1Joseph threw himself on his father’s body. He wept over him and kissed him. 2 Then Joseph talked to the doctors who served him. He told them to prepare the body of his father Israel to be buried. So the doctors prepared it. 3 They took 40 days to do it. They needed that much time to prepare a body in the right way. The Egyptians mourned for Jacob 70 days.
4 After the days of sadness had passed, Joseph went to Pharaoh’s officials. He said to them, “If you are pleased with me, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, 5 ‘My father made me give my word to him. He said, “I’m about to die. Bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” So let me go there and bury my father. Then I’ll come back.’ ”
6 Pharaoh said, “Go there and bury your father. Do what he made you promise to do.”
7 So Joseph went to Canaan to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials went with him. They were the important people of his court and all the leaders of Egypt. 8 Joseph’s family also went. His brothers and all the rest of his father’s family went. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. 9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large group.
10 They came to Atad, a place where grain was processed. It was near the Jordan River. There they sobbed loudly and bitterly. Joseph set apart seven days of sadness to honor his father’s memory. 11 The Canaanites living in that area saw how sad all of them were. They said, “The Egyptians are having a very special service for the dead.” That’s why that place near the Jordan River is called Abel of the Egyptians.
12 So Jacob’s sons did exactly as he had commanded them. 13 They carried his body to the land of Canaan. They buried it in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre. Abraham had bought the cave as a place where he could bury his wife’s body. He had bought the cave and the field from Ephron, the Hittite. 14 After Joseph buried his father, he went back to Egypt. His brothers and all the others who had gone to help him bury his father went back with him.
Joseph Calms His Brothers’ Fears
15 Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers were worried. They said, “Remember all the bad things we did to Joseph? What if he decides to hold those things against us? What if he pays us back for them?” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph. They said, “Your father gave us directions before he died. 17 He said, ‘Here’s what you must say to Joseph. Tell him, “I’m asking you to forgive your brothers. Forgive the terrible things they did to you. Forgive them for treating you so badly.” ’ Now then, please forgive our sins. We serve the God of your father.” When their message came to Joseph, he wept.
18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down in front of him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Do you think I’m God? 20 You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I’ll provide for you and your children.” He calmed their fears. And he spoke in a kind way to them.
22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived 110 years. 23 He lived long enough to see Ephraim’s children and grandchildren. When the children of Makir were born, they were placed on Joseph’s knees and counted as his own children. Makir was the son of Manasseh.
24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m about to die. But God will surely come to help you. He’ll take you up out of this land. He’ll bring you to the land he promised to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 Joseph made the Israelites promise him. He said, “God will surely come to help you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. They prepared his body to be buried. Then he was placed in a casket in Egypt.