"And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. And Joseph
commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
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."
50:24-26 "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. 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. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they
embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt."
ISRAEL AT HOME
After Jacob's death in Egypt, Joseph had his father embalmed by physicians. The Egyptians had
actually perfected the art of embalming at this time as is seen in some of the mummies that
have been found in Egypt. The embalming process lasted 40 days and the mourning for Jacob
lasted 70 days. After the mourning period was over Joseph asked Pharaoh for permission to
leave Egypt and take his father back to his homeland to be buried. Pharaoh not only gave his
permission but he sent all his servants and all the elders of the land of Egypt with him.
Along with all of Jacob's children this must have made a very large entourage traveling from
Egypt to Canaan.
It is not clear why they chose the threshing floor of Atid to stop and mourn for an additional
7 days, but the Canaanites who lived there observed them and remarked that this was a grievious
mourning to the Egyptians and called it Abel-mizraim (meaning "the mourning of the Egyptians".)
So Jacob's sons buried him in the cave of his ancestors on his own land as he asked.
Upon returning to Egypt, Joseph's brothers became afraid he would try to get even with them
for what they had done to him when he was just a boy now that their father was dead. There
was nothing to stop him from retaliation, after all he was the governor of the land. They sent
a messenger to Joseph saying their father had commanded before he died that Joseph should
forgive them for what they had done to him earlier. They fell down at his feet and promised to
be his servants (remember Joseph's dreams when he was a child)? Joseph cried when he heard
their pleas and told them not to fear for he meant them no harm. He reminded them that even
though they meant it for evil against him, God meant it for good and many people were saved due
to him coming to Egypt. Joseph assured them that he would take care of them which he did for
another 54 years after Jacob died. Joseph told his brothers and their children that God would
come and lead them out of Egypt some day and he made them promise to take his bones with them.
Genesis ends with the death of Joseph. He was 110 and his family had him embalmed and placed
in a coffin (as a mummy) to await their return to Canaan.
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