And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
The Hebrew ropheim, from rapha, to heal, is literally the healers, those whose business it was to heal, or restore the body from sickness, by administering proper medicines; and when death took place, to heal or preserve it from decomposition by embalming. The word chanat, to embalm, is also used in Arabic to express the reddening of leather; somewhat analogous to our tanning; which is probably the grand principal in embalming.
And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
We learn from the Greek historians, that the time of mourning was while the body remained with the embalmers, which Herodotus says was seventy days. During this time the body lay in nitre, the use of which was to dry up all its superfluous and noxious moisture: and when, in the space of 30 days, this was sufficiently effected, the remaining forty, the time mentioned by Diodorus, were employed in anointing it with gums and spices to preserve it, which was properly the embalming. This sufficiently explains the phraseology of the text.
Heb. wept. three-score.
And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.
Lo, I die
let me go
And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.
as he made
And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
and with him
And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.
And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
This place was situated, according to Jerome, between the Jordan and the city of Jericho, two miles from the former, and three from the latter, where Bethagla was afterwards built. Procopius of Gaza states the same. As aataad signifies thorns, the place might have been remarkable for their production; though all the versions except the Arabic consider it as a proper name. As Moses wrote or revised his history on the east side of Jordan, the term beyond Jordan, in his five books, means westward of Jordan; but in other parts of Scripture it generally means eastward.
And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.
i.e., The mourning of the Egyptians.
And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them:
For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
for am I
It belongs to God to execute vengeance, and Joseph did not intend to usurp his prerogative. Thus he instructed his brethren not to fear him, but to fear God; to humble themselves before God, and to seek his forgiveness.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
I will nourish
kindly unto them
Heb. to their hearts.
And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.
Joseph's life was the shortest of all the patriarchs; for which Bp. Patrick gives this reason, he was the son of his father's old age.
And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees.
Heb. born. Joseph's.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
being an hundred and ten years old
Ben meah we‚iser shanim; "the son of an hundred and ten years;" the period he lived being personified.