The Burials of Jacob and Joseph, 1-26
50:1 Then Joseph hugged his father’s face. He wept over him and kissed him. 50:2 Joseph instructed the physicians in his service to embalm his father, so the physicians embalmed Israel. 50:3 They took forty days, for that is the full time needed for embalming. The Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
50:4 When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s royal court, “If I have found favor in your sight, please say to Pharaoh, 50:5 ‘My father made me swear an oath. He said, “I am about to die. Bury me in my tomb that I dug for myself there in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go and bury my father; then I will return.’ ” 50:6 So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father, just as he made you swear to do.”
50:7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; all Pharaoh’s officials went with him—the senior courtiers of his household, all the senior officials of the land of Egypt, 50:8 all Joseph’s household, his brothers, and his father’s household. But they left their little children and their flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 50:9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him, so it was a very large entourage.
50:10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad on the other side of the Jordan, they mourned there with very great and bitter sorrow. There Joseph observed a seven day period of mourning for his father. 50:11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a very sad occasion for the Egyptians.” That is why its name was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
50:12 So the sons of Jacob did for him just as he had instructed them. 50:13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the field Abraham purchased as a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 50:14 After he buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, along with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to bury his father.
50:15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge and wants to repay us in full for all the harm we did to him?” 50:16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave these instructions before he died: 50:17 ‘Tell Joseph this: Please forgive the sin of your brothers and the wrong they did when they treated you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sin of the servants of the God of your father.” When this message was reported to him, Joseph wept.
50:18 Then his brothers also came and threw themselves down before him; they said, “Here we are; we are your slaves.” 50:19 But Joseph answered them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 50:20 As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day. 50:21 So now, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your little children.” Then he consoled them and spoke kindly to them.
“You meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose” –
‘Scripture clearly says that Joseph’s brothers were wrongly jealous of him (Gen. 37:11), hated him (Gen. 37:4, 5, 8), wanted to kill him (Gen. 37:20), did wrong when they cast him into a pit (Gen. 37:24), and sold him into slavery in Egypt (Gen. 37:28). Yet later Joseph could say to his brothers, “God sent me before you to preserve life” (Gen. 45:5), and “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen. 50:20). Here we have a combination of evil deeds brought about by sinful men who are rightly held accountable for their sin and the overriding providential control of God whereby God’s own purposes were accomplished. Both are clearly affirmed.’ (Grudem, Systematic Theology, 2nd ed., p429)
‘Be careful not to water this down. It does not say, “God used it for good” or “God turned it for good.” It says, “God meant it for good.” They had an evil purpose. God had a good purpose. God didn’t start cleaning up halfway through this sinful affair. He had a purpose, a meaning, from the beginning. From the start, he meant it for good.’ (Piper, Coronavirus and Christ)