1 When Israel died, Joseph was very sad. He hugged his father and cried over him and kissed him. 2 Joseph commanded his servants to prepare his father’s body. (These servants were doctors.) The doctors prepared Jacob’s body to be buried. They prepared the body in the special way of the Egyptians. 3 When the Egyptians prepared the body in this special way, they waited 40 days before they buried the body. Then the Egyptians had a special time of sadness for Jacob. This time was 70 days.
4 After the time of sadness was finished, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s officers and said, “Please tell this to Pharaoh: 5 ‘When my father was near death, I made a promise to him. I promised that I would bury him in a cave in the land of Canaan. This is the cave that he prepared for himself. So please let me go and bury my father. Then I will come back here to you.’ ”
6 Pharaoh answered, “Keep your promise. Go and bury your father.”
7 So Joseph went to bury his father. All of Pharaoh’s officials, personal advisors, and all the older leaders of Egypt went with Joseph. 8 All the people in Joseph’s family, his brothers, and all the people in his father’s family went with him. Only the children and the animals stayed in the land of Goshen. 9 So there was a large crowd of people with him. There was even a group of soldiers riding in chariots and some on horses.
10 They went to Goren Atad,* Goren Atad Or “Atad’s threshing floor.” east of the Jordan River. There they had a long funeral service for Israel, which continued for seven days. 11 When the people who lived in Canaan saw the funeral service at Goren Atad, they said, “This is a time of great sorrow for those Egyptians.” So now that place across the Jordan River is named Abel Mizraim.† Abel Mizraim This means “Egyptian time of sadness.”
12 So Jacob’s sons did what their father told them. 13 They carried his body to Canaan and buried it in the cave at Machpelah. This was the cave near Mamre in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite. Abraham bought that cave to use as a burial place. 14 After Joseph buried his father, he and everyone in the group with him went back to Egypt.
The Brothers Are Still Afraid of Joseph
15 After Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers were worried. They were afraid that Joseph would still be mad at them for what they had done years before. They said, “Maybe Joseph still hates us for what we did.” 16 So the brothers sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he told us to give you a message. 17 He said, ‘Tell Joseph that I beg him to please forgive his brothers for the bad things they did to him.’ So now Joseph, we beg you, please forgive us for the bad things we did to you. We are the servants of God, the God of your father.”
That message made Joseph very sad, and he cried. 18 His brothers went to him and bowed down in front of him. They said, “We will be your servants.”
19 Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am not God! I have no right to punish you. 20 It is true that you planned to do something bad to me. But really, God was planning good things. God’s plan was to use me to save the lives of many people. And that is what happened. 21 So don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” And so Joseph said kind things to his brothers, and this made them feel better.
22 Joseph continued to live in Egypt with his father’s family. He died when he was 110 years old. 23 During Joseph’s life Ephraim had children and grandchildren. And his son Manasseh had a son named Makir. Joseph lived to see Makir’s children.
The Death of Joseph
24 When Joseph was near death, he said to his brothers, “My time to die is almost here. But I know that God will take care of you and lead you out of this country. God will lead you to the land he promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
25 Then Joseph asked his people to make a promise. Joseph said, “Promise me that you will carry my bones with you when God leads you out of Egypt.”
26 Joseph died in Egypt when he was 110 years old. Doctors prepared his body for burial and put the body in a coffin in Egypt.
*50:10 Goren Atad Or “Atad’s threshing floor.”
†50:11 Abel Mizraim This means “Egyptian time of sadness.”