Genesis 50:9
And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
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(9) A very great company.—Heb., camp, the word following immediately upon the mention of the chariots and horsemen which went as the escort of the elders. These were the chief officers of Pharaoh’s household, and also of the districts into which Egypt was divided, of which each had its separate governor. Of the Israelites only the men of rank, Jacob’s own sons, and the officers of his house took part in the funeral procession, while their little ones—Heb., their tafs,” translated here in the LXX. their clans, and signifying the great body of their dependents—remained with their cattle in the land of Goshen.

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. No text from Poole on this verse.

And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen,.... Which was done both for the sake of honour and grandeur, and for safety and defence, should they be attacked by robbers in the deserts, or opposed by the Canaanites, and be refused the use of the cave of Machpelah, and the right to it disputed:

and it was a very great company; both for quantity and quality; the attendants at this funeral were very numerous, and many of them great personages, and upon the whole was a very honourable company, as the word (k) signifies, and made a very great figure and grand appearance:

or a very great army (l), consisting of chariots and horsemen fit for war; if there should be any occasion for it: and the Jews (m) pretend that Esau came out with a large army, and met Joseph at the cave of Machpelah, and endeavoured to hinder the burial of Jacob there, where he lost his life, having his head struck off with the sword of Chushim, the son of Dan: some say it was Zepho, the grandson of Esau, with the sons of Esau, that made the disturbance there, on which a battle ensued, in which Joseph was the conqueror, and Zepho was taken captive; see Gill on Genesis 36:11, the Jews (n) give us the order and manner of the above procession thus; first Joseph, next the servants of Pharaoh, or the princes, then the elders of the court of Pharaoh, then all the elders of the land of Egypt, then the whole house of Joseph, next to them the brethren of Joseph, who were followed by their eldest sons, and after them were the chariots, and last of all the horses.

(k) "honorabilis"; so Abendana. (l) "exercitus ille"; Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Schmidt. (m) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 13. 1. Targum Jon. in ver. 13. Pirke Eliezer, c. 39. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 1.((n) R. Bechai apud Hottinger. Smegma, c. 8. p. 381.

And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
9. chariots and horsemen] A strange element in a burial procession, and one which it would be hard to illustrate from the records of Egypt. Possibly, we are intended to consider them in the light of a guard for the protection of the procession travelling into Canaan.

On “chariots” and “horses” in Egypt, see Genesis 47:17.

Genesis 50:9After the king's permission had been obtained, the corpse was carried to Canaan, attended by a large company. With Joseph there went up "all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt," i.e., the leading officers of the court and state, "and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house," i.e., all the members of the families of Joseph, of his brethren, and of is deceased father, "excepting only their children and flocks; also chariots and horsemen," as an escort for the journey through the desert, "a very large army." The splendid retinue of Egyptian officers may be explained, in part from the esteem in which Joseph was held in Egypt, and in part from the fondness of the Egyptians for such funeral processions (cf. Hengst. pp. 70, 71).
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