Joseph’s Promise to His Brothers And His Death

An evangelist asked all who wanted to go to heaven to raise their hands. Everyone in the audience did so, except one elderly black man sitting near the front of the auditorium. The preacher pointed his finger at him and said, ‘Sir, don’t you want to go to heaven?’ ‘ … More


Now that Jacob was dead, the brothers, fearing that Joseph would deal harshly with them for their past deeds, pleaded for forgiveness(vv. 15-21). Once again they offered to be Joseph’s slaves. However, after  weeping he reassured them that all that had happened was a part of God’s plan and that he planned to continue to provide for them. The story of Joseph’s death and burial is told in the next five verses and with that death the book of Genesis ends (vv. 22-26):

1. Joseph’s dwelling (v. 22). - “And Joseph dwelt in Egypt.” Even though he had success and influence, his heart affections were in the promised land and not Egypt.

2. Joseph’s descendants (v. 23). - “And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation.”

3. Joseph’s discernment (v. 24). - “I die, he said, and God will surely visit you out of this land unto the land which he swear to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.”

4. Joseph’s demand (v. 25). - “And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry my bones from hence.”

5. Joseph’s death (v. 26). - “So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”

John Phillips in his book EXPLORING GENESIS says this about the book of Genesis. It begins with creation and ends with a coffin. It begins with glory and ends with a grave. It begins with the vastness of eternity and ends with the shortness of time. It begins with the living God and ends with a dead man. It begins with a blaze of brightness in heaven and ends with a box of bones in Egypt. 

Joseph’s life is a reminder that sometimes God may allow us to go through difficult times, but no matter how unfair, we can be sure that God will use it for good. The book of Genesis ends with a solemn reminder of the curse of sin, which  brings death to every man. This should remind us of our great need of redemption which only God through his Son Jesus Christ can give.


It is great to be ready to die. Like Joseph I could make provisions for my burial but far more important than that is what I have done in making preparation to be with the Lord.  

Genesis 50:15-26 (English Standard Version)

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