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Monday, September 9 2013
Genesis 50: Jacob's Journey To The Afterlife
After a long mortal life (see Genesis 25: The Birth of Jacob and Esau, Genesis 29: Jacob In Syria and Genesis 35: The Return To Bethel), Jacob died in Egypt (see Genesis 47: Jacob's Israel In The Land Of Goshen). According to the custom and manner of the Egyptians, "Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed."
"50:1 And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
The Egyptian method of embalming, the creating of a "mummy" for its journey to the afterlife, was an elaborate ritual. An excerpt from the "Ancient Egyptian burial customs" article in Wikipedia on May 20 1013 (note the same 40 days of embalming as stated in the Scriptures):
"The most classic and common method of mummification dates back to the 18th Dynasty. The first step was to remove the internal organs and liquid so that the body would not decay. The embalmers took out the brain by inserting a sharp object in the nostril, breaking through it into the brain and then liquefying it. The next step was to remove the internal organs, the lungs, liver, stomach, and intestines, and place them in canopic jars with lids shaped like the heads of the protective deities, the four sons of Horus. The heart stayed in the body, because in the hall of judgment it would be weighed against the feather of Maat. After the body was washed with wine, it was stuffed with bags of natron. The dehydration process took 40 days."
When the embalming and period of mourning were completed, Joseph requested that the Pharaoh allow him to return to the land of Canaan to entomb his father Jacob.
"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." (Genesis 50:4-5 KJV)
The Pharaoh agreed to the request.
"50:6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear." (Genesis 50:6 KJV)
So it was that Joseph, then Prime Minister of Egypt, led a great funeral procession for Jacob back to the land where Joseph had been sold into Egyptian slavery by his brothers.
"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.
The mummy of Jacob was then placed in the tomb at Hebron along with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob's wife Leah who had been buried there by Jacob ("49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah." Genesis 49:31 KJV).
"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." (Genesis 50:12-13 KJV)
Joseph, after a last look at the land of his forefathers (Joseph himself had been born in Syria; see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria), returned to Egypt.
"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 50:14 KJV)
After the death of their father Jacob, Joseph's brothers feared that he would kill or imprison them for what they had done to him, but as he had already explained to them, "Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones."
"50:15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 50:16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 50:17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father.
All of the Israelite patriarchs (except one, Benjamin; see The Rachel Prophecies) were born in Syria, or in the case of Ephraim and Manasseh, in Egypt itself. According to the Biblical record, all of them, including Judah, lived out their lives in Egypt where they all died and were buried, presumably after being mummified. Joseph is the only patriarch in which his mummified body was stated to be carried back to the land of Canaan - a request that would be fulfilled four hundred years later, at the Exodus.
"50:22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. 50:23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees.
Fact Finder: The Egyptians mummified the bodies of their dead as a supposed means of their journey to the afterlife. The Holy Scriptures however make plain that the state, or even the existence, of a dead body has no bearing what-so-ever on their afterlife. What does the LORD say about the dead and when life after death begins?
This Day In History, September 9
9: Germanic tribes under the command of Hermann (who was known to the Romans as Arminius) annihilated three Roman legions (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) of Publius Quinctilius Varus in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. The Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), while extending across Europe from Israel to Britain, was never able to extend into Germany - which actually succeeded the Roman Empire as "the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
337: Constantine's three sons, already Caesars, each took the title of Augustus. Constantine II and Constans divided the western empire while Constantius II took control of the eastern empire (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1087: King William I of England died at age 60. Known as William the Conqueror, he was one of the greatest British kings and was much involved in European history - events of long ago that make the political world in which we find ourselves living today. A future British king, the oldest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, will be King William V.
1379: The Treaty of Neuberg divided the Austrian Habsburg lands between the Habsburg Dukes Albert III and Leopold III.
1493: The Battle of Krbava field, a decisive defeat of Croats in Croatian struggle against the invasion by the Ottoman Empire. Centuries later, it was the fall of the Ottoman Empire to the British that enabled the present-day state of "Israel" to come into existence.
1513: Forces of James IV of Scotland battled English troops in Flodden near Branxton, in the English county of Northumberland.
1543: Mary, Queen of Scots, was coronated.
1585: Pope Sixtus V blocked Henry of Navarre's rights to the French crown.
1754: William Bligh was born. As the 35 year-old captain of the Bounty in 1789, his crew made their famous mutiny. Bligh and 18 loyal members of his crew were set adrift in a small lifeboat, which they amazingly managed to sail about 6,500 kilometers (4,000 miles) to Timor. Some of the mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island after burning the ship just offshore.
1855: During the Crimean War, the Siege of Sevastopol ended when Russian forces abandoned the city.
1867: Adolphus abdicated as duke of Nassau and was granted 8.5 million thalers (the German word from which "dollar" originated) and a few castles as compensation.
1886: The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was finalized.
1914: During the First World War (1914-1918), the newly-formed "Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade" became the first fully-mechanized battle group in the British Army.
1948: After the withdrawal of Soviet forces from North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed with Pyongyang as its capital.
1965: Hurricane Betsy struck New Orleans, Louisiana, leaving 76 people dead and $1.42 billion (in 1965 dollars, about $15 billion today) in damages. It is regarded as the first hurricane to exceed $1 billion in damages.
1971: In Attica, New York, the four-day Attica Prison riot began. It ended with 39 dead, most killed by state troopers when they stormed the prison.
1976: Mao Zedong, Chinese communist leader died. He proclaimed the People's Republic of China in 1949 in Beijing.
1991: Tajikstan declare independence from the Soviet Union.
1993: The "Palestine Liberation Organization" (as the terrorist organization was first named by its founders) officially recognized Israel as a legitimate state.