Click here to read Genesis 49:29-50:26

Today’s passage marks the end of the book of Genesis and it’s interesting to note that the book closes in a way that is completely different from the beginning.  In first three chapters we are introduced to Adam and Eve who are eventually kicked out of the Garden of Eden because of their attempt to put themselves in God’s position.  In this passage we see God’s servant, Joseph, who tell his brothers that he most definitely is not in God’s place (50:19).  Through the generations in Genesis we have seen that God’s relationship with human beings has progressed through His faithfulness and revelation of who He is and what He is like.

Today’s passage provides a beautiful end to the book of Genesis as it centers upon trust in God’s promises.  Jacob’s burial requests and Joseph’s final words exemplify the faith that both of these men have in the future fulfillment of God’s promise and it shows how certain they are that in the meantime “God will surely come to your aid.”  Genesis closes with the people of God looking forward to a time when God will give them the land that He has promised.

It is fitting that this passage also focuses on God’s promise of a return to Canaan with the huge procession from Goshen to Canaan as the centerpiece.  This provides a glimpse of what it will look like when God brings all of the people of Israel out of Egypt and to the promised land—the heart of the book of Exodus.

Names Places
Major  

God – God

Jacob/Israel – Joseph’s father

Joseph – favorite son of Jacob

Pharaoh – ruler of Egypt

sons of Jacob/Israel – Joseph’s brothers

Major 

burial cave – in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan

Atad – where the procession lamented for 7 days

Abel Mizraim – close to “mourning of the Egyptians.” name given to Atad.

Egypt – where the sons of Jacob/Israel lived

Canaan – the land God promised to Abraham

Minor  

Abraham – Jacob’s grandfather

Sarah – Abraham’s wife

Isaac – Jacob’s Father

Rebekah – Isaac’s wife

Leah – Jacob’s wife

physicians

Egyptians

dignitaries of court and Egypt

all those in Joseph’s house

Canaanites – witnessed the mourning procession

Ephron (the Hittite) – sold land to Abraham

Ephraim – son of Joseph

Manasseh – son of Joseph

Makir – son of Manasseh

to see Joseph’s family tree, click here

Minor  

none

Interesting facts:

1) You may or may not be familiar with some of the stories in the Bible.  But below is a list of a few of the notable descendants of the sons of Jacob that we will come across in the rest of the Old Testament. We’ll see that the blessings that Jacob gave his sons matches up closely with what these people are known for.

Levi – Aaron, Moses, Eli, John the Baptist
Judah – David, Jesus
Dan – Samson
Napthtali – Barak, Elijah
Gad – Jephthah
Joseph – Joshua, Gideon, Samuel
Benjamin – Saul, Esther, Paul

2) Jacob’s funeral is the largest funeral recorded in the Bible.  The reason for its size would have been because the Egyptians enjoyed large, showy funerals and because they held the father of Joseph in such high regard.  Interestingly, the Egyptians mourned Jacob’s death only 2 days fewer than they would have mourned the death of Pharaoh—they must have VERY highly regarded him!

3) Being in the powerful position that he was, Joseph would have been able to be buried in one of the pyramids or another grand burial-place.  Instead, he asks for his bones to be carried to the Promised Land when God brings them to it.  This shows the great faith and hope that he had in God’s promise to give the sons of Israel that land.

Abram's Journey

The funeral procession is similar to the route of Abraham's return (Logos Bible Software)

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