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Genesis 50:15-26 - Homiletics

The last of the house of Jacob.

I. JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN ( Genesis 50:15-18 ).

1. The unworthy suspicion . After Jacob's death, Joseph's brethren began to fear lest he should seek to revenge himself on account of his early injuries. It was perhaps natural that such an apprehension should arise within their breasts, considering the enormity of the wickedness of which they had been guilty; but remembering all the tokens of Joseph's love which already they had received, it was surely unkind to Joseph to suffer such a thought for even a moment to find a lodgment in their breasts.

2. The friendly embassage . Deputing Benjamin, it is thought, to be the bearer of their wishes, they instructed him to remind Joseph of their dead father's desire that he should forgive the evil he had suffered at their hands, and to solicit an express assurance from his own lips that it was so.

3. The voluntary humiliation . Whether they allowed their messenger to return or followed close upon his heels cannot be certainly concluded. But they appear to have resorted in a body to Joseph's palace, and placed themselves unconditionally in his power: "Behold, we be thy servants," meaning, "Do with us what seemeth good in thy sight."

4. The generous assurance . As they desired, he explicitly declared, though with tears at their unkindness, that they had no cause whatever to anticipate his anger, that he was not in God's place that he should seek to punish them for a sin which had turned out so providentially for good, and that on the contrary he would continue to nourish them and their little ones so long as they remained in Egypt.


1. The children of Ephraim . He lived long enough to see the children of Ephraim's grandchildren born into this sinful world, and then he died at the good old age of 110 years.

2. The children of Manasseh . He saw the offspring of Manasseh's son born, and either adopted into his own family, or brought up in his own house.


1. Joseph ' s premonition of approaching death . "Joseph said unto his brethren,"—i.e. the descendants of his brethren, his actual brethren having in all probability predeceased him,—" I die." Along with this Joseph recalled to their minds the sacred promise that God would eventually visit them and cause them to return to their own land. It is well when death approaches to remember God's promises. The thoughts of God are very suitable for dying hours.

2. Joseph ' s preparation for death . He took an oath of the children of Israel that they would carry up his bones to Canaan, in this following the example and imitating the faith of his revered father Jacob.

3. Joseph's falling asleep in death . "Joseph died, the son of an hundred and ten years." He had lived a shorter life than any of the four great preceding patriarchs; but his life had been eminently honored and useful, and his death, we may be sure, would be beautifully calm and peaceful.

4. Joseph ' s body after death . It was embalmed, and the mummy put into a coffin for better preservation, until the time approached when it could be taken for consignment to the holy land.


1. How difficult it is to shake oneself free from the evil consequences of sin, even after it has been forgiven.

2. How painful to a loving heart it is to be suspected of cherishing a feeling of revenge.

3. How generously God sometimes rewards his servants on earth, by permitting them to see children's children, born and brought up, and sometimes also brought into the family of his Church.

4. How peacefully a child of God can die; and

5. How hopefully he ought to look forward to the resurrection

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