Genesis 50

* The mourning for Jacob. (1-6) His funeral. (7-14) Joseph's

brethren crave his pardon, He comforts them. (15-21) Joseph's

direction concerning his bones, His death. (22-26)

1-6 Though pious relatives and friends have lived to a good old

age, and we are confident they are gone to glory, yet we may

regret our own loss, and pay respect to their memory by

lamenting them. Grace does not destroy, but it purifies,

moderates, and regulates natural affection. The departed soul is

out of the reach of any tokens of our affection; but it is

proper to show respect to the body, of which we look for a

glorious and joyful resurrection, whatever may become of its

remains in this world. Thus Joseph showed his faith in God, and

love to his father. He ordered the body to be embalmed, or

wrapped up with spices, to preserve it. See how vile our bodies

are, when the soul has forsaken them; they will in a very little

time become noisome, and offensive.
7-14 Jacob's body was attended, not only by his own family, but

by the great men of Egypt. Now that they were better acquainted

with the Hebrews, they began to respect them. Professors of

religion should endeavour by wisdom and love to remove the

prejudices many have against them. Standers-by took notice of it

as a grievous mourning. The death of good men is a loss to any

place, and ought to be greatly lamented.
15-21 Various motives might cause the sons of Jacob to continue

in Egypt, notwithstanding the prophetic vision Abraham had of

their bondage there. Judging of Joseph from the general temper

of human nature, they thought he would now avenge himself on

those who hated and injured him without cause. Not being able to

resist, or to flee away, they attempted to soften him by

humbling themselves. They pleaded with him as the servants of

Jacob's God. Joseph was much affected at seeing this complete

fulfilment of his dreams. He directs them not to fear him, but

to fear God; to humble themselves before the Lord, and to seek

the Divine forgiveness. He assures them of his own kindness to

them. See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of

him to render good for evil. He comforted them, and, to banish

all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must be

bound up and encouraged. Those we love and forgive, we must not

only do well for, but speak kindly to.
22-26 Joseph having honoured his father, his days were long in

the land, which, for the present, God had given him. When he saw

his death approaching, he comforted his brethren with the

assurance of their return to Canaan in due time. We must comfort

others with the same comforts with which we have been comforted

of God, and encourage them to rest on the promises which are our

support. For a confession of his own faith, and a confirmation

of theirs, he charges them to keep his remains unburied till

that glorious day, when they should be settled in the land of

promise. Thus Joseph, by faith in the doctrine of the

resurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave commandment

concerning his bones. This would keep up their expectation of a

speedy departure from Egypt, and keep Canaan continually in

their minds. This would also attach Joseph's posterity to their

brethren. The death, as well as the life of this eminent saint,

was truly excellent; both furnish us with strong encouragement

to persevere in the service of God. How happy to set our early

in the heavenly race, to continue stedfastly, and to finish the

course with joy! This Joseph did, this we also may do. Even when

the pains of death are upon us, if we have trusted in Him upon

whom the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles depended, we need

not fear to say, "My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the

strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
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