Hebrews 11:22
By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
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(22) When he died.—Literally, drawing to his end. The word is taken from Genesis 50:26; and the mention of the departure (literally, the Exodus) of the children of Israel is found in Hebrews 11:24-25. This example of faith in the promise and clinging to the hope which it held forth needs no comment. For the fulfilment of Joseph’s dying request see Exodus 13:19, “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him” out of Egypt; and Joshua 24:32, “And the bones of Joseph buried they in Shechem.”

Hebrews 11:22. By faith — In God’s promise, to give Canaan to the posterity of Jacob; Joseph, when he died Τελευτων, ending his life; made mention of the departing of Israel — Namely, out of Egypt, as an event which would certainly take place; and gave commandment concerning his bones — To be carried into the land of promise, thereby testifying his joint interest with them in the promises of God.

11:20-31 Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come. Things present are not the best things; no man knoweth love or hatred by having them or wanting them. Jacob lived by faith, and he died by faith, and in faith. Though the grace of faith is of use always through our whole lives, it is especially so when we come to die. Faith has a great work to do at last, to help the believer to die to the Lord, so as to honour him, by patience, hope, and joy. Joseph was tried by temptations to sin, by persecution for keeping his integrity; and he was tried by honours and power in the court of Pharaoh, yet his faith carried him through. It is a great mercy to be free from wicked laws and edicts; but when we are not so, we must use all lawful means for our security. In this faith of Moses' parents there was a mixture of unbelief, but God was pleased to overlook it. Faith gives strength against the sinful, slavish fear of men; it sets God before the soul, shows the vanity of the creature, and that all must give way to the will and power of God. The pleasures of sin are, and will be, but short; they must end either in speedy repentance or in speedy ruin. The pleasures of this world are for the most part the pleasures of sin; they are always so when we cannot enjoy them without deserting God and his people. Suffering is to be chosen rather than sin; there being more evil in the least sin, than there can be in the greatest suffering. God's people are, and always have been, a reproached people. Christ accounts himself reproached in their reproaches; and thus they become greater riches than the treasures of the richest empire in the world. Moses made his choice when ripe for judgment and enjoyment, able to know what he did, and why he did it. It is needful for persons to be seriously religious; to despise the world, when most capable of relishing and enjoying it. Believers may and ought to have respect to the recompence of reward. By faith we may be fully sure of God's providence, and of his gracious and powerful presence with us. Such a sight of God will enable believers to keep on to the end, whatever they may meet in the way. It is not owing to our own righteousness, or best performances, that we are saved from the wrath of God; but to the blood of Christ, and his imputed righteousness. True faith makes sin bitter to the soul, even while it receives the pardon and atonement. All our spiritual privileges on earth, should quicken us in our way to heaven. The Lord will make even Babylon fall before the faith of his people, and when he has some great thing to do for them, he raises up great and strong faith in them. A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God; and is willing to fare as they fare. By her works Rahab declared herself to be just. That she was not justified by her works appears plainly; because the work she did was faulty in the manner, and not perfectly good, therefore it could not be answerable to the perfect justice or righteousness of God.By faith Joseph, when he died - When about to die; see Genesis 50:24-25.

Made mention of the departing of the children of Israel - Margin, "remembered." The meaning is, that he called this to their mind; he spake of it. "And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." This prediction of Joseph could have rested only on faith in the promise of God. There were no events then occurring which would be likely to lead to this, and nothing which could be a basis of calculation that it would be so, except what God had spoken. The faith of Joseph, then, was simple confidence in God; and its strength was seen in his firm conviction that what had been promised would be fulfilled, even when there were no appearances that to human view justified it.

And gave commandment concerning his bones - Genesis 50:25. "And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence." He had such a firm belief that they would possess the land of promise, that he exacted an oath of them that they would remove his remains with them, that he might be buried in the land of his fathers. He could not have exacted this oaths, nor could they have taken it, unless both he and they had a sure confidence that what God had spoken would be performed.

