Welcome Home, Jacob


Some people are okay with thinking and talking about the kind of funeral they would like to have. Other folks think it’s weird or morbid to even think about those things. Whatever camp you fall into, I’m sure you would agree that we all would like nice things to be said about us when we die—that we were kind, nice to dogs, and maybe, even that we always knew God would answer his promises in our lives. Being known as a person who was full of faith would be a great legacy to leave behind.

  • What are God’s promises in your life that have not yet happened?
  • How do you express your faith in God as you wait for their fulfillment?


49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. 29 Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.” 33 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.

50:1 Then Joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. Forty days were required for it, for that is how many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.

And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, ‘My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die: in my tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.” Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return.’” And Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear.” So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company. 10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11 When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. 12 Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them, 13 for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was Jacob’s last request (vss. 49:28-33)? Why was this important to him?
  2. Joseph went to Pharaoh for permission to leave. How did Pharaoh respond (vss. 50:4-6)?
  3. How was the journey by Joseph and his brothers honoring to Jacob? How did Jacob’s desire to be buried in Canaan demonstrate faith?
  4. Egypt was not their home; the future of God’s people was elsewhere. In what ways does your life demonstrate the assurance of things hoped for?


There was sadness when Jacob (also known as Israel, the great father of promise) died, but the promise that God had given him and Isaac and Abraham had not died. Jacob still knew and remembered God’s promise, and he wanted his sons to remember. By asking them to bury him in the cave of Abraham and Isaac, he was reminding his sons that God had been faithful to their forefathers and he would continue to faithfully fulfill his promises in their lives. Their hope was anchored in and fueled by a future reality. Be encouraged that he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).

  • Thank God for his faithfulness through all generations.
  • Ask God to help you faithfully wait for his promises to be fulfilled in your life.