The Exodus of Genesis: Genesis 50

After Jacob dies, Joseph fusses over his dead body and orders a ritualistic pagan preparation of the body:

and Joseph commandeth his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, and the physicians embalm Israel;

and they fulfil for him forty days, for so they fulfil the days of the embalmed, and the Egyptians weep for him seventy days.

It looks like Joseph has almost entirely assimilated into the Egyptian culture, which makes sense, I guess, considering that he has spent more time in Egypt than around his own people at this point. However, he does bow to his father’s dying wish to be buried in the shitty place he used to live instead of the wonderful, fertile place where he spent his golden years. He brings a parade of Egyptians with him to Canaan, but leaves his entire family, including all his brothers, in Goshen. I imagine the Egyptians were pretty disappointed when they trekked all the way to buttfuck desert only to find a shitty little death-cave at the end of the line instead of a magnificent stone pyramid filled with gold.

As the burial and mourning stretches on, Joseph’s brothers start to worry that Joseph will sour on them now that the old man is dead. They get in touch with Joseph, and lie to him (good plan guys), saying that Jacob’s dying words to them were “be nice to your brothers, they are supercool guys.” Joseph cries like a pussy again and reassures them that although they did evil to him, God turned it into good. That’s a stretch, given that God hasn’t made an appearance in the Bible for chapters upon chapters. Actually, I can’t even remember the last time God, angels, or any supernatural being appeared. The characters have referred to God, in a vague and detached way, but God himself has been completely absent. No one has even claimed to have contact with God or channeled his messages, as they were so fond of doing previously. The entire story of Joseph was completely godless. I’m guessing that gives a clue to it’s provenance.

After Jacob dies, we flash forward an unknown number of years and completely skip the remainder of Joseph’s life. Suddenly he is an old man, ready to die. All these old guys have a magical ability to foretell their own death. It’s strange that we go straight from Jacob’s funeral to Joseph’s death, in a two-verse span. Apparently he did nothing else important, and nothing else of significance happened to the Israelites for nearly a century. Riiiight.

Anyway, JoJo dies right on cue, at the alleged ripe old age of 110 years. Somehow, although he was the second-youngest of Jacob’s sons and lived a life of privilege, he still predeceased his 11 brothers. His death caps off the chapter of Genesis.

GENESIS 50

1 And Joseph falleth on his father’s face, and weepeth over him, and kisseth him;

and Joseph commandeth his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, and the physicians embalm Israel;

and they fulfil for him forty days, for so they fulfil the days of the embalmed, and the Egyptians weep for him seventy days.

And the days of his weeping pass away, and Joseph speaketh unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, `If, I pray you, I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,

My father caused me to swear, saying, Lo, I am dying; in my burying-place which I have prepared for myself in the land of Canaan, there dost thou bury me; and now, let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and return;’

and Pharaoh saith, `Go up and bury thy father, as he caused thee to swear.’

And Joseph goeth up to bury his father, and go up with him do all the servants of Pharaoh, elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,

and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and the house of his father; only their infants, and their flock, and their herd, have they left in the land of Goshen;

and there go up with him both chariot and horsemen, and the camp is very great.

10 And they come unto the threshing-floor of Atad, which [is] beyond the Jordan, and they lament there, a lamentation great and very grievous; and he maketh for his father a mourning seven days,

11 and the inhabitant of the land, the Canaanite, see the mourning in the threshing-floor of Atad, and say, `A grievous mourning [is] this to the Egyptians;’ therefore hath [one] called its name `The mourning of the Egyptians,’ which [is] beyond the Jordan.

12 And his sons do to him so as he commanded them,

13 and his sons bear him away to the land of Canaan, and bury him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a burying-place, from Ephron the Hittite, on the front of Mamre.

14 And Joseph turneth back to Egypt, he and his brethren, and all who are going up with him to bury his father, after his burying his father.

15 And the brethren of Joseph see that their father is dead, and say, `Peradventure Joseph doth hate us, and doth certainly return to us all the evil which we did with him.’

16 And they give a charge for Joseph, saying, `Thy father commanded before his death, saying,

17 Thus ye do say to Joseph, I pray thee, bear, I pray thee, with the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for they have done thee evil; and now, bear, we pray thee, with the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father;’ and Joseph weepeth in their speaking unto him.

18 And his brethren also go and fall before him, and say, `Lo, we [are] to thee for servants.’

19 And Joseph saith unto them, `Fear not, for [am] I in the place of God?

20 As for you, ye devised against me evil — God devised it for good, in order to do as [at] this day, to keep alive a numerous people;

21 and now, fear not: I do nourish you and your infants;’ and he comforteth them, and speaketh unto their heart.

22 And Joseph dwelleth in Egypt, he and the house of his father, and Joseph liveth a hundred and ten years,

23 and Joseph looketh on Ephraim’s sons of the third [generation]; sons also of Machir, son of Manasseh, have been born on the knees of Joseph.

24 And Joseph saith unto his brethren, `I am dying, and God doth certainly inspect you, and hath caused you to go up from this land, unto the land which He hath sworn to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.’

25 And Joseph causeth the sons of Israel to swear, saying, `God doth certainly inspect you, and ye have brought up my bones from this [place].’

26 And Joseph dieth, a son of an hundred and ten years, and they embalm him, and he is put into a coffin in Egypt.

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