Genesis 50:7
And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
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50:7-14 Jacob's body was attended, not only by his own family, but by the great men of Egypt. Now that they were better acquainted with the Hebrews, they began to respect them. Professors of religion should endeavour by wisdom and love to remove the prejudices many have against them. Standers-by took notice of it as a grievous mourning. The death of good men is a loss to any place, and ought to be greatly lamented.The funeral procession is now described. "All the servants of Pharaoh." The highest honor is conferred on Jacob for Joseph's sake. "The elders of Pharaoh, and all the elders of the land of Mizraim." The court and state officials are here separately specified. "All the house." Not only the heads, but all the sons and servants that are able to go. Chariots and horsemen accompany them as a guard on the way. "The threshing-floor of Atari, or of the buck-thorn." This is said to be beyond Jordan. Deterred, probably, by some difficulty in the direct route, they seem to have gone round by the east side of the Salt Sea. "A mourning of seven days." This is a last sad farewell to the departed patriarch. Abel-Mizraim. This name, like many in the East, has a double meaning. The word Abel no doubt at first meant mourning, though the name would be used by many, ignorant of its origin, in the sense of a meadow. "His sons carried him." The main body of the procession seems to have halted beyond the Jordan, and awaited the return of the immediate relatives, who conveyed the body to its last resting-place. The whole company then returned together to Egypt.7-9. Joseph went up to bury his father—a journey of three hundred miles. The funeral cavalcade, composed of the nobility and military, with their equipages, would exhibit an imposing appearance. All the servants, i.e. a great number of them, as that word is understood, Matthew 3:5, and oft elsewhere. For many of them were aged and infirm, and many could not be spared from their attendance at court, or upon their employments, &c.

The servants of Pharaoh were courtiers of an inferior rank;

the elders of his house, the chief officers, and under him governors of his family and councils, who used to reside at or near the court;

and the elders of the land, the great officers civil and military, whose places of habitation and command were dispersed in the several parts of the land. And Joseph went up to bury his father,.... According to his request; having obtained leave of Pharaoh, and being desirous of paying his last respects, and doing his last office to so dear a parent, with all the honour and decency this service could be done with:

and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh; a great number of them, some must be left to wait upon him; who these were the next words explain:

the elders of his house: his senators and counsellors, his courtiers and principal officers of state:

and all the elders of the land of Egypt; governors of provinces and cities, the chief officers, civil and military; all which was done by the orders of Pharaoh, out of respect to Joseph and his family, and to make the funeral procession grand and honourable.

And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
7. all the servants of Pharaoh] The very ample description of the Egyptian attendants at the funeral of Jacob is evidently intended (cf. Genesis 50:3) to impress the Israelite reader with the thought that Jacob, the father of their people, had been buried with royal honours by the Egyptians. “Went up,” cf. Genesis 50:5-6; Genesis 50:9. See Genesis 12:6, Genesis 42:38, “go down” to Egypt.Verses 7-9. - And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh (i.e. the chief officers of the royal palace, as the next clause explains), the elders of his house (i.e. of Pharaoh s house), and all the elders of the land of Egypt (i.e. the nobles and State officials), and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him (as an escort) both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. Delineations of funeral processions, of a most elaborate character, may be seen on the monuments. A detailed and highly interesting account of the funeral procession of an Egyptian grandee, enabling us to picture to the mind's eye the scene of Jacob s burial, will be found in Wilkinson's 'Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians,' vol. 3. p. 444, ed. 1878. First servants led the way, carrying tables laden with fruit, cakes, flowers, vases of ointment, wine and other liquids, with three young geese and a calf for sacrifice, chairs and wooden tablets, napkins, and other things. Then others followed bearing daggers, bows, fans, and the mummy cases in which the deceased and his ancestors had been kept previous to burial. Next came a table of offerings, fauteuils, couches, boxes, and a chariot. After these men appeared with gold vases and more offerings. To these succeeded the bearers of a sacred boat and the mysterious eye of Osiris, as the god of stability. Placed in the consecrated boat, the hearse containing the mummy of the deceased was drawn by four oxen and by seven men, under the direction of a superintendent who regulated the march of the funeral. Behind the hearse followed the male relations and friends of the deceased, who either beat their breasts, or gave token of their sorrow by their silence and solemn step as they walked, leaning on their long sticks; and with these the procession closed. Burial of Jacob. - Genesis 50:1-3. When Jacob died, Joseph fell upon the face of his beloved father, wept over him, and kissed him. He then gave the body to the physicians to be embalmed, according to the usual custom in Egypt. The physicians are called his servants, because the reference is to the regular physicians in the service of Joseph, the eminent minister of state; and according to Herod. 2, 84, there were special physicians in Egypt for every description of disease, among whom the Taricheuta, who superintended the embalming, were included, as a special but subordinate class. The process of embalming lasted 40 days, and the solemn mourning 70 (Genesis 50:3). This is in harmony with the statements of Herodotus and Diodorus when rightly understood (see Hengstenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses, p. 67ff.).
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