וַיִּפֹּל יֹוסֵף עַל־פְּנֵי אָבִיו וַיֵּבְךְּ עָלָיו וַיִּשַּׁק־לֹו 50:1
Gene. 50:1 And Joseph fell on the face of his father and wept over him and kissed him.
וַיְצַו יֹוסֵף אֶת־עֲבָדָיו אֶת־הָרֹפְאִים לַחֲנֹט אֶת־אָבִיו וַיַּחַנְטוּ הָרֹפְאִים אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל 50:2
Gene. 50:2 And Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel.
וַיִּמְלְאוּ־לֹו אַרְבָּעִים יֹום כִּי כֵּן יִמְלְאוּ יְמֵי הַחֲנֻטִים וַיִּבְכּוּ אֹתֹו מִצְרַיִם שִׁבְעִים יֹום 50:3
Gene. 50:3 And forty days were fulfilled for him, for so the days of embalming would have to be fulfilled, and the Egyptians mourned him seventy days. [Return to Numb. 29:34]
וַיַּעַבְרוּ יְמֵי בְכִיתֹו וַיְדַבֵּר יֹוסֵף אֶל־בֵּית פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֵיכֶם דַּבְּרוּ־נָא בְּאָזְנֵי 50:4
Gene. 50:4 When the days of his mourning were passed, then Joseph spoke to the house of Pharoah saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharoah saying,
אָבִי הִשְׁבִּיעַנִי לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מֵת בְּקִבְרִי אֲשֶׁר כָּרִיתִי לִי בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן שָׁמָּה תִּקְבְּרֵנִי וְעַתָּה 50:5
אֶעֱלֶה־נָּא וְאֶקְבְּרָה אֶת־אָבִי וְאָשׁוּבָה
Gene. 50:5 ‘My father made me swear saying, ‘I am dying now. In my grave that I have dug for me in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.’ So now please let me go up and let me bury my father. Then I will return.’”
There are two words with non-inverting vav prefixes in this verse. They are the fourth from the last and the last in the verse, וְאֶקְבְּרָה, and וְאָשׁוּבָה, translated respectively as and let me bury and Then I will return. Both verbs are first-person imperfect.
וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה עֲלֵה וּקְבֹר אֶת־אָבִיךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר הִשְׁבִּיעֶךָ 50:6
Gene. 50:6 And Pharoah said, “Go up and bury your father according to your oath.”
וַיַּעַל יֹוסֵף לִקְבֹּר אֶת־אָבִיו וַיַּעֲלוּ אִתֹּו כָּל־עַבְדֵי פַרְעֹה זִקְנֵי בֵיתֹו וְכֹל זִקְנֵי אֶרֶץ־מִצְרָיִם 50:7
Gene. 50:7 So Joseph went up to bury his father and all the servants of Pharoah went up with him, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
וְכֹל בֵּית יֹוסֵף וְאֶחָיו וּבֵית אָבִיו רַק טַפָּם וְצֹאנָם וּבְקָרָם עָזְבוּ בְּאֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן 50:8
Gene. 50:8 and all the house of Joseph, and his brothers, and the house of his father. They left only their children and their sheep and their cattle in the land of Goshen.
וַיַּעַל עִמֹּו גַּם־רֶכֶב גַּם־פָּרָשִׁים וַיְהִי הַמַּחֲנֶה כָּבֵד מְאֹד 50:9
Gene. 50:9 And both chariot and horsemen went up with them, and it was a very great company.
וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד־גֹּרֶן הָאָטָד אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיִּסְפְּדוּ־שָׁם מִסְפֵּד גָּדֹול וְכָבֵד מְאֹד וַיַּעַשׂ לְאָבִיו אֵבֶל 50:10
Gene. 50:10 And they came up to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and they wailed there a great and very sore wailing. And he observed seven days of mourning for his father.
וַיַּרְא יֹושֵׁב הָאָרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי אֶת־הָאֵבֶל בְּגֹרֶן הָאָטָד וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵבֶל־כָּבֵד זֶה לְמִצְרָיִם עַל־כֵּן 50:11
קָרָא שְׁמָה אָבֵל מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן
Gene. 50:11 When a Canaanite inhabitant of the land saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, then they said, “This is a grievous mourning for the Egyptians.” Therefore its name is called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
The name Abel-mizraim may mean Meadow of Egypt or Mourning Place of the Egyptians.
וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בָנָיו לֹו כֵּן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּם 50:12
Gene. 50:12 So his sons did for him just as he had commanded them,
וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֹתֹו בָנָיו אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתֹו בִּמְעָרַת שְׂדֵה הַמַּכְפֵּלָה אֲשֶׁר קָנָה אַבְרָהָם אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶה 50:13
לַאֲחֻזַּת־קֶבֶר מֵאֵת עֶפְרֹן הַחִתִּי עַל־פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא
Gene. 50:13 that his sons had carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, the field that Abraham had bought for a possession of a grave from Ephron, the Hittite, before Mamre.
וַיָּשָׁב יֹוסֵף מִצְרַיְמָה הוּא וְאֶחָיו וְכָל־הָעֹלִים אִתֹּו לִקְבֹּר אֶת־אָבִיו אַחֲרֵי קָבְרֹו אֶת־אָבִיו 50:14
Gene. 50:14 Then Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father, after his burying his father.
