A Daily Genesis

Genesis 50:10-21

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] 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.[/B]

A 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).

The Hebrew word for Gorena is [I]goren [/I](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.

Seven days became a traditional period of Jewish mourning (e.g. 1Sam 31:13, Job 2:13)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]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.[/B]

Abel-mizraim means Meadow of the Egyptians. Unfortunately, it's precise location has been lost in antiquity.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] 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.[/B]

If 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.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] 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?[/B]

Where 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.

Jacob 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!

Joseph's 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.

Nobody's reputation is safe in the hands of people like that who fail to take into consideration someone's impeccable track record.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] 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.[/B]

That 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 messengers posthumously.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 50:17b . . And Joseph was in tears as they spoke to him.[/B]

The 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?

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]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 to them.[/B]

They 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.

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