In the last chapter Jacob wished ill will on most of his son’s. The only way that ill will can become reality is God. Chapter 50 brings us some of the aftermath of Jacob’s death.
“So the physicians embalmed him, taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming.” – Genesis 50:2-3
It takes 40 days to embalm someone in biblical times? I realize technology today is far advanced compared to biblical times, but 40 days? In that time the body will have gone through a great deal of decay! Embalming someone at this point defeats the purpose of embalming.
Joseph and his brothers then take their father to be buried in the same place as Abraham and Isaac. As expected of anyone, a great amount of grieving and mourning takes place. Joseph’s brothers are afraid that he will punish them now that Jacob is dead. Joseph reassures them this is not the case.
“Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children.” – Genesis 50:22-23
God finally holds true to his oath with Noah in Genesis 6. Joseph lives a very long life, probably not possible in a time of no advanced medicine, but below the 120 year age limit God set for man.
“Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.’ So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.” – Genesis 50:24-26
If God really wants these people to have this land, why doesn’t he give it to them? It would be one thing for someone to suffer for a while and then receive the reward of this land, but most of these people suffer and die without seeing the land God has set aside. God is just toying with these people right now and they are buying right into it.
That concludes Genesis Chapter 50 (and the end of Genesis!!!). Joseph reassures his brothers he won’t harm them and then passes away at the ripe old age of 110.
Coming Soon: Exodus – Chapter 1: The Israelites Oppressed