וַיִּרְאוּ אֲחֵי־יֹוסֵף כִּי־מֵת אֲבִיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוּ יִשְׂטְמֵנוּ יֹוסֵף וְהָשֵׁב יָשִׁיב לָנוּ אֵת כָּל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר 50:15
Gene. 50:15 When the brothers of Joseph had considered that their father was dead, then they said in regard to it, “Joseph will show animosity to us and fully return to us all the evil that we dealt him.”
וַיְצַוּוּ אֶל־יֹוסֵף לֵאמֹר אָבִיךָ צִוָּה לִפְנֵי מֹותֹו לֵאמֹר 50:16
Gene. 50:16 So they gave charge to Joseph saying, “Your father commanded before his death saying,
כֹּה־תֹאמְרוּ לְיֹוסֵף אָנָּא שָׂא נָא פֶּשַׁע אַחֶיךָ וְחַטָּאתָם כִּי־רָעָה גְמָלוּךָ וְעַתָּה שָׂא נָא לְפֶשַׁע עַבְדֵי 50:17
אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ וַיֵּבְךְּ יֹוסֵף בְּדַבְּרָם אֵלָיו
Gene. 50:17 ‘So shall you say to Joseph, ‘Now forgive, please, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, that evil they dealt you.’ So now forgive, please, for the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept during their speaking to him.
וַיֵּלְכוּ גַּם־אֶחָיו וַיִּפְּלוּ לְפָנָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ הִנֶּנּוּ לְךָ לַעֲבָדִים 50:18
Gene. 50:18 And his brothers also came and they fell down before him and said, “Behold, we shall be your bondsmen.”
וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יֹוסֵף אַל־תִּירָאוּ כִּי הֲתַחַת אֱלֹהִים אָנִי 50:19
Gene. 50:19 And Joseph, said to them, “You need not fear. For am I in place of God?”
וְאַתֶּם חֲשַׁבְתֶּם עָלַי רָעָה אֱלֹהִים חֲשָׁבָהּ לְטֹבָה לְמַעַן עֲשֹׂה כַּיֹּום הַזֶּה לְהַחֲיֹת עַם־רָב 50:20
Gene. 50:20 “While you devised evil against me, God meant it for good, in order to bring about as this day, to save the lives of many people.”
In this verse we witness that we are servants of God, whether wittingly or unwittingly. God uses our free-will actions for His own goal. I see this as a very profound truth about our world that we can all learn.
וְעַתָּה אַל־תִּירָאוּ אָנֹכִי אֲכַלְכֵּל אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת־טַפְּכֶם וַיְנַחֵם אֹותָם וַיְדַבֵּר עַל־לִבָּם 50:21
Gene. 50:21 “So now, do not fear. I will sustain you and your children.” So he comforted them and spoke to them lovingly.
וַיֵּשֶׁב יֹוסֵף בְּמִצְרַיִם הוּא וּבֵית אָבִיו וַיְחִי יֹוסֵף מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים 50:22
Gene. 50:22 And Joseph dwelled in Egypt, he and the house of his father, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. [Return to Exod. 1:8]
וַיַּרְא יֹוסֵף לְאֶפְרַיִם בְּנֵי שִׁלֵּשִׁים גַּם בְּנֵי מָכִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה יֻלְּדוּ עַל־בִּרְכֵּי יֹוסֵף 50:23
Gene. 50:23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation. Even the children of Machir son of Menasseh were brought forth onto the knees of Joseph.
וַיֹּאמֶר יֹוסֵף אֶל־אֶחָיו אָנֹכִי מֵת וֵאלֹהִים פָּקֹד יִפְקֹד אֶתְכֶם וְהֶעֱלָה אֶתְכֶם מִן־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת אֶל־ 50:24
הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב
Gene. 50:24 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying, but God will surely remember you, and He will bring you up from this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
וַיַּשְׁבַּע יֹוסֵף אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד יִפְקֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶתְכֶם וְהַעֲלִתֶם אֶת־עַצְמֹתַי מִזֶּה 50:25
Gene. 50:25 And Joseph made the children of Israel swear saying, “Surely God will visit you. Then you shall carry my body up from here.” [Return to Exod. 13:19]
וַיָּמָת יֹוסֵף בֶּן־מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים וַיַּחַנְטוּ אֹתֹו וַיִּישֶׂם בָּאָרֹון בְּמִצְרָיִם 50:26
Gene. 50:26 So Joseph died one hundred and ten years of age, and they embalmed him and he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
What is the meaning of vss. 50:24 and 50:25, of the statements “God will surely remember you” and “Surely God will visit you?” Why didn’t he tell his brothers to take his body “up from here” as they had Jacob’s soon after he had died? Notice that in v. 50:24 Joseph is addressing his brothers, but in v. 50:25, he is addressing the children of Israel. It seems to me that he was not talking to his brothers then, but to a future generation. Had Joseph foreseen the future again, as he had before? Did he see the slavery that was to come upon his descendants? Or are we merely seeing the scribe’s trait of hinting at future events?
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