Genesis 50:1
And Joseph fell on his father's face, and wept on him, and kissed him.
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Genesis 50:1. Joseph fell upon his father’s face — Having first, no doubt, closed his eyes, according as God had promised that he should; and wept upon him, and kissed — His pale and cold lips, thus manifesting his love to and his sorrow for the loss of him. Probably the rest of Jacob’s sons did the same, much moved, no doubt, with his dying words.50:1-6 Though pious relatives and friends have lived to a good old age, and we are confident they are gone to glory, yet we may regret our own loss, and pay respect to their memory by lamenting them. Grace does not destroy, but it purifies, moderates, and regulates natural affection. The departed soul is out of the reach of any tokens of our affection; but it is proper to show respect to the body, of which we look for a glorious and joyful resurrection, whatever may become of its remains in this world. Thus Joseph showed his faith in God, and love to his father. He ordered the body to be embalmed, or wrapped up with spices, to preserve it. See how vile our bodies are, when the soul has forsaken them; they will in a very little time become noisome, and offensive.After the natural outburst of sorrow for his deceased parent, Joseph gave orders to embalm the body, according to the custom of Egypt. "His servants, the physicians." As the grand vizier of Egypt, he has physicians in his retinue. The classes and functions of the physicians in Egypt may be learned from Herodotus (ii.-81-86). There were special physicians for each disease; and the embalmers formed a class by themselves. "Forty days" were employed in the process of embalming; "seventy days," including the forty, were devoted to mourning for the dead. Herodotus mentions this number as the period of embalming. Diodorus (i. 91) assigns upwards of thirty days to the process. It is probable that the actual process was continued for forty days, and that the body lay in natron for the remaining thirty days of mourning. See Hengstenberg's B. B. Mos. u. Aeg., and Rawlinson's Herodotus.CHAPTER 50

Ge 50:1-26. Mourning for Jacob.

1. Joseph fell upon his father's face, &c.—On him, as the principal member of the family, devolved the duty of closing the eyes of his venerable parent (compare Ge 46:4) and imprinting the farewell kiss.Joseph bewails his father’s death; and embalms him, Genesis 50:1,2. The Egyptians mourn for him seventy days, Genesis 50:3. Joseph with Pharaoh’s leave carries him stately accompanied to Canaan, Genesis 50:4-9. They mourn there seven days, and sorely, so that the Canaanites from thence named the place Abel-mizraim, Genesis 50:10,11. They bury him where he commanded, Genesis 50:12,13. They return to Egypt, Genesis 50:14. Jacob being dead, his sons are afraid of their brother Joseph, Genesis 50:15. Pretending their father’s order, they address for pardon, Genesis 50:16-18. He weeps, forgives, and encourageth them, Genesis 50:19-21. Joseph lives to see a third and fourth generation, Genesis 50:22,23. Assures his brethren of their future return to Canaan, Genesis 50:24. He takes an oath of them to carry his bones with them, Genesis 50:25; dies; is embalmed; and put in a coffin, Genesis 50:26.

And doubtless closed his eyes, as God had promised, Genesis 46:4, which may be implied in this general phrase.

And Joseph fell upon his father's face,.... Laid his own face to the cold face and pale cheeks of his dead father, out of his tender affection for him, and grief at parting with him; this shows that Joseph had been present from the time his father sent for him, and all the while he had been blessing the tribes, and giving orders about his funeral:

and wept upon him; which to do for and over the dead is neither unlawful nor unbecoming, provided it is not carried to excess, as the instances of David, Christ, and others show:

and kissed him; taking his farewell of him, as friends used to do, when parting and going a long journey, as death is. This was practised by Heathens, who had a notion that the soul went out of the body by the mouth, and they in this way received it into themselves: so Augustus Caesar died in the kisses of Livia, and Drusius in the embraces and kisses of Caesar (w). Joseph no doubt at this time closed the eyes of his father also, as it is said he should, and as was usual; see Genesis 46:4.

(w) Vid. Kirchman. de Funer. Rom. l. 1. c. 5.

And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
1. And Joseph] For Joseph’s strong affection for his father, cf. Genesis 45:3, Genesis 46:29.Verse 1. - And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. Joseph had no doubt closed the eyes of his revered and beloved parent, as God had promised to the patriarch that he would (Genesis 46:4), and now, in demonstration both of the intensity of his love and of the bitterness of his sorrow, he sinks upon the couch upon which the lifeless form is lying, bonding over the pallid countenance with warm tears, and imprinting kisses of affection on the cold and irresponsive lip. It is neither unnatural nor irreligious to mourn for the dead; and he must be callous indeed who can see a parent die without an outburst of tender grief. The concluding words in Genesis 49:28, "All these are the tribes of Israel, twelve," contain the thought, that in his twelve sons Jacob blessed the future tribes. "Every one with that which was his blessing, he blessed them," i.e., every one with his appropriate blessing (אשׁר accus. dependent upon בּרך which is construed with a double accusative); since, as has already been observed, even Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, though put down through their own fault, received a share in the promised blessing.
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