28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. 

29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.

30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.

Jacob selects Judah to lead the way to Goshen. Previously we have discussed that Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, the three eldest sons of Jacob, had each forfeited their birthright through various sins they committed. And while Judah was by no means a saint, clearly Jacob sees him as the most steady and trustworthy of his elder sons, and so gives him the honor and responsibility that are befitting of a first-born.

I’m amused by the understated description of Jacob and Joseph’s emotional reunion, simply stating that Joseph wept upon his father’s neck for “a good while.” Jacob had been the one to protect and love Joseph, even when all the rest of the household reviled him for his dreams. He had been the boy’s only parental support after his mother, Rachel, had passed away. And then this last great support had been torn prematurely from Joseph’s side. Perhaps it had been necessary, so that Joseph could fully come to rely on God as his support instead, but still, what a joyful reunion to be back with the man who always loved Joseph most.

And as for Jacob, he emphatically declares that he is ready to die. Though he has lost many things in life, by having this one relationship restored at the end he is at peace.

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