January 20th Genesis 49 Jacob blesses his sons
1: And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. 2: Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. 3: Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. 5: Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. 6: O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 7: Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. 8: Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. 9: Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11: Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. 13: Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. 14: Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: 15: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute. 16: Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17: Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. 18: I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD. 19: Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. 20: Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. 21: Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words. 22: Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: 23: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 24: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 25: Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: 26: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. 27: Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil. 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.
Jacob dies and is buried
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, 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. 31: There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 32: The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth. 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, and was gathered unto his people.
Genesis 50 Joseph comforts his brothers
1: And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. 2: And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. 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. 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, 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. 6: And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear. 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, 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. 9: And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. 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. 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 Abel-mizraim, which is beyond Jordan. 12: And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 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. 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.
Joseph dies and is embalmed
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. 16: And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 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. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18: And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 19: And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20: But as for you, 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. 21: Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. 22: And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. 23: And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees. 24: And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 25: And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. 26: So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
In chapter 49 we have the death of Jacob and in chapter 50 we have the death of Joseph. Both chapters are sad because they describe the death of great men of God. However before that we have the blessing of Jacob to his sons and we have an insight into what a patriarchal blessing was. Of Reuben he said, you are my first born, my strength, the one who excels in dignity and who exceeds in power yet you are unstable like water, you will not achieve because you defiled your fathers bed. The position of firstborn involved three things, Authority, Priestly function and a double portion of the blessing. Because of his sinfulness, the authority went to Judah, the priestly function went to Levi and the double portion of the blessing went to Josephs two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Then he turns to Simeon and Levi. And he says of then they are instruments of cruelty. They were murderers and burglars. Jacob curses their anger. Jacob will divide them because together they encourage each other. To Judah he says your brethren will praise you and you will be overpowering to your enemies. Some of what Jacob says here is difficult to understand, in spite of translation. Judah will rule Israel until the coming of the Messiah. Then the people will gather to him. Zebulon will live by the sea. Issachar is a strong servant to him brothers. Dan will judge the people but he will be like a snake by the path that bites the horses heels to bring the rider to the ground. Gad will be over come by a band but he will win in the end. Asher will produce food such as bread and confectionary. Naphtali is like a young deer let loose. But Joseph is like a fruitful branch. The branch will run over the wall and give fruit to others. He has been through tribulation but will conquer all in Gods hands. Benjamin will be like a ravenous wolf. He will kill in the morning and at night divide the meat. These blessing were like prophetic statements of their future based in part on their past performance. Lastly Jacob gave them a solemn charge to bury him in the cave of Machpelah were Abraham and Sarah, Isaac are Rebekah buried and Leah. Jacob gathered up his feet for the last time and died. Joseph fell on his fathers face and wept and kissed him. Then Joseph commanded that Jacob be embalmed in the Egyptian way which took 40 days. The Egyptians mourned for Jacob for 70 days. Joseph asked the King to allow him to go and bury his father as he had been charged so they took Jacob and buried him. And they mourned for him another seven days after his burial. After the death of Jacob Josephs brothers thought that he would take revenge on them. But Joseph wept when they expressed their concern. How could they think that they were at risk from him? He said do not be afraid l am like God to you. You thought evil for me but God meant all this for good, to save much people by me. I will feed you and your little children. Joseph lived to 110 yrs of age. Joseph saw his great grand-children. Joseph made the children of Israel swear that when they came out of Egypt they would take Joseph with them to Canaan. Joseph died and was embalmed and when the children of Israel left Egypt with Moses many years later they took Joseph and finally buried him in Canaan.