22. when he died—"when dying."

the departing—"the exodus" (Ge 50:24, 25). Joseph's eminent position in Egypt did not make him regard it as his home: in faith he looked to God's promise of Canaan being fulfilled and desired that his bones should rest there: testifying thus: (1) that he had no doubt of his posterity obtaining the promised land: and (2) that he believed in the resurrection of the body, and the enjoyment in it of the heavenly Canaan. His wish was fulfilled (Jos 24:32; Ac 4:16).

By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel: Joseph, the first son of Jacob by Rachel, whom God preferred before his brethren, envied and sold by them, but advanced by him to be lord of Egypt, and a saviour to them, heir of the birthright, and of his father’s grace, a patriarch and prophet like him; drawing near to the end of his pilgrimage on earth, and dying, he made mention, and brought to the mind of the Israelites his children, brethren, and nephews, and, likely, with a charge to convey it down to their posterity, as it might be remembered by them, that this he did with willingness find choice, looking for a better place and state than any in Egypt, and that his death should not obstruct the issues of providence to them for good; for God lived, and would surely visit them in their posterity, Israel living when he sent Moses to them, and would make them go up gloriously out of Egypt, and bring them into the Land of Promise, and give it to them for their inheritance. This testimony he gives them of it by faith, Genesis 1:24; and God fulfilled it one hundred and sixty years after his death, as he had sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

And gave commandment concerning his bones: by faith likewise he charged them about carrying his embalmed body with them and burying it in Canaan, and obliged the Israelites to it by an oath, Genesis 1:25, making it an earnest and signal to them of the promise and oath of God for their deliverance, that as he desired his bones might be buried in Canaan, being heir together with Jacob of the same promised inheritance, it might be a visible token of, and encouragement in, the appointed time, to their return. And this Israel fullfilled, Exodus 13:19, carrying them away with them, and afterwards burying them in Shechem, the lot of Ephraim, Joshua 24:32.

By faith Joseph, when he died,.... The riches and honours of Joseph, as they could not secure him from death, so they did not make him unmindful of it; nor was he afraid of dying, or uneasy about it; nor did his prosperity make him proud, or above speaking to his brethren, nor revengeful to them, nor unthoughtful of their future afflictions; nor did his affluence of temporal things take off his regards to divine promises, nor weaken his faith in them, which is here commended in the following instances; as that at the time of his death,

he made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; that is, out of the land of Egypt: he remembered it himself, and put his brethren in mind of it, by speaking of it to their comfort, with great assurance; he knew they were well situated in the land of Egypt, and yet speaks of their departure out of it; he foresaw, and firmly believed they would be greatly afflicted in it, and that God would look upon them, and visit them, and bring them out of it, into the land of Canaan; all which shows the strength of his faith, and that it was about things not seen.

And gave commandment concerning his bones; and the command was a very strict one when he gave it; he took an oath of his brethren to fulfil it; it was concerning his bones, not his body, which shows that he believed their departure out of Egypt was at a great distance, when his flesh would be consumed, and only his bones left, as it was about two hundred years after his death; it respects the carrying them out of Egypt with them, and burying them in the land of Canaan, when they came there; and this is an instance of his humility, in choosing to lie with his fathers, rather than with the kings, and great men in Egypt, and of his care to prevent idolatry, which he might observe the Egyptians would be prone unto: and this command was a great instance of Joseph's faith, that the children of Israel would return to Canaan, and which might serve greatly to confirm their faith in it; it also shows his belief of the resurrection of the dead, and of his enjoying the heavenly inheritance, signified by the land of Canaan; See Genesis 50:24, the Papists, from hence, plead for the relics of saints; but it should be observed, that it was at the request, and by the command of Joseph, that his bones were preserved, which is not the case of the saints, whose relics are pleaded for; besides, these were the true and real bones of Joseph, whereas the relics of the saints are only pretended; to which may be added, that the bones of Joseph, were ordered to be buried, not to be showed for a sight, much less worshipped, as Popish relics are. Joseph's coffin, the Jews say (h), was put into the river Nile; and so says Patricides (i), an Arabic writer: others say it was in the buryingplace of the kings, until it was taken up and removed by Moses.

