Mon, Feb 1st - 10:40AM
†. Gen 50:10 . .When they came to Gorena
ha-Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and solemn
lamentation; and he observed a mourning period of seven days for his father.
geographic location described as "beyond the Jordan" suggests the
east side of the river but the term is ambiguous and can just as easily mean
west (e.g. Deut 3:18-20).
Hebrew word for Gorena is goren
(go'-ren) which identifies smooth places; e.g. threshing floors or any cleared
space like a parade ground. Judging by the size of Joseph's cortege, I'd have
to say Gorena ha-Atad comprised some appreciable acreage.
days became a traditional period of Jewish mourning (e.g. 1Sam 31:13, Job 2:13)
†. Gen 50:11 . . And when the Canaanite
inhabitants of the land saw the mourning at Goren ha-Atad, they said; This is a
solemn mourning on the part of the Egyptians. That is why it was named
Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
means Meadow of the Egyptians. Unfortunately, it's precise location has been
lost in antiquity.
†. Gen 50:12-14 . .Thus his sons did for him as
he had instructed them. His sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried
him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham
had bought for a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. After burying his father,
Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who had gone up with him
to bury his father.
Joseph and his brothers were aware of the prediction Yhvh made to Abraham back
in Gen 15:13-14, then they probably returned to Egypt with heaviness knowing in
advance the slavery and the oppression in store for their progeny.
†. Gen 50:15 . .When Joseph's brothers saw that
their father was dead, they said: What if Joseph still bears a grudge against
us and pays us back for all the wrong that we did him?
did they get the idea that Joseph was bearing any grudge at all, let alone
"still" bearing a grudge? You know what they did? They did just what
Laban did to Jacob back in chapter 31 when he threatened Jacob with Divine
retribution if he abused Rachel and Leah or dumped them for other women.
had worked for Laban, on his ranch, up close and personal for twenty years and
never gave Laban one single reason to either believe, or suspect that Jacob
might do unkind things to his wives. In other words: Laban projected; that is:
he assumed everyone was like himself. Now that's an ego!
brothers had a wicked conscience. It wasn't beyond them to project their own
base motives upon everybody else and assume everybody else would do the very
same things they themselves would do in their place. They totally brushed aside
the gracious reception they received in Joseph's house back in chapter 45 and
replaced his hospitality with their own corrupt imaginations; not to mention
the seventeen years just past when they lived a very good life in Egypt under
Joseph's generous auspices.
reputation is safe in the hands of people like that who fail to take into
consideration someone's impeccable track record.
†. Gen 50:16-17a . . So they sent this message
to Joseph: Before his death your father left this instruction: So shall you say
to Joseph; Forgive, I urge you, the offense and guilt of your brothers who
treated you so harshly. Therefore, please forgive the offense of the servants
of the God of your father.
is one of the most bold, bare-faced lies in the entire Bible. If Jacob had
desired Joseph to let his brothers off like they said, he would have met with
Joseph and said so himself in person rather than elect the brothers as his
†. Gen 50:17b . . And Joseph was in tears as
they spoke to him.
people referred to as "they" were not the brothers, but rather, the
messengers they sent. I've not doubt whatsoever that Joseph suspected the
message was a lie concocted by his brothers as a desperate measure to save
their own skins. His disappointment in them for not trusting him must have been
overwhelming. Joseph had never done even one single thing in his entire life to
deliberately injure his brothers and this is how they react?
†. Gen 50:18-21 . . His brothers went to him
themselves, flung themselves before him, and said: We are prepared to be your
slaves. But Joseph said to them: Have no fear. Am I a substitute for God?
Besides, although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to
bring about the present result-- the survival of many people. And so, fear not.
I will sustain you and your children. Thus he reassured them, speaking kindly
say repetition is an effective teaching aid; and it's probably because some
people just don't pay attention. Joseph had already made a similar speech to
his brothers once before already in chapter 45 and here he is having to do it
all over again. Their lack of trust in his word as a man of honor and integrity
is just unforgivable.