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Jacob's Homeward Journey

As he neared the end of his long and prosperous life (see Blessing The Favorites, Jacob's Ringstreaked, Speckled And Spotted and Jacob's Family), the last seventeen of which were spent in Egypt (see Israel's Departure From Israel and The Goshen Refugees), Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel" (see The Origin Of 'Israel'), made arrangements for his own funeral.

"47:28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years. 47:29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: 47:30 But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. 47:31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head." (Genesis 47:28-31 KJV)

"For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah"

As his death approached, Jacob increased the number of his sons by two (see Why Did Jacob Adopt Ephraim And Manasseh?).

Ephraim and Manasseh

"48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 48:2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. 48:3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 48:4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. 48:6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. 48:7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem." (Genesis 48:1-7 KJV)

After blessing his other sons, as he was about to die, Jacob instructed Joseph to bury him in the family tomb at Hebron (see The Tombs Of Hebron). Note that Jacob outlived both of his wives Rachel and Leah ("there I buried Leah," verse 31 below).

"49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.

49:29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 49:30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife [see Sarah's Rest]; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.

49:33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost], and was gathered unto his people." (Genesis 49:28-33 KJV)

Joseph then made arrangements with the Pharaoh to give Jacob an official state funeral. Although his family (including Joseph - see the Fact Finder question below) would remain in Egypt for the next four centuries before the Exodus, Jacob began his homeward journey (that will be completed at the time of his resurrection on the day of Christ's return - see When Will You Be Judged?) then.

Hebron

"50:1 And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. 50:2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. 50:3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.

50:4 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 50:5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.

50:6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.

50:7 And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 50:8 And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 50:9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.

50:10 And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 50:11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.

50:12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 50:13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. 50:14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father." (Genesis 50:1-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: Centuries after he died, did Joseph take part in the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt?
Exodus 13:19; see also Joseph's Bones


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