1Joseph started crying, then leaned over to hug and kiss his father.
2Joseph gave orders for Jacob's body to be embalmed, 3and it took the usual 40 days.
The Egyptians mourned 70 days for Jacob. 4When the time of mourning was over, Joseph said to the Egyptian leaders, “If you consider me your friend, please speak to the king#50.4 the king: See the note at 12.15. for me. 5#Gn 47.29-31. Just before my father died, he made me promise to bury him in his burial cave in Canaan. If the king will give me permission to go, I will come back here.”
6The king answered, “Go to Canaan and keep your promise to your father.”
7-9When Joseph left Goshen with his brothers, his relatives, and his father's relatives to bury Jacob, many of the king's highest officials and even his military chariots and cavalry went along. The Israelites left behind only their children, their cattle, and their sheep and goats.
10After crossing the Jordan River, Joseph stopped at Atad's threshing place, where they all mourned and wept seven days for Jacob. 11The Canaanites saw this and said, “The Egyptians are in great sorrow.” Then they named the place “Egypt in Sorrow.”#50.11 Egypt in Sorrow: Or “Abel-Mizraim.”
12So Jacob's sons did just as their father had instructed. 13#Ac 7.16. They took him to Mamre in Canaan and buried him in Machpelah Cave, the burial place Abraham had bought from Ephron the Hittite.
14After the funeral, Joseph, his brothers, and everyone else returned to Egypt.
Joseph's Promise to His Brothers
15After Jacob died, Joseph's brothers said to each other, “What if Joseph still hates us and wants to get even with us for all the cruel things we did to him?”
16So they sent this message to Joseph:
Before our father died, 17he told us, “You did some cruel and terrible things to Joseph, but you must ask him to forgive you.”
Now we ask you to please forgive the terrible things we did. After all, we serve the same God that your father worshiped.
When Joseph heard this, he started crying.
18Right then, Joseph's brothers came and bowed down to the ground in front of him and said, “We are your slaves.”
19But Joseph told them, “Don't be afraid! I have no right to change what God has decided. 20You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best, so that he could save all these people, as he is now doing. 21Don't be afraid! I will take care of you and your children.” After Joseph said this, his brothers felt much better.
22Joseph lived in Egypt with his brothers until he died at the age of 110. 23Joseph lived long enough to see Ephraim's children and grandchildren. He also lived to see the children of Manasseh's son Machir, and he welcomed them into his family. 24Before Joseph died, he told his brothers, “I won't live much longer. But God will take care of you and lead you out of Egypt to the land he promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25#Ex 13.19; Js 24.32; He 11.22. Now promise me that you will take my body with you when God leads you to that land.”
26So Joseph died in Egypt at the age of 110; his body was embalmed and put in a coffin.
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B'resheet (Gen) 50
1Yosef fell on his father’s face, wept over him and kissed him. 2Then Yosef ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Isra’el. 3Forty days were spent at this, the normal amount of time for embalming. Then the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4When the period of mourning was over, Yosef addressed to the household of Pharaoh: “I would like to ask a favor. Tell Pharaoh, 5‘My father had me swear an oath. He said, “I am going to die. You are to bury me in my grave, which I dug for myself in the land of Kena‘an.” Therefore, I beg you, let me go up and bury my father; I will return.’” 6Pharaoh responded, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”
7So Yosef went up to bury his father. With him went all Pharaoh’s servants, the leaders of his household and the leaders of the land of Egypt, 8along with the entire household of Yosef, his brothers and his father’s household; only their little ones, their flocks and their cattle did they leave in the land of Goshen. 9Moreover, there went up with him both chariots and horsemen — it was a very large caravan.
10When they arrived at the threshing-floor in Atad, beyond the Yarden, they raised a loud and bitter lamentation, mourning for his father seven days. 11When the local inhabitants, the Kena‘ani, saw the mourning on the floor of Atad they said, “How bitterly the Egyptians are mourning!” This is why the place was given the name Avel-Mitzrayim [mourning of Egypt], there beyond the Yarden.
12His sons did to him as he had ordered them to do — 13they carried him into the land of Kena‘an and buried him in the cave in the field of Makhpelah, which Avraham had bought, along with the field, as a burial-place belonging to him, from ‘Efron the Hitti, by Mamre.
14Then, after burying his father, Yosef returned to Egypt, he, his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
15Realizing that their father was dead, Yosef’s brothers said, “Yosef may hate us now and pay us back in full for all the suffering we caused him.” 16So they sent a message to Yosef which said, “Your father gave this order before he died: 17‘Say to Yosef, “I beg you now, please forgive your brothers’ crime and wickedness in doing you harm.”’ So now, we beg of you, forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Yosef wept when they spoke to him; 18and his brothers too came, prostrated themselves before him and said, “Here, we are your slaves.” 19But Yosef said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20You meant to do me harm, but God meant it for good — so that it would come about as it is today, with many people’s lives being saved. (vii) 21So don’t be afraid — I will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he comforted them, speaking kindly to them.
22Yosef continued living in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Yosef lived 110 years. (Maftir) 23Yosef lived to see Efrayim’s great-grandchildren, and the children of M’nasheh’s son Makhir were born on Yosef’s knees.
24Yosef said to his brothers, “I am dying. But God will surely remember you and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.” 25Then Yosef took an oath from the sons of Isra’el: “God will surely remember you, and you are to carry my bones up from here.” 26So Yosef died at the age of 110, and they embalmed him and put him in a coffin in Egypt.
Haftarah Vayechi: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 2:1–12
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Vayechi: Acts 7:9–16 (specifically vv. 15–16); Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:21–22; 1 Kefa (1 Peter) 1:3–9; 2:11–17
Hazak, hazak, v’nit’chazek!
Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!
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