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Genesis 50:1-13

Context
The Burials of Jacob and Joseph

50:1 Then Joseph hugged his father’s face. 1  He wept over him and kissed him. 50:2 Joseph instructed the physicians in his service 2  to embalm his father, so the physicians embalmed Israel. 50:3 They took forty days, for that is the full time needed for embalming. 3  The Egyptians mourned 4  for him seventy days. 5 

50:4 When the days of mourning 6  had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s royal court, 7  “If I have found favor in your sight, please say to Pharaoh, 8  50:5 ‘My father made me swear an oath. He said, 9  “I am about to die. Bury me 10  in my tomb that I dug for myself there in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go and bury my father; then I will return.’” 50:6 So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father, just as he made you swear to do.” 11 

50:7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; all Pharaoh’s officials went with him – the senior courtiers 12  of his household, all the senior officials of the land of Egypt, 50:8 all Joseph’s household, his brothers, and his father’s household. But they left their little children and their flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 50:9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him, so it was a very large entourage. 13 

50:10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad 14  on the other side of the Jordan, they mourned there with very great and bitter sorrow. 15  There Joseph observed a seven day period of mourning for his father. 50:11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a very sad occasion 16  for the Egyptians.” That is why its name was called 17  Abel Mizraim, 18  which is beyond the Jordan.

50:12 So the sons of Jacob did for him just as he had instructed them. 50:13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the field Abraham purchased as a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite.

1 tn Heb “fell on.” The expression describes Joseph’s unrestrained sorrow over Jacob’s death; he probably threw himself across the body and embraced his father.

2 tn Heb “his servants the physicians.”

3 tn Heb “and forty days were fulfilled for him, for thus are fulfilled the days of embalming.”

4 tn Heb “wept.”

5 sn Seventy days. This probably refers to a time of national mourning.

6 tn Heb “weeping.”

7 tn Heb “the house of Pharaoh.”

8 tn Heb “in the ears of Pharaoh.”

9 tn Heb “saying.”

10 tn The imperfect verbal form here has the force of a command.

11 tn Heb “he made you swear on oath.”

12 tn Or “dignitaries”; Heb “elders.”

13 tn Heb “camp.”

14 sn The location of the threshing floor of Atad is not certain. The expression the other side of the Jordan could refer to the eastern or western bank, depending on one’s perspective. However, it is commonly used in the OT for Transjordan. This would suggest that the entourage came up the Jordan Valley and crossed into the land at Jericho, just as the Israelites would in the time of Joshua.

15 tn Heb “and they mourned there [with] very great and heavy mourning.” The cognate accusative, as well as the two adjectives and the adverb, emphasize the degree of their sorrow.

16 tn Heb “this is heavy mourning for Egypt.”

17 tn The verb has no expressed subject and so it may be translated as passive.

18 sn The name Abel Mizraim means “the mourning of Egypt.”



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