Genesis 50:15-26

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.”

16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying,

17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” ’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”

19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?

20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

22 So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s household. And Joseph lived one hundred and ten years.

23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were also brought up on Joseph’s knees.

24 And Joseph said to his brethren, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”

25 Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”

26 So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

[Jacob’s brothers] decided to send word to Joseph to remind him that Jacob had urged him to forgive them. This time [for the first time in the record of Scripture], their message did include a clear and definite confession of sin and plea for forgiveness. … It was significant that they called themselves “the servants of the God of thy father.” They had all by this time apparently become sincere in their understanding of God’s special calling for them. [They followed up their message] by coming directly into [Joseph’s] presence with an offer to become his slaves. … God had clearly used their deed to accomplish His own good purpose to preserve life through the famine, [and] Joseph assured them he would see that they and their children were protected and nourished, speaking (literally) “to their hearts.” — Morris, pages 666-667.


Jacob died when Joseph was fifty-six years old (Genesis 41:46, 53; 45:6; 47:28). Joseph continued to live for another fifty-four years after that, finally dying at the age of 110. … Joseph lived to know some of his great-grandchildren. His older son, Manasseh, seems to have had two sons of his own, Machir, and Asriel (Numbers 26:29-31; 1 Chronicles 7:14), and possibly others. The children of Machir included Gilead, the ancestor of the Gileadites (Numbers 26:29). Joseph also saw the “children of the third generation” of his younger son, Ephraim. Joseph could see that he would have a numerous progeny, in accord with God’s promises (Genesis 48:19-20). — Morris, page 667.


Joseph asked his brothers, the children of Israel, to promise that they would bury him in Canaan as they had buried Jacob there. They took an oath to do this, an oath finally fulfilled by their heirs (Exodus 13:19; Joshua 24:32). Joseph realized, now that he was dying, it would be impossible for his brothers to organize and expedition to bury him in Canaan right after his death. However, he fully believed that they would someday move back to Canaan, and it would be at that time that he wanted them to take his bones with them. For this confidence and faith, he was mentioned in the “faith” chapter of Hebrews (Hebrews 11:22). Joseph then died and his body, like that of Jacob, was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt. — Morris, page 668.


Though Jacob’s family returns to their privileged place in Goshen in the land of Egypt, the focus on returning to the Promised Land continues with Joseph, who binds the sons of Israel with the charge that “God will surely visit you and you will carry up my bones from here”—the key words here being “visit” (from a root verb which, when used of God, implies an active interest on behalf of His people) and “carry up” (which verb, when used directionally, refers to movement toward the Promised Land, and within the Promised Land to Jerusalem and the Temple—i.e., closer to the Presence of the Lord). Thus Genesis comes to a close by anticipating the return not only of Israel to the ideal of the Promised Land, but also, therefore, of “all families of the earth” (per Genesis 12:3, etc.) to the ideal of Creation as it was in the pre-fall Garden, when all of God’s servants “shall see His face” and as co-heirs “reign forever and ever” (Romans 8:17; Revelation 22:4-5). — Wechsler, pages 366-267.

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