(h) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 13. 1.((i) Apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 8. p. 379.

{10} By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

(10) Joseph.

Hebrews 11:22. The example of Joseph. Comp. Genesis 1:24-25. Firm faith, that the promise already given to Abraham (Genesis 15:13-16) should be fulfilled, was it that Joseph, when he was near to death, gave direction as to that which should be done with his bones at the time of the accomplishment of that promise.

τελευτῶν] the same as ἀποθνήσκων, Hebrews 11:21; the choice of the expression was called forth by Genesis 1:26 : καὶ ἐτελεύτησεν Ἰωσήφ.

περί] in connection with μνημονεύειν, which as at Hebrews 11:15 signifies to make mention, stands instead of the bare genitive, after the analogy of μνᾶσθαι περί τινος. See Kühner, II. p. 186, Obs. 1.

ἡ ἔξοδος τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραήλ] the (future) departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt.

ἐμνημόνευσεν καὶἐνετείλατο] Form of parallel arrangement; while, as regards the matter itself, the second member as an accessory point is subordinated to the first member as the main point.

Hebrews 11:22. Similarly Joseph when he in his turn came to the close of his life (τελευτῶν, from Genesis 50:16, καὶ ἐτελεύτησεν Ἰωσὴφ) made mention of the exodus of the children of Israel (“God will surely visit you and will bring you out of this land to the land concerning which God sware to our fathers,” Genesis 50:24) and gave commandment concerning his bones (“ye shall carry up my bones hence with you,” Genesis 50:25. For the fulfilment of the command see Joshua 24:32).

22. when he died] The less common word for “dying” is here taken from the LXX. of Genesis 1:26.

gave commandment concerning his bones] A sign of his perfect conviction that God’s promise would be fulfilled (Genesis 50:24-25; Exodus 13:19; comp. Acts 7:16).

Hebrews 11:22. Ἐμνημόνευσε, [made mention of] remembered) He mentioned, what he had never forgotten, the promise made to their fathers, and as it were renewed it for the future.—περὶ τῶν ὀστέων, concerning his bones) so that even though dead he might leave Egypt, and come into the Land of Promise. Those who are without faith, either take no care, or a vain and foolish concern about their bones.

Verse 22. - By faith Joseph, when dying, made mention of the departing (Exodus) of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. The reference is to Genesis 50:24, 25, which, after what has been said above, requires no further comment. Hebrews 11:22When he died (τελευτῶν)

Comp. Genesis 1:26, lxx. The verb means to finish or close, with life understood. Always in this sense in N.T. See Matthew 2:19; Matthew 9:18; Luke 7:2, etc. Never used by Paul. Rend. "when near his end."

Made mention of (περὶ - ἐμνημόνευσεν)

See on Hebrews 11:15. A.V. has remembered in marg. Remembered is appropriate here. Joseph on his death-bed remembered the promise of God to give the land of Canaan to the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15; Genesis 15:7), and also the prediction to Abraham that his descendants should pass four hundred years in bondage in a strange land, and should afterward be brought out thence, Genesis 15:13, Genesis 15:14.

The departing of the children of Israel (τῆς ἐξόδου τῶν υἱῶν Ισραὴλ)

Ἔξοδος only here, Luke 9:31 (note) and 2 Peter 1:15 (note). Ὁι υἱοὶ Ἰσραὴλ is one of several phrases in N.T. denoting the chosen people. There are also house (οἶκος) and people (λαὸς) of Israel, and Israel of God, and Israel according to the flesh.

And gave commandment (καὶ ἐνετείλατο)

Καὶ and so; in consequence of his remembering the prophecy of the exodus. The verb indicates a specific injunction (ἐντολή). See on 1 Timothy 6:14.

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