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50 Yosef fell on his father’s face, wept over him and kissed him. Then Yosef ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Isra’el. Forty days were spent at this, the normal amount of time for embalming. Then the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.

When the period of mourning was over, Yosef addressed to the household of Pharaoh: “I would like to ask a favor. Tell Pharaoh, ‘My father had me swear an oath. He said, “I am going to die. You are to bury me in my grave, which I dug for myself in the land of Kena‘an.” Therefore, I beg you, let me go up and bury my father; I will return.’” Pharaoh responded, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”

So Yosef went up to bury his father. With him went all Pharaoh’s servants, the leaders of his household and the leaders of the land of Egypt, along with the entire household of Yosef, his brothers and his father’s household; only their little ones, their flocks and their cattle did they leave in the land of Goshen. Moreover, there went up with him both chariots and horsemen — it was a very large caravan.

10 When they arrived at the threshing-floor in Atad, beyond the Yarden, they raised a loud and bitter lamentation, mourning for his father seven days. 11 When the local inhabitants, the Kena‘ani, saw the mourning on the floor of Atad they said, “How bitterly the Egyptians are mourning!” This is why the place was given the name Avel-Mitzrayim [mourning of Egypt], there beyond the Yarden.

12 His sons did to him as he had ordered them to do — 13 they carried him into the land of Kena‘an and buried him in the cave in the field of Makhpelah, which Avraham had bought, along with the field, as a burial-place belonging to him, from ‘Efron the Hitti, by Mamre.

14 Then, after burying his father, Yosef returned to Egypt, he, his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

15 Realizing that their father was dead, Yosef’s brothers said, “Yosef may hate us now and pay us back in full for all the suffering we caused him.” 16 So they sent a message to Yosef which said, “Your father gave this order before he died: 17 ‘Say to Yosef, “I beg you now, please forgive your brothers’ crime and wickedness in doing you harm.”’ So now, we beg of you, forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Yosef wept when they spoke to him; 18 and his brothers too came, prostrated themselves before him and said, “Here, we are your slaves.” 19 But Yosef said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 You meant to do me harm, but God meant it for good — so that it would come about as it is today, with many people’s lives being saved. (vii) 21 So don’t be afraid — I will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he comforted them, speaking kindly to them.

22 Yosef continued living in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Yosef lived 110 years. (Maftir) 23 Yosef lived to see Efrayim’s great-grandchildren, and the children of M’nasheh’s son Makhir were born on Yosef’s knees.

24 Yosef said to his brothers, “I am dying. But God will surely remember you and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.” 25 Then Yosef took an oath from the sons of Isra’el: “God will surely remember you, and you are to carry my bones up from here.” 26 So Yosef died at the age of 110, and they embalmed him and put him in a coffin in Egypt.

Haftarah Vayechi: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 2:1–12

B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Vayechi: Acts 7:9–16 (specifically vv. 15–16); Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:21–22; 1 Kefa (1 Peter) 1:3–9; 2:11–17

Hazak, hazak, v’nit’chazek!

Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!

50 Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him.(A) Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him,(B) taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.(C)

When the days of mourning(D) had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s court,(E) “If I have found favor in your eyes,(F) speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, ‘My father made me swear an oath(G) and said, “I am about to die;(H) bury me in the tomb I dug for myself(I) in the land of Canaan.”(J) Now let me go up and bury my father;(K) then I will return.’”

Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”

So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials(L) accompanied him—the dignitaries of his court(M) and all the dignitaries of Egypt— besides all the members of Joseph’s household and his brothers and those belonging to his father’s household.(N) Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen.(O) Chariots(P) and horsemen[a] also went up with him. It was a very large company.

10 When they reached the threshing floor(Q) of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly;(R) and there Joseph observed a seven-day period(S) of mourning(T) for his father.(U) 11 When the Canaanites(V) who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning.”(W) That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim.[b]

12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them:(X) 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah,(Y) near Mamre,(Z) which Abraham had bought along with the field(AA) as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite.(AB) 14 After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.(AC)

Joseph Reassures His Brothers

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge(AD) against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?”(AE) 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions(AF) before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins(AG) and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’(AH) Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.(AI)” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.(AJ)

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him.(AK) “We are your slaves,”(AL) they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?(AM) 20 You intended to harm me,(AN) but God intended(AO) it for good(AP) to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.(AQ) 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.(AR)” And he reassured them and spoke kindly(AS) to them.

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years(AT) 23 and saw the third generation(AU) of Ephraim’s(AV) children.(AW) Also the children of Makir(AX) son of Manasseh(AY) were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.[c](AZ)

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die.(BA) But God will surely come to your aid(BB) and take you up out of this land to the land(BC) he promised on oath to Abraham,(BD) Isaac(BE) and Jacob.”(BF) 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath(BG) and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones(BH) up from this place.”(BI)

26 So Joseph died(BJ) at the age of a hundred and ten.(BK) And after they embalmed him,(BL) he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 50:9 Or charioteers
  2. Genesis 50:11 Abel Mizraim means mourning of the Egyptians.
  3. Genesis 50:23 That is, were counted as his

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