The Last Days of Jacob
Genesis 48:21-22
And Israel said to Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers.…

The history is a simple one, yet with wondrous perspective. Seventeen years did Israel dwell in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen, and when he was a hundred and forty and seven years old, the time drew nigh that Israel must die. Who can fight the army of the Years? Those silent soldiers never lose a war. They fire no base cannon, they use no vulgar steel, they strike with invisible but irresistible hands. Noisy force loses something by its very. noise. The silent years bury the tumultuous throng. We have all to be taken down. The strongest tower amongst us, heaven-reaching in its altitude, must be taken down — a stone at a time, or shaken with one rude shock to the level ground: man must die. Israel had then but one favour to ask. So it comes to us all. We who have spent a life-time in petitioning for assistance have at the last but one request to make. "Take me," said one of England's brightest wits in his dying moments, "to the window that I may feel the morning air." "Light, more light," said another man greater still, expressing some wondrous necessity best left as a mystery. "Bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt," said dying Jacob to his son Joseph, "but bury me in the buryingplace of my fathers." What other heaven had the Old Testament man? The graveyard was a kind of comfort to him. He must be buried in a given place marked off and sacredly guarded. He had not lived up into that universal humanity which says — All places are consecrated, and every point is equally near heaven with every other point, if so be God dig the grave and watch it. By-and-by we shall hear another speech in the tone of Divine revelation; by-and-by we shall get rid of these localities, and limitations, and prisons, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah will open up some wider space of thought, and contemplation, and service. With Joseph's oath dying Jacob was satisfied.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.

WEB: Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers.

The Folly of Anxiety About Death
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