Gen Ex Lev Num Deut Josh Judg Ruth 1 Sam 2 Sam 1 Ki 2 Ki 1 Chron 2 Chron Ezra Neh Tob Jdt Esth Job Ps Prov Eccles Song Wis Sir Isa Jer Lam Bar Ezek Dan Hos Joel Amos Obad Jon Mic Nah Hab Zeph Hag Zech Mal 1 Mac 2 Mac
AND when Joseph saw this, he fell upon his father's face weeping and kissing him.

Ver. 1.  Kissing him, as it was then the custom, in testimony of an ardent affection.  M.

2 And he commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father.

Ver. 2.  Physicians, whose business it was to embalm dead bodies, with a composition of myrrh, &c. in order to keep them from putrefaction, (M.) as the Egyptian mummies are treated.  H.

 

--- The entrails are taken out, &c. by the embalmer during 30 days, and the body is left in salt and various drugs, for other 40, in all 70 days, as Herodotus informs us, (B. xi. 86,) and as Moses here insinuates, v. 3.  This was an honour peculiar to the kings.  Before any person was buried, his praises were rehearsed; and it was lawful on this occasion to declare, what evil even the kings themselves had done; which sometimes caused them to be deprived of funeral honours.  We have several funeral canticles preserved in Scripture, 2 K. i. 18. iii. 33.  2 Par. xxxv. 25.  C.

 

--- The Lamentations of Jeremias were perhaps of this nature, on the death of K. Josias.  The usual time for mourning among the Jews, was 30 days for people of eminence, (Num. xx.  Deut. xxxiv. 8.  Procopius) and seven for the rest.  Eccli. xxii. 13.  H.


3 And while they were fulfilling his commands, there passed forty days: for this was the manner with bodies that were embalmed, and Egypt mourned for him seventy days.


4 And the time of the mourning being expired, Joseph spoke to the family of Pharao: If I have found favour in your sight, speak in the ears of Pharao:

Ver. 4.  Expired.  Before the corpse was interred, Joseph could not lay aside his mourning attire, in which it was not lawful to appear at court.  C.


5 For my father made me swear to him, saying: Behold I die: thou shalt bury me in my sepulchre which I have digged for myself in the land of Chanaan. So I will go up and bury my father, and return.

Ver. 5.  Digged, in the sepulchre which Abraham had purchased.  This circumstance, and the exact words here used by Joseph, are not mentioned elsewhere.  H.



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6 And Pharao said to him: Go up and bury thy father according as he made thee swear. 7 So he went up, and there went with him all the ancients of Pharao's house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,

Ver. 7.  Ancients; chief officers.  C.

 

--- This is a name of dignity; like our aldermen.  H.




8 And the house of Joseph with his brethren, except their children, and their flocks and herds, which they left in the land of Gessen.


9 He had also in his train chariots and horsemen: and it was it great company. 10 And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is situated beyond the Jordan: where celebrating the exequies with a great and vehement lamentation, they spent full seven days.

Ver. 10.  Atad, which was so called, from being encompassed with thorns.  C.

 

--- Beyond; with relation to Moses, (H.) or on the west side of the Jordan.  C.



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11 And when the inhabitants of Chanaan saw this, they said: This is a great mourning to the Egyptians. And therefore the name of that place was called, The mourning of Egypt.

Ver. 11.  Mourning: Heb. "Ebel Mitsraim beyond the Jordan."  On this occasion they fasted till the evening: perhaps they also cut their flesh and plucked their hair, according to the manners of the Egyptians, which customs (Lev. xix. 28.  Deut. xiv. 1.) were prohibited to the Jews. T.




12 So the sons of Jacob did as he had commanded them.
13 And carrying him into the land of Chanaan, they buried him in the double cave which Abraham had bought together with the field for a possession of a buryingplace, of Ephron the Hethite over against Mambre.

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14 And Joseph returned into Egypt with his brethren, and all that were in his company, after he had buried his father.


