Genesis Lesson 29 Day 3
Jacob tells all his sons about burial in Canaan.
8) Egypt has magnificent tombs, but Jacob insists on burial in Machpelah.
He could have been buried like a Pharaoh, but his heart did not belong to that land, the culture, or their gods.
The cave in Machpelah is the place his people—Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and his own wife, Leah—were buried there.
Abraham bought the field and cave at Machpelah as a burial place.
Jacob is heir to the covenant God made with Abraham, so he asked to be buried in the land God promised to give them.
9) Jacob’s relationship with God at the end of his life.
Jacob is ready to join his family who passed on before. The verse in Hebrews says he worshiped. He isn’t begging God for more time on earth the way Hezekiah did.
“Jacob did not yield up the ghost until he had delivered the last sentence of admonition and benediction to his twelve sons. He was immortal till his work was done. So long as God had another sentence to speak by him, death could not paralyze his tongue” (Spurgeon).
When I read “Jacob . . . breathed his last,” my tears flowed. I identified with so many difficulties of his journey. I lost my beautiful, gentle, kind mother when I was 18 and had a father who preferred my brother who like Esau, did not have a heart for God.
Jacob lived a hard life which opposed or delayed many of his desires. He also suffered the trauma of losing his favorite son (or so de was told) and his beloved Rachel.
10) Jacob’s sons honored their father and showed their faith in God.
Joseph wept over his father and kissed him. He commanded his servants and physicians to embalm his father. (It sounds like they mummified him because it took forty days.)
They fulfilled Jacob’s request to bury him in the family burial place instead of Egypt.
At the threshing floor of Atad, they began a great and solemn assembly to mourn Jacob’s death. It continued for seven days.
11) Pharaoh, the Egyptians and Canaanites
“The Egyptians wept for [Jacob] seventy days” (Genesis 50:3). “A royal mourning period in Egypt was 72 days. Jacob was obviously a greatly honored man.”1
Pharaoh granted Joseph’s request to go and bury his father in Canaan as he promised.
Quite an entourage journeyed and “gathered to pay tribute to the man who was the last link with the patriarchs. The life of this man’s grandfather overlapped with the sons of Noah.”1
The entourage included—
- All of Pharaoh’s officials
- Leaders in Pharaoh’s palace staff
- All the leaders of Egypt
- Joseph’s household
- All of Jacob’s other sons
- Other members of Jacob’s household
- Chariots and horsemen
Only their children, flocks, and cattle were left in Goshen.
The Canaanites said, “These funeral ceremonies are taken very seriously by the Egyptians.” That’s why that place on the east side of the Jordan was named Abel Mizraim [Egyptian Funeral Ceremonies] (Genesis 50:11).10
12a) Scriptures About death
There are said to be three basic attitudes towards death. Among the ancient Greeks, they held to what can be called the death-accepting view. Our modern world is sold out to a death-denying approach. The Biblical approach is the death-defying attitude.1
- John 5:24 Those who hear and believe have already left death and entered into life!
- Hebrews 2:14-15 Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Yeshua took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil). In this way he would free those who were slaves all their lives because they were afraid of dying.
- John 11:26 Everyone who lives and believes that Jesus is the I Am will never die.
- Romans 6:23 “The gift of God.–The natural antithesis would be “wages;” but this would here be inappropriate, and therefore the Apostle substitutes “the free gift.” In spite of your sanctification as Christians, still you will not have earned eternal life; it is the gift of God’s grace. Ellicott’s7
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Brothers and sisters, we don’t want you to be ignorant about those who have died. We don’t want you to grieve like other people who have no hope. We believe that Yeshua died and came back to life. We also believe that, through Yeshua, God will bring back those who have died. They will come back with Yeshua. We are telling you what the Lord taught. We who are still alive when the Lord comes will not go into his kingdom ahead of those who have already died. The Lord will come from heaven with a command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the dead who believed in Christ will come back to life. Then, together with them, we who are still alive will be taken in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In this way we will always be with the Lord. So then, comfort each other with these words! 10
He is not the God of the dead but of the living.
Jacob did not cease to exist when his earthly body died.
And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. Matthew 22:31-33)
This world no longer has a hold on me like it once did. When I seek the kingdom of God, the things of earth lose significance.
For now, I have much God-given work to do. I find comfort reading about the deaths of the saints. Many knew when the time had come. What a beautiful scene of Jacob with his sons around him! He was alert, blessed them and prophesied over them, gave them instructions, worshiped, and voluntarily left this world. That’s the way it should be!
b) My thoughts
Enoch and Elijah skipped death. And perhaps others we don’t know about.
If my body succumbs to death, it will only be temporary. The Psalmist said it’s only a shadow. My spirit will scarcely take note of it and slip into paradise to be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
“For to me, to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with him;” (2 Timothy 2:11-12)
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2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 The Book of Genesis by Chuck Smith © 2012 The Word For Today
7 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
8 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
9 Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, public domain
10 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.
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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Genesis Lesson 29 Day 3