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Monday, October 8 2018
A Bible Journey, 50: What Is Different About Jacob's Body?
"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"
When Jacob / Israel was about to die, he specified his place of burial - the family tomb in Hebron which was purchased by Abraham for his wife Sarah (see A Bible Journey, 23: The Hebron Sepulchre).
"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; 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.
Jacob became one of the six bodies in that tomb. But anyone entering the tomb would immediately be able to distinguish Jacob's remains from the five others. Jacob's body was made into a "mummy" according to the according Egyptian method of embalming.
"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 body preparation 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 (see The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: 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, October 8
314: Roman Emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae. Constantine went on to create the Church of Rome and many of its anti-Biblical doctrines, including "Sunday" worship from his idol Sol Invictus - "the invincible sun" (see Emperor Constantine's Sun Dogs and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and Why Observe The True Sabbath?).
451: The Council of Chalcedon opened.
1604: The supernova called "Kepler's nova" was first sighted.
1690: Belgrade was retaken by the Turks (i.e. the Ottoman Empire; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1738: Turkey (i.e. the Ottoman Empire) declared war on Russia to support Poland's resistance movement against Russian occupation.
1755: The French people known as Acadians were expelled from Nova Scotia by British forces who (correctly) believed that most would fight for France if war broke out between "New France" and "New England." Many of the Acadian people later returned, while many others moved to, or remained in, the French colonies in Louisiana (which was named after a French king named Louis) where "Acadian" became pronounced as "Cajun."
1806: British forces who were laying siege to the French port of Boulogne used Congreve Rockets, invented by Sir William Congreve. It was the first British use (the Chinese invented and used them centuries earlier) of rocket-propelled missiles (see The Rockets' Red Glare).
1840: King William I of Holland abdicated.
1856: Chinese police boarded the British vessel Arrow, arrested 12 Chinese crewmen on charges of piracy, and lowered the British flag. The incident led to the Second Anglo-Chinese War.
1871: The Great Fire of Chicago broke out. According to a popular legend, it was started when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern in a straw-filled barn. Over 300 people were killed, 90,000 were made homeless. Damage was estimated at $200 million.
1881: A typhoon and tidal wave killed 300,000 people in China and Indo-China (see also The Origin Of Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons).
1912: Montenegro's declaration of war against the Turks (i.e. the Ottoman Empire) began the first Balkan War between members of the Balkan League (Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro) and the Ottoman Empire. It was one of two short conflicts in the Balkans just before the First World War (1914-1918; see The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).
The Balkan states were victorious, and the Ottoman empire lost almost all of its European territory (to understand the connection of the Ottoman Empire to First and Second World Wars, listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1915: During the First World War (1914-1918), the Battle of Loos ended. Despite the loss of almost 430,000 British, French and German troops, neither side gained territory from the battle.
1939: Germany annexed western Poland after its invasion (see Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).
1942: The first west to east crossing of the Northwest Passage was completed with the arrival of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP, the "Mounties") schooner St. Roch in Halifax.
1945: President Harry Truman (it was Truman that ordered the atomic bombing of the civilian targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed over 250,000 men, women and children of those two cities) announced that U.S. atomic bomb secrets were being shared with Britain and Canada.
Britain went on to develop its own nuclear arsenal soon afterward, while Canada chose (as it has to the present day) not to arm itself with nuclear weapons despite having abundant natural materials. Canadian uranium is the source for most of the U.S. and British "weapons of mass destruction" and sophisticated technology readily available that would enable their rapid production (see also Who Would Throw A Nuclear Boomerang?).
1967: Clement Attlee died at age 84. He was the British Labor Party leader, serving as Prime Minister 1945-1951. Attlee defeated Winston Churchill at the end of the Second World War and presided over the establishment of the welfare state in Britain (nationalizing major British industries and the Bank of England).
Internationally, Attlee oversaw the granting of independence to India (that also established the separate nation of Pakistan with a division of India), Burma, Ceylon, and relinquished control of Egypt and "Palestine" where Israel would be founded thanks to the British defeat of the Ottoman Empire that had controlled the land of Israel (and most of the Middle East; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) for centuries (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1990: Israeli forces put down an Arab riot in Jerusalem. About 3,000 Arabs hurled stones from the Temple Mount onto thousands of Jews who were praying below at the Western Wall. The Arabs began the riot after hearing rumors that Jewish extremists were planning to march up onto the Temple Mount and lay a cornerstone for the Third Temple.
The "Temple Mount Faithful" organization now gather each year during the Festival of Succoth (Tabernacles) appealing for a massive Jewish pilgrimage to reclaim control of the Temple Mount. Some call for the outright destruction of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock to clear the way for the next Temple (while a "Holy Place" must be built for the prophesied "abomination of desolation to happen, when the Ark of the Covenant is found, there will be no time to build a "Temple" - it will most likely be housed in a tent, a Tabernacle, as it was during the 40 years in the Sinai; to understand these things, see our studies The Holy Place In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation).
1998: The U.S. House of Representatives voted to begin an impeachment inquiry of President Bill Clinton's activities regarding Monica Lewinsky and numerous other matters (see The Impeachment Of The President).
2005: Thousands of people in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan were killed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck the region.