25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.

26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Unlike Jacob, Joseph was not immediately carried to his resting place in the land of Canaan. He was embalmed after the Egyptian tradition and then he was laid to rest in Egypt. Many years later his prophecy would come true, though, as the Israelites carried his bones with them in their Exodus and laid him to rest in Shechem.

Of course, this meant that all the time that the Israelites were in bondage, and also later when they wandered forty years in the wilderness without a proper home, during all that time they had the bones of Joseph close beside them. How fitting that Joseph, who was carried away from his home and had to wait years for his deliverance, was present with the Israelites when they went through the same experiences. He was the first Israelite slave in Egypt and his bones were a companion to the last ones.

Also interesting to me is that in his death we see the dual nature of his nationality. He was embalmed and laid to rest in Egypt, the land of his redemption and vocation, but his conviction was to still be brought back to the home of his fathers. When his brothers sold him into Egypt it would be hundreds of years before he came back to the land of his inheritance, but eventually God would restore him back to where he belonged.

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