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Genesis 50

50
Jacob’s Burial
1When Jacob died, Joseph hugged his father and cried over him and kissed him. 2He commanded the doctors who served him to prepare his father’s body, so the doctors prepared Jacob’s body to be buried. 3It took the doctors forty days to prepare his body (the usual time it took). And the Egyptians had a time of sorrow for Jacob that lasted seventy days.
4When this time of sorrow had ended, Joseph spoke to the king’s officers and said, “If you think well of me, please tell this to the king: 5‘When my father was near death, I made a promise to him that I would bury him in a cave in the land of Canaan, in a burial place that he cut out for himself. So please let me go and bury my father, and then I will return.’ ”
6The king answered, “Keep your promise. Go and bury your father.”
7So Joseph went to bury his father. All the king’s officers, the elders of his court, and all the elders of Egypt went with Joseph. 8Everyone who lived with Joseph and his brothers went with him, as well as everyone who lived with his father. They left only their children, their flocks, and their herds in the land of Goshen. 9They went with Joseph in chariots and on horses. It was a very large group.
10When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan River, they cried loudly and bitterly for his father. Joseph’s time of sorrow continued for seven days. 11The people that lived in Canaan saw the sadness at the threshing floor of Atad and said, “Those Egyptians are showing great sorrow!” So now that place is named Sorrow of the Egyptians.
12So Jacob’s sons did as their father commanded. 13They carried his body to the land of Canaan and buried it in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre. Abraham had bought this cave and field from Ephron the Hittite to use as a burial place. 14After Joseph buried his father, he returned to Egypt, along with his brothers and everyone who had gone with him to bury his father.
The Brothers Fear Joseph
15After Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph is still angry with us? We did many wrong things to him. What if he plans to pay us back?” 16So they sent a message to Joseph that said, “Your father gave this command before he died. 17He said to us, ‘You have done wrong and have sinned and done evil to Joseph. Tell Joseph to forgive you, his brothers.’ So now, Joseph, we beg you to forgive our wrong. We are the servants of the God of your father.” When Joseph received the message, he cried.
18And his brothers went to him and bowed low before him and said, “We are your slaves.”
19Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Can I do what only God can do? 20You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done. 21So don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” So Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kind words to them.
22Joseph continued to live in Egypt with all his father’s family. He died when he was one hundred ten years old. 23During Joseph’s life Ephraim had children and grandchildren, and Joseph’s son Manasseh had a son named Makir. Joseph accepted Makir’s children as his own.
The Death of Joseph
24Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will take care of you. He will lead you out of this land to the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25Then Joseph had the sons of Israel make a promise. He said, “Promise me that you will carry my bones with you out of Egypt.”
26Joseph died when he was one hundred ten years old. Doctors prepared his body for burial, and then they put him in a coffin in Egypt.
50
1Yosef fell on his father’s face, wept over him and kissed him. 2Then Yosef ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Isra’el. 3Forty days were spent at this, the normal amount of time for embalming. Then the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4When the period of mourning was over, Yosef addressed to the household of Pharaoh: “I would like to ask a favor. Tell Pharaoh, 5‘My father had me swear an oath. He said, “I am going to die. You are to bury me in my grave, which I dug for myself in the land of Kena‘an.” Therefore, I beg you, let me go up and bury my father; I will return.’” 6Pharaoh responded, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”
7So Yosef went up to bury his father. With him went all Pharaoh’s servants, the leaders of his household and the leaders of the land of Egypt, 8along with the entire household of Yosef, his brothers and his father’s household; only their little ones, their flocks and their cattle did they leave in the land of Goshen. 9Moreover, there went up with him both chariots and horsemen — it was a very large caravan.
10When they arrived at the threshing-floor in Atad, beyond the Yarden, they raised a loud and bitter lamentation, mourning for his father seven days. 11When the local inhabitants, the Kena‘ani, saw the mourning on the floor of Atad they said, “How bitterly the Egyptians are mourning!” This is why the place was given the name Avel-Mitzrayim [mourning of Egypt], there beyond the Yarden.
12His sons did to him as he had ordered them to do — 13they carried him into the land of Kena‘an and buried him in the cave in the field of Makhpelah, which Avraham had bought, along with the field, as a burial-place belonging to him, from ‘Efron the Hitti, by Mamre.
14Then, after burying his father, Yosef returned to Egypt, he, his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
15Realizing that their father was dead, Yosef’s brothers said, “Yosef may hate us now and pay us back in full for all the suffering we caused him.” 16So they sent a message to Yosef which said, “Your father gave this order before he died: 17‘Say to Yosef, “I beg you now, please forgive your brothers’ crime and wickedness in doing you harm.”’ So now, we beg of you, forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Yosef wept when they spoke to him; 18and his brothers too came, prostrated themselves before him and said, “Here, we are your slaves.” 19But Yosef said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20You meant to do me harm, but God meant it for good — so that it would come about as it is today, with many people’s lives being saved. (vii) 21So don’t be afraid — I will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he comforted them, speaking kindly to them.
22Yosef continued living in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Yosef lived 110 years. (Maftir) 23Yosef lived to see Efrayim’s great-grandchildren, and the children of M’nasheh’s son Makhir were born on Yosef’s knees.
24Yosef said to his brothers, “I am dying. But God will surely remember you and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.” 25Then Yosef took an oath from the sons of Isra’el: “God will surely remember you, and you are to carry my bones up from here.” 26So Yosef died at the age of 110, and they embalmed him and put him in a coffin in Egypt.
Haftarah Vayechi: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 2:1–12
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Vayechi: Acts 7:9–16 (specifically vv. 15–16); Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:21–22; 1 Kefa (1 Peter) 1:3–9; 2:11–17
Hazak, hazak, v’nit’chazek!
Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!