15 Now he being dead, his brethren were afraid, and talked one with another: Lest perhaps he should remember the wrong he suffered, and requite us all the evil that we did to him. 16 And they sent a message to him, saying: Thy father commanded us before he died,

Ver. 16.  A message; perhaps by Benjamin.  M.

 

--- They hope thus to obtain pardon for the sake of their deceased father, and for the sake of their common God.


17 That we should say thus much to thee from him: I beseech thee to forget the wickedness of thy brethren, and the sin and malice they practiced against thee: we also pray thee, to forgive the servants of the God of thy father this wickedness. And when Joseph heard this, he wept.

Ver. 17.  Wept, that they should entertain no doubts respecting the reconciliation, which had taken place seventeen years before. H.


18 And his brethren came to him: and worshipping prostrate on the ground they said: We are thy servants. 19 And he answered them: Fear not: can we resist the will of God?

Ver. 19.  Resist, &c.  Heb. "Am I not subject to God; or, Am I a God," to oppose his will.  Sept. "I belong to the Lord."  You see that your designs against me have turned to our mutual advantage.  Can I, therefore, think of punishing you?  Repent, and obtain pardon of God: I certainly forgive you.  H.

 

--- Thus God drew good out of the evil, in which he had no share.

 

--- S. Aug. de C. D. xiv. 27.  S. Chrys. hom. 67.


20 You thought evil against me: but God turned it into good, that he might exalt me, as at present you see, and might save many people.

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21 Fear not: I will feed you and your children. And he comforted them, and spoke gently and mildly.

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22 And he dwelt in Egypt with all his father's house: and lived a hundred and ten years. And he saw the children of Ephraim to the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasses were born on Joseph's knees.

Ver. 22.  And ten; consequently he had been governor of all the land eighty years; God having made him abundant recompense, even in this world, for a transient disgrace!  H.

 

--- Knees.  Joseph adopted the only son of Machir.  See C. xxx. 3.; or, according to the Samaritan, "in the days of Joseph" he was born.  C.



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23 After which he told his brethren: God will visit you after my death, and will make you go up out of this land, to the land which he swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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24 And he made them swear to him, saying: God will visit you, carry my bones with you out of this place:

Ver. 24.  Visit you with various persecutions; or will fulfil his promises.

 

--- Carry my bones.  He would have them to keep his bones till the time of their departure, as an earnest that they should certainly obtain the land of Chanaan; and thus his bones were visited, and after death, they prophesied.  Eccli. xlix. 18.  Perhaps the Egyptians would have been offended, (W.) if the corpse of Joseph had been removed out of the country immediately, as that of Jacob was; and they might have taken occasion hence to envy and persecute his brethren.  H.



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25 And he died being a hundred and ten years old. And being embalmed he was laid in a coffin in Egypt.

Ver. 25.  Embalmed, like the Egyptian momies, or mummies, which is a Persian word, signifying a dried corpse.  Some of them are very magnificent, adorned with golden letters and hieroglyphics, various bandages, &c.  They are laid in coffins. Some pretend that Joseph was afterwards adored in Egypt, under the names of Serapis and Osiris: but the grounds of this supposition are only a few uncertain etymologies and emblems, which might agree with him as well as with those modern deities: (C.) at least it does not at all appear probable, that he was adored in Egypt before the departure of the Israelites, as the king who persecuted them did not know Joseph.  Ex. i. 8.  His greatest glory was, to have prefigured Jesus Christ in so wonderful a manner during the course of his life, and to have been replenished with all the graces which could form the character of a great man and a saint.  Some think, that the history of Joseph has been imitated in the fable of Proteus, or Cetes, king of Egypt.  See the True Hist. of Fabulous Times, by Juerin du Roche, a virtuous and learned ecclesiastic, who ws put to death for his faith, at Paris, Sept. 8, 1792.  See also Rollin's Abridgment.  H.




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