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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Genesis 50

Verses 1-26


The Burial of Jacob, and Death of Joseph

2. For the importance attached by the Egyptians to the preservation of the corpse see on Genesis 40:19. The process, which was so thorough that mummies of Joseph’s time may be seen in our museums in a state of good preservation, was briefly as follows. The brain and intestines were removed, and the stomach cleansed and filled with spices (embalmed). The body was then steeped in a mixture of salt and soda (called natron), for forty or more days, to preserve it from decay. Next, it was bound up in strips of linen smeared with a sort of gum; and finally it was placed in a wooden case, shaped like the human body, and deposited in a sepulchral chamber.

4. When the days of his mourning were past] It could not have been that cause which prevented Joseph from going personally to Pharaoh. ’More probably it was not usual to take steps in a matter which personally concerned the minister, without the mediation of other exalted personages’ (D.).

10. Threshing floor of Atad] unknown. Beyond Jordan] i.e. E. of Jordan, implying that the writer is in Canaan: see on Deuteronomy 1:1.

11. Abel-mizraim] ’the meadow of Egypt.’ ’The name may be historically explained owing to the long period of Egyptian domination in Palestine in pre-Mosaic times, as we learn from the Tel-el Amarna letters, but the narrator connects the name with Ebel, “mourning”’ (D.).

19. Am I in the place of God?] i.e. to judge or to punish.

20. The selling of Joseph by his brethren had been a sinful action, but through his coming to Egypt God had brought about a great blessing to many. So He often brings good out of evil, though evil is not to be done in order that good may come. Joseph himself here sums up the great lesson of his career, so far at least as his brethren are concerned.

23. Were brought up upon] RV ’were born upon.’ Joseph took the newborn children on his lap and so recognised them as his descendants: see Genesis 30:3.

25. Cp. Hebrews 11:22,; ’By faith Joseph when he died made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones.’ Joseph’s instructions were carried out at the time of the exodus (Exodus 13:19) and his body was buried at Shechem: see Joshua 24:32.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Genesis 50". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/genesis-50.html. 1909.