|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
50:22-26 Joseph having honoured his father, his days were long in the land, which, for the present, God had given him. When he saw his death approaching, he comforted his brethren with the assurance of their return to Canaan in due time. We must comfort others with the same comforts with which we have been comforted of God, and encourage them to rest on the promises which are our support. For a confession of his own faith, and a confirmation of theirs, he charges them to keep his remains unburied till that glorious day, when they should be settled in the land of promise. Thus Joseph, by faith in the doctrine of the resurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave commandment concerning his bones. This would keep up their expectation of a speedy departure from Egypt, and keep Canaan continually in their minds. This would also attach Joseph's posterity to their brethren. The death, as well as the life of this eminent saint, was truly excellent; both furnish us with strong encouragement to persevere in the service of God. How happy to set our early in the heavenly race, to continue stedfastly, and to finish the course with joy! This Joseph did, this we also may do. Even when the pains of death are upon us, if we have trusted in Him upon whom the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles depended, we need not fear to say, My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Verse 26. - So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old (literally, a son of a hundred and ten years), and they (i.e. the children of Israel) embalmed him (vide on ver. 2), and he was put in a coffin (or chest, i.e. a mummy case, which was commonly constructed of sycamore wood) in Egypt, where he remained for a period of 360 years, until the time of the Exodus, when, according to the engagement now given, his remains were carried up to Canaan, and solemnly deposited in the sepulcher of Shechem (Joshua 24:32).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old,.... The exact age assigned him by Polyhistor (x), from Demetrius an Heathen. The Jewish writers (y) say, that he died the first of the twelve patriarchs, though he was the youngest of them; he died, according to Bishop Usher (z), in the year of the world 2369, and before Christ 1635:
and they embalmed him; his servants, the physicians, according to the manner of the Egyptians, and as his father Jacob had been embalmed; see Gill on Genesis 50:2,
and he was put into a coffin in Egypt; in an ark or chest, very probably into such an one in which the Egyptians had used to put dead bodies when embalmed; which Herodotus (a) calls a or chest, and which they set up against a wall: in what part of Egypt this coffin was put is not certain, it was most likely in Goshen, and in the care and custody of some of Joseph's posterity; so Leo Africanus says (b), that he was buried in Fioum, the same with the Heracleotic nome, supposed to be Goshen; See Gill on Genesis 47:11, and was dug up by Moses, when the children of Israel departed. The Targum of Jonathan says, it was sunk in the midst of the Nile of Egypt; and an Arabic writer (c) says, the corpse of Joseph was put into a marble coffin, and cast into the Nile: the same thing is said in the Talmud (d), from whence the story seems to be taken, and where the coffin is said to be a molten one, either of iron or brass; which might arise, as Bishop Patrick observes, from a mistake of the place where such bodies were laid; which were let down into deep wells or vaults, and put into a cave at the bottom of those wells, some of which were not far from the river Nile; and such places have been searched for mummies in late times, where they have been found, and the coffins and clothes sound and incorrupt. And so some of the Jewish writers say (e) he was buried on the banks of the river Sihor, that is, the Nile; but others (f) say he was buried in the sepulchre of the kings, which is much more likely.
(x) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 21. p. 425. (y) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 4. 1. & T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 13. 2.((z) Annalea Vet. Test. A. M. 2369. (a) Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 86, 91. (b) Descriptio Africae, l. 8. p. 722. (c) Patricides, p. 24. apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. c. 8. p. 379. (d) T. Bab. Sotah, c. 1. fol. 13. 1.((e) Sepher Hajaschar, p. 118. apud Wagenseil Sotah, p. 300. (f) In T. Bab. Sotah, ut supra. (c. 1. fol. 13.1.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. and they embalmed him—[See on Ge 50:2]. His funeral would be conducted in the highest style of Egyptian magnificence and his mummied corpse carefully preserved till the Exodus.
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