New English Translation
The Burials of Jacob and Joseph
50 Then Joseph hugged his father’s face.[a] He wept over him and kissed him. 2 Joseph instructed the physicians in his service[b] to embalm his father, so the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 They took forty days, for that is the full time needed for embalming.[c] The Egyptians mourned for[d] him seventy days.[e]
4 When the days of mourning[f] had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s royal court,[g] “If I have found favor in your sight, please say to Pharaoh,[h] 5 ‘My father made me swear an oath. He said,[i] “I am about to die. Bury me[j] in my tomb that I dug for myself there in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go and bury my father; then I will return.’” 6 So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father, just as he made you swear to do.”[k]
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; all Pharaoh’s officials went with him—the senior courtiers[l] of his household, all the senior officials of the land of Egypt, 8 all Joseph’s household, his brothers, and his father’s household. But they left their little children and their flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him, so it was a very large entourage.[m]
10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad[n] on the other side of the Jordan, they mourned there with very great and bitter sorrow.[o] There Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a very sad occasion[p] for the Egyptians.” That is why its name was called[q] Abel Mizraim,[r] which is beyond the Jordan.
12 So the sons of Jacob did for him just as he had instructed them. 13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the field Abraham purchased as a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After he buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, along with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to bury his father.
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge and wants to repay[s] us in full[t] for all the harm[u] we did to him?” 16 So they sent word[v] to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave these instructions before he died: 17 ‘Tell Joseph this: Please forgive the sin of your brothers and the wrong they did when they treated you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sin of the servants of the God of your father.” When this message was reported to him, Joseph wept.[w] 18 Then his brothers also came and threw themselves down before him; they said, “Here we are; we are your slaves.” 19 But Joseph answered them, “Don’t be afraid. Am[x] I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant to harm me,[y] but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day.[z] 21 So now, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your little children.” Then he consoled them and spoke kindly to them.[aa]
22 Joseph lived in Egypt, along with his father’s family.[ab] Joseph lived 110 years. 23 Joseph saw the descendants of Ephraim to the third generation.[ac] He also saw the children of Makir the son of Manasseh; they were given special inheritance rights by Joseph.[ad]
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to you[ae] and lead you up from this land to the land he swore on oath to give[af] to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25 Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He said, “God will surely come to you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place.” 26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. After[ag] they embalmed him, his body[ah] was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
- Genesis 50:1 tn Heb “fell on.” The expression describes Joseph’s unrestrained sorrow over Jacob’s death; he probably threw himself across the body and embraced his father.
- Genesis 50:2 tn Heb “his servants the physicians.”
- Genesis 50:3 tn Heb “and forty days were fulfilled for him, for thus are fulfilled the days of embalming.”
- Genesis 50:3 tn Heb “wept for.”
- Genesis 50:3 sn Seventy days. This probably refers to a time of national mourning.
- Genesis 50:4 tn Heb “weeping.”
- Genesis 50:4 tn Heb “the house of Pharaoh.”
- Genesis 50:4 tn Heb “in the ears of Pharaoh.”
- Genesis 50:5 tn Heb “saying.”
- Genesis 50:5 tn The imperfect verbal form here has the force of a command.
- Genesis 50:6 tn Heb “he made you swear on oath.”
- Genesis 50:7 tn Or “dignitaries”; Heb “elders.”
- Genesis 50:9 tn Heb “camp.”
- Genesis 50:10 sn The location of the threshing floor of Atad is not certain. The expression the other side of the Jordan could refer to the eastern or western bank, depending on one’s perspective. However, it is commonly used in the OT for Transjordan. This would suggest that the entourage came up the Jordan Valley and crossed into the land at Jericho, just as the Israelites would in the time of Joshua.
- Genesis 50:10 tn Heb “and they mourned there [with] very great and heavy mourning.” The cognate accusative, as well as the two adjectives and the adverb, emphasize the degree of their sorrow.
- Genesis 50:11 tn Heb “this is heavy mourning for Egypt.”
- Genesis 50:11 tn The verb has no expressed subject and so it may be translated as passive.
- Genesis 50:11 sn The name Abel Mizraim means “the mourning of Egypt.”
- Genesis 50:15 tn The imperfect tense could be a simple future; it could also have a desiderative nuance.
- Genesis 50:15 tn The infinitive absolute makes the statement emphatic, “repay in full.”
- Genesis 50:15 tn Or “evil.”
- Genesis 50:16 tn The verb means “command,” but they would hardly be commanding him. It probably means they sent their father’s instructions to Joseph.
- Genesis 50:17 tn Heb “and Joseph wept when they spoke to him.”
- Genesis 50:19 tn Heb “For am I.”
- Genesis 50:20 tn Heb “you devised against me evil.”
- Genesis 50:20 tn Heb “God devised it for good in order to do, like this day, to preserve alive a great nation.”
- Genesis 50:21 tn Heb “spoke to their heart.”
- Genesis 50:22 tn Heb “he and the house of his father.”
- Genesis 50:23 tn Heb “saw Ephraim, the children of the third.”
- Genesis 50:23 tn Heb “generation. Also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on the knees of Joseph.” The expression "born on the knees" implies their adoption by Joseph, which meant that they received an inheritance from him.
- Genesis 50:24 tn The verb פָּקַד (paqad) means “to visit,” i.e., to intervene for blessing or cursing; here Joseph announces that God would come to fulfill the promises by delivering them from Egypt. The statement is emphasized by the use of the infinitive absolute with the verb: “God will surely visit you.”
- Genesis 50:24 tn The words “to give” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
- Genesis 50:26 tn Heb “son of a hundred and ten years.”
- Genesis 50:26 tn Heb “he.”