GT Bible Studies    


Navigation Glad Tidings Bible Studies Other material 


Gen 50

BACKGROUND: Joseph really got to close his father’s eyes, just like God had promised Jacob. Note that Joseph was not allowed to visit even once the Promised Land after he had been made to leave it as a 17 years old young man.

The Hebrews were usually not embalmed so an exception was made for Jacob and Joseph. The embalmment took usually 70 days, but it could be performed also in a shorter time period, cf. verse 3. Look at the map the distances between Goshen and Abel-mizraim and Abel-mizraim and Hebron.

- What does Joseph’s grief show about him (1)?
- How did the Pharaoh make sure that his Prime Minister would return from his homeland to Egypt?

In a way Jacob had two burials; first in Abel-mizraim that was west of the Jordan and then in Mamre, in the cave of the field Machpelah. The Egyptian nobles of the court were apparently not allowed to attend the second burial. That tomb still exists in Hebron but it cannot be researched.

- Imagine how Joseph might have felt as he was able to visit the Promised Land one more time. What kind of thoughts might have gone through his head on that journey?

- What made the brothers fear Joseph’s revenge (15)?
- Why didn’t the brothers ask for forgiveness in their own name(16-17)?
- Why did Joseph weep (17b)?
- What did Joseph’s tears communicate to the brothers?
- What did the brothers mean with their plea in verse 18b?
- What do the verses 19-21 show us about Joseph?
- What if Joseph had answered his brothers: “It’s ok” – what would have been the influence of these words?
- Do you think the brothers got finally peace in their hearts after all this? Give reason for your answer.
- What did the brothers learn about mercy by this episode?

Immortality was an obsession for the Egyptians. The grander the grave and the more it was full of things, the better the eternity they believed. But Joseph didn’t believe so.

- Do you think Joseph was allowed to be in a high position in Egypt until his old age? Give reasons for your answer.
- What was Joseph’s attitude towards his own death?
- Why didn’t Joseph build himself a grand grave with full of treasures as the other nobles of Egypt did?
- The New Testament describes Joseph’s faith like this: By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.(Hebr. 11:22*) Why did the writer of the letter to Hebrews regard specifically this request as the greatest evidence of faith in Joseph’s life?

Summarizing question:
- How does Joseph appear as Jesus’ prefigure in this chapter?
- What is the most important thing you have learned when studying Joseph’s life?

IN CONCLUSION: Joseph and other patriarchs didn’t believe in the land of Canaan that was promised them but in the everlasting home country behind it: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebr. 11:13-16)

Version for printing    
Contact us