Genesis 50:14
After Joseph had buried his father, he returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone with him to bury his father.
A Calm Evening, Promising a Bright MorningAlexander MaclarenGenesis 50:14
Retrospect and ProspectR.A. Redford Genesis 50
Whole chapter a reproof of the restless ambitions of men. Of these long lives the only record is a name, and the fact, "he died." Moral of the whole, "Dust thou art" (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50). Yet a link between life here and life above. Enoch translated (Hebrews 11:5). The living man passed into the presence of God. How, we need not care to know. But we know why. He "walked with God." Who would not covet this? Yet it may be ours. What then was that life? Of its outward form we know nothing. But same expression (Genesis 6:9) tells us that Noah's was such. Also Abraham's, "the friend of God" (Genesis 17:1); and St. Paul's (Philippians 1:21); and St. John (1 John 1:3) claims "fellowship with the Father" not for himself only (cf. John 14:23).

I. ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF A WALK WITH GOD. Not a life of austerity or of contemplation, removed from interests or cares of world. Noah's was not; nor Abraham's. Nor a life without fault. Elijah was "of like passions as we are;" and David; and St. John declares, 1 John 1:8-10.

1. It is a life of faith, i.e. a life in which the word of God is a real power. Mark in Hebrews 11. how faith worked in different circumstances. To walk with God is to trust him as a child trusts; from belief of his fatherhood, and that he is true. With texts before us such as John 3:16; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:2, why are any not rejoicing? Or with such as John 4:10; Luke 11:13, why are any not asking and receiving to the full? God puts no hindrance (Revelation 3:20). But

(1) too often men do not care. To walk with God is of less importance than to be admired of men.

(2) If they do care, they often will not take God's way. The simple message (2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 John 5:11) seems too simple. They look for feelings, instead of setting God's message before them and grasping it.

2. To walk with God implies desire and effort for the good of men. In an ungodly world Enoch proclaimed the coming judgment (Jude 1:14; cf. Acts 24:25). Spiritual selfishness often a snare to those who have escaped the snare of the world. It is not the mind of Christ. It springs from weakness of faith. Knowing the gift so dearly purchased, so freely offered to all, our calling is to persuade men. Not necessarily as teachers (James 1:19), but by intercession and by loving influence.

III. ENOCH WAS TRANSLATED. But apostles and saints died. Yet think not that their walk with God was less blessed. Hear our Lord's words (John 11:26), and St. Paul (2 Timothy 1:10). Hear the apostle's desire (Philippians 1:23). Enoch walked with God on earth, and the communion was carried on above. Is not this our Savior's promise? (John 14:21-23; John 17:24). Death is not the putting off that which is corruptible; it is separation from the Lord. Assured that we are his forever, we may say, "O death, where is thy sting?" - M.

Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father.

1. The tears of his family.

2. The respect paid to last wishes.


(T. H. Leale.)

The order of the ceremonies alluded to, and on the whole agreeing with classical and monumental records, was as follows:

1. When the extinction of the vital breath could no longer be doubted, the relatives began a preliminary mourning, perhaps observed during the day of death only (ver. 1), and consisting in public lamentations, in covering the head and the face with mud (or dust), girding up the garments, and beating the breasts.

2. Then the body was delivered up to the embalmers, who, in the case of Jacob, completed their work in forty days (ver. 3), though it more frequently required seventy.

3. Simultaneously with the operations of embalming commenced the chief or real mourning, which, lasting about seventy days (ver. 3), usually ended together with the process of mummification, but which, in the instance of the patriarch, exceeded it by thirty days.

4. The body, after having been enclosed in a case of wood or stone (ver. 26), was then either deposited in the family vaults (ver. 13), or placed in a sepulchral chamber of the house of the nearest relative (ver. 26).

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

1. If the most expensive mode, estimated at one talent of silver, or about £250, was employed, the brain was first taken out through the nostrils, partly with an iron (or bronze) hook, and partly by the infusion of drugs; then an appointed dissector made with a sharp Ethiopian stone, a deep incision (generally about five inches long) in the left side, at a part before marked out by a scribe; but having scarcely performed this operation, he hastily fled, persecuted by those present with stones and imprecations, as one who was guilty of the heinous crime of violently mutilating the body of a fellow-man. Then one of the embalmers, holy men, who lived in the society of the priests, and enjoyed unreserved access to the temples, extracted through the incision all intestines, except the kidneys and the heart; every part of the viscera was spiced, rinsed with palm-wine, and sprinkled with pounded perfumes. The body was next filled with pure myrrh, cassia, and other aromatics, with the exception of frankincense; sewed up, and steeped in natrum during seventy days, after the expiration of which period it was washed, and wrapped in bandages of linen cloth covered with gum. By this procedure all the parts of the body, even the hair of the eyebrows and eyelids, were admirably preserved, and the very features of the countenance remained unaltered.

2. The cost of the second mode of embalming amounted to twenty mince, or about; £81. No incision was made, nor were the bowels taken out; but the body was, by means of syringes, filled with oil of cedar at the abdomen, and steeped in natrum for seventy days. When the oil was let out, the intestines and vitals came out in a state of dissolution, while the natrum consumed the flesh, so that nothing of the body remained except the skin and the bones; and this skeleton was returned to the relatives of the deceased. The possibility of an injection, as here described, without the aid of incisions, has been doubted; and, in some cases, incisions have indeed been observed near the rectum.

3. A third and very cheap method, employed for the poorer classes, consisted merely in thoroughly rinsing the abdomen with syrmaea, a purgative liquor (perhaps composed of an infusion of senna and cassia), and then steeping the body in natrum for the usual seventy days.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

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