The Death of Jacob; Jacob’s Burial; The Death of Joseph

Genesis Chapters 49b-50
I. Observation • Who are the main characters? What do we know about them? • Joseph: • • Joseph’s brothers:


• •

When do the events of this passage take place? • The events of this passage occur at the very end of Jacob’s life (Gen. 49:33). We know from Gen. 47:28 that Jacob lived 147 years and Gen. 47:9 tells us that Jacob was 130 years old when he appeared before Pharaoh after arriving in Egypt. Thus, the events of this passage occur roughly 17 years after Jacob and his people moved to Egypt. Where do the events of this passage take place? • These events take place in Egypt and then move to Canaan, where Jacob is buried by his sons. What is happening? (Summary of Events) • Jacob instructs his sons regarding his burial and then is gathered to his people (Gen. 49:29-33) • Joseph weeps over his father, has him embalmed, and the Egyptians mourned over him for seventy days (50:1-3) • Joseph obtains Pharaoh’s permission to travel to Canaan and bury his father as he promised. Pharaoh agrees to let Joseph go as he promised (50:4-6) • Joseph, his family, household, and all of Pharaoh’s officials travel to Canaan (50:7-9) • When they reached the area near the Jordan, the mourned for seven days and the Canaanites there named the place after the great mourning of the Egyptians (50:10-11) • Joseph and his brothers did as their father asked and buried him in the Cave of Machpelah and afterward they all returned to Egypt. (50:12-14) • Fearing Joseph’s retaliation, his brothers sent him a message that his father had told them to ask for Joseph’s forgiveness, and when Joseph heard this, he wept (50:15-17) • Joseph’s brothers bowed before him as slaves, but Joseph extended his forgiveness to them, citing that even though they intended evil, God used it for good. (50:18-21) • Joseph lived for 110 years and saw Ephraim’s great-grandchildren and Manasseh’s grandchildren (50:22-23) • When he was about to die, Joseph assured his brothers that God would lead them from Egypt and give them the land promised in Canaan. (50:24) • He also made his brothers swear an oath to take his bones from Egypt back to Canaan when God did lead them back. Then Joseph died and was placed in a coffin in Egypt (50:25-26)

II. Interpretation • What principles are illustrated in this passage? What is the main theme? How is God involved in this passage? When/How is God mentioned and by whom?

What’s the difference between and oath and a covenant and what is the significance of each?

What is the status of the blessing at Joseph’s death? How is the end of Joseph’s life different from that of his father’s and blessing-carriers before him? Is this significant? How/Why?

III. Application • Joseph extends grace and forgiveness to his brothers in this passage. How is he able to do this? He realized that God had a bigger plan that included his brothers’ treachery. Are you stuck in a limited view of what God is doing around you or are you seeking to see the big picture? • Promises and Obedience are central themes of Genesis and are demonstrated here again with Joseph’s obedience to his father’s last wishes and with Joseph’s brothers’ promise to him regarding his last wishes. What are some Biblical promises that God has extended to you as his children and are you living in obedience under promises made to him?