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December 18, 2020

The last chapter of Genesis shared the royal funeral of Jacob and the death of Joseph. After living in Egypt with his family for seventeen years, Jacob, the patriarch, died, and his son Joseph kept the oath he made to bury him in the land of Canaan in the burial tomb of Abraham and Isaac.

God granted Joseph and his brothers the privilege of being present at Jacob’s passing from life to death. Out of the twelve sons, Joseph was the only one to have an outward display of emotions, for he fell upon his father’s face, wept, and kissed him. Furthermore, Joseph ordered the physicians to embalm his father, and they took the allotted time of forty days to embalm and thirty additional days of mourning. After which, Joseph requested Pharaoh’s permission to fulfill the oath he made to his father to bury him in the land of Canaan.  

With Pharaoh’s approval, the three-hundred-mile journey to Canaan for Jacob’s burial was taken by Joseph, his brothers, their children, their household servants, the servants of Pharaoh, all the Egyptian elders, horseman, and chariots. When this great company of mourners reached the threshing floor of Atad in Canaan with a great expression and lamentation, they mourned seven more days. The Canaanites noted the royal company, the pomp, and mourning and assumed the funeral was for royalty. Joseph and his brethren continued to the Machpelah burial cave and laid their father to rest.                                               

Apparently, after all these years, the guilt over their attempt to get rid of Joseph still lingered in the minds of the brother, and now, they were afraid with the death of their father that Joseph would no longer be kind to them. Therefore, after returning to Egypt, they sent him a message suggesting their father wanted him to forgive them. This saddened Joseph and made him weep. His brother followed up by going to see Joseph, and once again, the brothers prostrated themselves before him. Joseph kindly and reassuringly said to them, “Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones.”

Joseph lived fifty-four years more after his father’s death, and he was able to share his life with his sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As his death drew near, Joseph reassured his family that they would return to Canaan, and he made them pledge to take his bones with them when they departed Egypt. The last verse in the book of Genesis, which chronicled the end of Joseph’s life, states, “So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”

As I end this thirteen-blog series on the life of Joseph, I pray the teaching, nuggets, and points that I’ve made has aided you in your Christian walk. I close as I did in the previous blogs of this series with a few nuggets that I think are helpful for all of us to remember:

  1. Saying farewell to a loved one can be extremely emotional.
  2. People handle death differently; don’t expect the same emotions from everyone.
  3. When able follow a person’s burial instructions.
  4. When people respect and appreciate you, they will grant your request.
  5. Don’t forget or neglect your duties after periods of mourning.
  6. Guilt sometimes lingers even after receiving forgiveness.
  7. Guilt is not easily erased.
  8. Guilt makes you question the actions and motives of others.
  9. When you are guiltless, you can be fearless.
  10. When you have truly forgiven someone, you do not plan retaliation.
  11. Let brotherly love transcend revenge.
  12. What the enemy meant for your destruction God will use for your good.
  13. The purpose and plan of God will prevail.
  14. When you can bless your family, do so.
  15. Share your burial instructions with persons who are capable of honoring them.


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