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Then Joseph threw himself on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. 2Joseph commanded the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel; 3they spent forty days in doing this, for that is the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.

4 When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph addressed the household of Pharaoh, “If now I have found favor with you, please speak to Pharaoh as follows: 5My father made me swear an oath; he said, ‘I am about to die. In the tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.’ Now therefore let me go up, so that I may bury my father; then I will return.” 6Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”

7 So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. 9Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a very great company. 10When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed a time of mourning for his father seven days. 11When the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning on the part of the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. 12Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them. 13They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham bought as a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. 14After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

Joseph Forgives His Brothers

15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” 16So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Joseph’s Last Days and Death

22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s household; and Joseph lived one hundred ten years. 23Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation; the children of Machir son of Manasseh were also born on Joseph’s knees.

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die; but God will surely come to you, and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25So Joseph made the Israelites swear, saying, “When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here.” 26And Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

17. Forgive, I pray thee now. They do not dissemble the fact that they had grievously sinned; and they are so far from extenuating their fault, that they freely heap up words in charging themselves with guilt. They do not, therefore, ask that pardon should be granted them as if the offense were light: but they place in opposition to the atrocity of their crime, first, the authority of their father, and then the sacred name of God. Their confession would have been worthy of commendation, had they proceeded directly, and without tortuous contrivances, to appease their brother. Now, since they have drawn from the fountain of piety the instruction that it is right for sin to be remitted to the servants of God; we may receive it as a common exhortation, that if we have been injured by the members of the Church, we must not be too rigid and immovable in pardoning the offense. This humanity indeed is generally enjoined upon us towards all men: but when the bond of religion is superadded, we are harder than iron, if we are not inclined to the exercise of compassion. And we must observe, that they expressly mention the God of Jacob: because the peculiar faith and worship by which they were distinguished from the rest of the nations, ought to unite them with each other in a closer bond: as if God, who had adopted that family, stood forth in the midst of them as engaged to produce reconciliation.

And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. It cannot be ascertained with certainty from the words of Moses, whether the brethren of Joseph were present, and were speaking, at the time he wept. Some interpreters imagine that a part was here acted designedly; so that when the mind of Joseph had been sounded by others, the brethren, soon afterwards, came in, during the discourse. I rather incline to a different opinion; namely, that, when he knew, from the messengers, that their minds were tormented, and they were troubling themselves in vain, he was moved with sympathy towards them. Then, having sent for them, he set them free from all care and fear; and their speech, when they themselves were deprecating his anger, drew forth his tears. Moreover, by thus affectionately weeping over the sorrow and anxiety of his brethren, he affords us a remarkable example of compassion. But if we have an arduous conflict with the impetuosity of an angry temper, or the obstinacy of a disposition to hatred, we must pray to the Lord for a spirit of meekness, the force of which manifests itself not less effectually, at this day, in the members of Christ, than formerly in Joseph.

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