The Book of Genesis is drawing to a close. Fittingly, it ends with the death of the last of the Patriarchs, Jacob.
“Bury me by my fathers,” says Jacob, in the cave that Abraham bought at Machpelah. Now, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will lie together.
Joseph has Jacob’s body embalmed like an Egyptian, meaning treated with chemicals to preserve it, like the mummies you see in museums. Then Joseph asks Pharaoh to let him bring his father back to Machpelah. Pharaoh says yes, and there is a big long parade with all Joseph’s brothers and his household and a bunch of Egyptians. They take chariots and horsemen and stop in the wilderness to wail and lament for seven days. Then they bury him in the cave and go back to Egypt.
Now, Joseph’s brothers must have been afraid that, with their father dead and out of the way, Joseph would take revenge on them for all the mean things they did to him. They go to Joseph and beg him to forgive them.
Joseph says “You planned ill against me, but God planned it for good, to keep many people alive.” So we see that Joseph found meaning in all the suffering he went through.
As for his brothers, Joseph told them not to be afraid.
Joseph lived to be a hundred and ten years old and when he died, they embalmed him and put him in a coffin in Egypt.
Food for Thought
Would you, like Joseph, forgive someone who did something very mean to you?