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Genesis 49:28-50:14

Talks for Growing Christians

The Death and Burial of Jacob

Genesis 49:28-50:14

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Lesson Number 109

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The death and burial of a believer can be a testimony to God’s truth.
  2. The grief and sorrow of a believer is not a denial of God’s truth.

Practical Application

  1. Facing the future is not always easy.

Questions

  1. What was the last act of Jacob’s life? What was his last request?
  2. Where was the burial site of the patriarchs located?
  3. Jacob’s embalming was different from the normal Egyptian embalming. What were the differences?
  4. What types of people were in Jacob’s funeral cortege?
  5. How was Jacob’s death and burial a testimony to the Egyptians?
  6. Is it wrong for a believer to grieve over the death of a loved one? Is grieving a denial of God’s truth?

Answers

  1. His last act was to bless each of his twelve sons. His last request was that he be burried in Canaan rather than in Egypt.
  2. In the cave of the field of Machpelah in the land of Canaan.
  3. It was done under Joseph’s supervision and with Joseph’s appointed servants and physicians rather than by the pagan Egyptian professional embalmers. In addition, the mourning period, although extended and solemn, was seventy days rather than the seventy-two mourning period of the Pharaohs.
  4. A great number of Hebrew people, Egyptian officials, servants, dignitaries, and chariots and horsemen with chariots.
  5. Jacob had said, “I am to be gathered to my people.” This was not just a figurative expression or an euphemism for death. It is used a number of times in the Old Testament about the death of believers, conveying God’s truth that there is life after death. The fact that Jacob desired his burial to be in a cave rather than in a great pyramid in Egypt testified to the fact that he believed the promise of God that he and his descendants would return to Canaan.
  6. When Jacob died, his son Joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. He then mourned the loss of his father for quite some time. This was not a denial of God’s truth. God has designed the human heart in such a way that we go through a time of grief and sorrow in the loss of a loved one. But the sorrow of a believer is not like the sorrow of those who have no hope. See 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Recall times when you have evidenced the testimony to God’s truth in the death and burial of a believer.
  2. Grief and sorrow of a believer is not a denial of God’s truth. How have you experienced this personally?

Challenge

  1. Facing the future is not always easy. Rely on the promises of our gracious Lord as you adjust to difficult days. Read Hebrews 4:16 and Jeremiah 29:11. Depend on the Lord for His promised help.

Key Verses

  • “He blessed them, each one according to his own blessing....” Genesis 49:28
  • “Joseph wept over him and kissed him (and mourned).” Genesis 50:1

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