Canaanites witnessed this mourning and changed the name of the place to Abelmizraim (Genesis 50:11).
    4. Jacob Is Buried in the Cave of Machpelah (Genesis 50:12-13).
  3. THE FEAR OF JOSEPH’S BROTHERS (Genesis 50:14-21)
    1. Joseph and His Brethren Return to Egypt (Genesis 50:14).
    2. Joseph’s Brothers Approach Him in Fear (Genesis 50:15-18).
      1. They fear revenge from Joseph (Genesis 50:15).
      2. They speak in their father’s name (Genesis 50:16).
      3. They repent of their sin toward Joseph (Genesis 50:17).
      4. They offer themselves as servants to Joseph (Genesis 50:18).
    3. Joseph Assures Them of Their Safety (Genesis 50:19-21).
      1. Joseph will not judge them as God (Genesis 50:19).
      2. He sees God’s purpose in all that took place (Genesis 50:20).
      3. He desires only to nourish and comfort them (Genesis 50:21).
      4. NOTE: In this, Joseph was again like Jesus in His first coming.
  4. THE DEATH OF JOSEPH (Genesis 50:22-26)
    1. Joseph Lives a Blessed Life (Genesis 50:22-23).
      1. To the age of 110 (Genesis 50:22)
      2. Seeing grand children and great grandchildren (Genesis 50:23)
    2. Joseph Secures a Promise from His Family (Genesis 50:24-25).
      1. Joseph approaches the time of his death (Genesis 50:24).
      2. Joseph foretells of God’s deliverance (Genesis 50:24).
      3. Joseph wants his bones taken to the promised land when the children of Israel return (Hebrews 11:22).

CONCLUSION:  The book of Genesis ends “in a coffin in Egypt” (Genesis 50:26), but those very bones are held in hope of a return to the land of promise.  They are still seeking that better country and the city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10, 13-15).

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 27:7

The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.