Daily Word

Take me home | Genesis 49:28-33

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, every one with the blessing appropriate to him.

29 Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am about 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 of Machpelah, which is opposite Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth.”

33 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

Genesis 49:28-33 (NASB)

Blessing complete

Jacob finishes blessing his sons. As we said, it was as much prophecy as blessing. God was directing him in this. Each was “tailor-made”, appropriate to them. Joseph gets the most favor. Judah gets the banner of leader and progenitor of Messiah.

Take me home

Jacob knows he’s about to die. With his sons all in his presence, he commands them to bury him in the place of his ancestors. This is the cave at Machpelah his grandfather, Abraham, bought to bury Sarah, his wife (Genesis 23:1-9, 19) and where Isaac and Ismael buried Abraham (Genesis 21:7-11, 25:9–10). Isaac buried Rebekah there and Jacob previously buried Leah, his second wife. This cave then becomes the resting place for Jacob.

“Egypt was filled with magnificent tombs, and because of the respect Jacob had, he could have been buried like a Pharaoh. But he wanted to be buried in an obscure cave in Canaan, because Canaan was the land of promise.” (enduringword.com)

Gathered to his people

Then Jacob died, “was gathered to his people”. The tense of the sentence confirms it happened immediately. It was not referring to the burial to come in the future. Having imparted the blessing through the spirit of God, “his separated soul went to the assembly of the souls of the faithful, who after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh are in joy and felicity” (wesley commentary); the same end all followers of Christ await.


  • What is your hope for the afterlife? There surely is life after death. For followers of Christ, we have His promise from John 14:1-7 that Jesus is in Heaven preparing a place for us so that where He is, we might be also. What a comfort and hope! If you don’t have this, click here.
Oldee but goodee. *

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