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Genesis 50

50
1Joseph threw himself on his father’s body. He wept over him and kissed him. 2Then Joseph talked to the doctors who served him. He told them to prepare the body of his father Israel to be buried. So the doctors prepared it. 3They took 40 days to do it. They needed that much time to prepare a body in the right way. The Egyptians mourned for Jacob 70 days.
4After the days of sadness had passed, Joseph went to Pharaoh’s officials. He said to them, “If you are pleased with me, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, 5‘My father made me give my word to him. He said, “I’m about to die. Bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” So let me go there and bury my father. Then I’ll come back.’ ”
6Pharaoh said, “Go there and bury your father. Do what he made you promise to do.”
7So Joseph went to Canaan to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials went with him. They were the important people of his court and all the leaders of Egypt. 8Joseph’s family also went. His brothers and all the rest of his father’s family went. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. 9Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large group.
10They came to Atad, a place where grain was processed. It was near the Jordan River. There they sobbed loudly and bitterly. Joseph set apart seven days of sadness to honor his father’s memory. 11The Canaanites living in that area saw how sad all of them were. They said, “The Egyptians are having a very special service for the dead.” That’s why that place near the Jordan River is called Abel of the Egyptians.
12So Jacob’s sons did exactly as he had commanded them. 13They carried his body to the land of Canaan. They buried it in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre. Abraham had bought the cave as a place where he could bury his wife’s body. He had bought the cave and the field from Ephron, the Hittite. 14After Joseph buried his father, he went back to Egypt. His brothers and all the others who had gone to help him bury his father went back with him.
Joseph Calms His Brothers’ Fears
15Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers were worried. They said, “Remember all the bad things we did to Joseph? What if he decides to hold those things against us? What if he pays us back for them?” 16So they sent a message to Joseph. They said, “Your father gave us directions before he died. 17He said, ‘Here’s what you must say to Joseph. Tell him, “I’m asking you to forgive your brothers. Forgive the terrible things they did to you. Forgive them for treating you so badly.” ’ Now then, please forgive our sins. We serve the God of your father.” When their message came to Joseph, he wept.
18Then his brothers came and threw themselves down in front of him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Do you think I’m God? 20You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives. 21So then, don’t be afraid. I’ll provide for you and your children.” He calmed their fears. And he spoke in a kind way to them.
Joseph Dies
22Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived 110 years. 23He lived long enough to see Ephraim’s children and grandchildren. When the children of Makir were born, they were placed on Joseph’s knees and counted as his own children. Makir was the son of Manasseh.
24Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m about to die. But God will surely come to help you. He’ll take you up out of this land. He’ll bring you to the land he promised to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25Joseph made the Israelites promise him. He said, “God will surely come to help you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
26So Joseph died at the age of 110. They prepared his body to be buried. Then he was placed in a casket 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!