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God Will Visit You

The Exodus was an event of Prophecy:

"So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's house; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation; the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph's knees.

And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die; but God will visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." Then Joseph took an oath of the sons of Israel, saying, "God will visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here."

So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." (Genesis 50:22-26 RSV)

"God will surely visit you"

Prophecy is not entirely limited to those who are usually regarded as the Prophets. As plainly stated in the verses above, the Israelite patriarch Joseph (see the Fact Finder question below) knew that the Exodus was coming in the future. And when the time came, as Joseph said that it would, Moses made Joseph's bones a part of the Exodus.

The Exodus

"And Moses [see The Education Of Moses] took the bones of Joseph with him; for Joseph had solemnly sworn the people of Israel, saying, "God will visit you; then you must carry my bones with you from here." (Exodus 13:19 RSV)

Joseph's bones did not immediately reach their final resting place however; they spent 40 years being carried around and around in the desert (for the reason that a journey that could have been done in 40 days took 40 years see A Journey Without A Destination). Nevertheless, the place of burial had been secured centuries before at a place purchased by Jacob, who The Lord renamed Israel.

"And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram; and he camped before the city. And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel." (Genesis 33:18-20 RSV)

Joseph's journey was completed at Shechem in the time of Joshua.

"And Israel served The Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work which The Lord did for Israel.

The bones of Joseph which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt were buried at Shechem, in the portion of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money; it became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph." (Joshua 24:31-32 RSV)

Fact Finder: How did the Israelite patriarch Joseph come to be in Egypt? What happened to him there?
See The Israelite Patriarchs - Joseph


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