Genesis 50:2
And Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So they embalmed him,
Ceremonies After DeathM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 50:1-13
The Honour Paid to the Departed JacobT. H. Leale.Genesis 50:1-13
Three Modes of EmbalmingM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 50:1-13
Retrospect and ProspectR.A. Redford Genesis 50

Whole chapter a reproof of the restless ambitions of men. Of these long lives the only record is a name, and the fact, "he died." Moral of the whole, "Dust thou art" (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50). Yet a link between life here and life above. Enoch translated (Hebrews 11:5). The living man passed into the presence of God. How, we need not care to know. But we know why. He "walked with God." Who would not covet this? Yet it may be ours. What then was that life? Of its outward form we know nothing. But same expression (Genesis 6:9) tells us that Noah's was such. Also Abraham's, "the friend of God" (Genesis 17:1); and St. Paul's (Philippians 1:21); and St. John (1 John 1:3) claims "fellowship with the Father" not for himself only (cf. John 14:23).

I. ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF A WALK WITH GOD. Not a life of austerity or of contemplation, removed from interests or cares of world. Noah's was not; nor Abraham's. Nor a life without fault. Elijah was "of like passions as we are;" and David; and St. John declares, 1 John 1:8-10.

1. It is a life of faith, i.e. a life in which the word of God is a real power. Mark in Hebrews 11. how faith worked in different circumstances. To walk with God is to trust him as a child trusts; from belief of his fatherhood, and that he is true. With texts before us such as John 3:16; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:2, why are any not rejoicing? Or with such as John 4:10; Luke 11:13, why are any not asking and receiving to the full? God puts no hindrance (Revelation 3:20). But

(1) too often men do not care. To walk with God is of less importance than to be admired of men.

(2) If they do care, they often will not take God's way. The simple message (2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 John 5:11) seems too simple. They look for feelings, instead of setting God's message before them and grasping it.

2. To walk with God implies desire and effort for the good of men. In an ungodly world Enoch proclaimed the coming judgment (Jude 1:14; cf. Acts 24:25). Spiritual selfishness often a snare to those who have escaped the snare of the world. It is not the mind of Christ. It springs from weakness of faith. Knowing the gift so dearly purchased, so freely offered to all, our calling is to persuade men. Not necessarily as teachers (James 1:19), but by intercession and by loving influence.

III. ENOCH WAS TRANSLATED. But apostles and saints died. Yet think not that their walk with God was less blessed. Hear our Lord's words (John 11:26), and St. Paul (2 Timothy 1:10). Hear the apostle's desire (Philippians 1:23). Enoch walked with God on earth, and the communion was carried on above. Is not this our Savior's promise? (John 14:21-23; John 17:24). Death is not the putting off that which is corruptible; it is separation from the Lord. Assured that we are his forever, we may say, "O death, where is thy sting?" - M.

The death of great characters being often followed by great changes; conscious guilt being always alive to fear; and the chasm which succeeds a funeral, inviting a flood of foreboding apprehensions, they find out a new source of trouble. But how can they disclose their suspicions? To have done it personally would have been too much for either him or them to bear, let him take it as he might. So they "sent messengers unto him," to sound him. We know not who they were; but if Benjamin were one of them, it was no more than might be expected. Mark the delicacy and exquisite tenderness of the message. Nothing is said of their suspicions, only that the petition implies them; yet it is expressed in such a manner as cannot offend, but must needs melt the heart of Joseph, even though he had been possessed of less affection than he was.

1. They introduce themselves as acting under the direction of a mediator, and this mediator was none other than their deceased father. He commanded us, say they, before he died, that we should say thus and thus. And was it possible for Joseph to be offended with them for obeying his orders? But stop a moment. May we not make a similar use of what our Saviour said to us before He died? He commanded us to say, "Our Father — forgive us our debts." Can we not make the same use of this as Jacob's sons did of their father's commandment?

2. They present the petition as coming from their father: "Forgive, I pray thee, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil." And was it possible to refuse complying with his father's desire? The intercessor, it is to be observed, does not go about to extenuate the sin of the offenders, but frankly acknowledges it, and that, if justice were to take its course, they must be punished. Neither does he plead their subsequent repentance as the ground of pardon, but requests that it may be done for his sake, or on account of the love which the offended bore to him.

3. They unite their own confession and petition to that of their father. Moreover, though they must make no merit of anything pertaining to themselves, yet if there be a character which the offended party is known to esteem above all others, and they be conscious of sustaining that character, it will be no presumption to make mention of it. And this is what they do, and that in a manner which must make a deep impression upon a heart like that of Joseph. "And now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father." It were sufficient to have gained their point, even though Joseph had been reluctant, to have pleaded their being children of the same father, and that father making it, as it were, his dying request; but the consideration of their being "the servants of his father's God" was overcoming. But this is not all: they go in person, and "fall before his face," and offer to be his "servants." This extreme abasement on their part seems to have given a kind of gentle indignancy to Joseph's feelings. His mind revolted at it. It seemed to him too much. "Fear not, saith he: for am I in the place of God?" As if he should say, "It may belong to God to take vengeance; but for a sinful worm of the dust, who himself needs forgiveness, to do so, were highly presumptuous: you have therefore nothing to fear from me. What farther forgiveness you need, seek it of Him."

(A. Fuller.)

Abel, Canaanites, Egyptians, Ephron, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Machir, Mamre, Manasseh, Mizraim, Pharaoh
Canaan, Egypt, Goshen, Jordan River, Machpelah, Mamre, Rameses
Body, Commanded, Commandeth, Directed, Embalm, Embalmed, Father's, Folding, Joseph, Linen, Necessary, Orders, Physicians, Ready, Servants, Service, Spices
1. The mourning for Jacob.
4. Joseph gets leave of Pharaoh to go to bury him.
7. The funeral.
15. Joseph comforts his brothers, who crave his pardon.
22. His age.
23. He sees the third generation of his sons.
24. He prophesies unto his brothers of their return.
25. He takes an oath of them concerning his bones.
26. He dies, and is put into a coffin.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 50:2

     5288   dead, the
     5298   doctors

Genesis 50:1-3

     5567   suffering, emotional

Genesis 50:2-3

     4490   ointment
     5095   Jacob, life
     5303   embalming

Joseph's Faith
'Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.'--GENESIS l. 25. This is the one act of Joseph's life which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews selects as the sign that he too lived by faith. 'By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.' It was at once a proof of how entirely he believed God's promise, and of how earnestly he longed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Coffin in Egypt
'They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.' --GENESIS l. 26. So closes the book of Genesis. All its recorded dealings of God with Israel, and all the promises and the glories of the patriarchal line, end with 'a coffin in Egypt'. Such an ending is the more striking, when we remember that a space of three hundred years intervenes between the last events in Genesis and the first in Exodus, or almost as long a time as parts the Old Testament from the New. And, during all that period, Israel
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Calm Evening, Promising a Bright Morning
'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. 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. 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;
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Worst Things Work for Good to the Godly
DO not mistake me, I do not say that of their own nature the worst things are good, for they are a fruit of the curse; but though they are naturally evil, yet the wise overruling hand of God disposing and sanctifying them, they are morally good. As the elements, though of contrary qualities, yet God has so tempered them, that they all work in a harmonious manner for the good of the universe. Or as in a watch, the wheels seem to move contrary one to another, but all carry on the motions of the watch:
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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