Daily Word

Treated as royalty | Genesis 50:1-6

1 Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him. 2 Then Joseph told the physicians who served him to embalm his father’s body; so Jacob was embalmed. 3 The embalming process took the usual forty days. And the Egyptians mourned his death for seventy days.

4 When the period of mourning was over, Joseph approached Pharaoh’s advisers and said, “Please do me this favor and speak to Pharaoh on my behalf. 5 Tell him that my father made me swear an oath. He said to me, ‘Listen, I am about to die. Take my body back to the land of Canaan, and bury me in the tomb I prepared for myself.’ So please allow me to go and bury my father. After his burial, I will return without delay.”

6 Pharaoh agreed to Joseph’s request. “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise,” he said.

Genesis 50:1-6 (NLT)

Joseph’s love for dad

We get a glimpse here of the love of Joseph for Jacob. Jacob just blessed the boys and ordered them to take him home to be buried. Joseph was the beloved son (Gen 37:1-4), which got him into a world of trouble. But, God used it to save the family (Genesis 45:4-15), the people of Israel, so they could eventually be a blessing to the whole of the human race in Christ. Here we see him expressing that love back toward his father. I find it curious that the other sons aren’t recorded as having this same reaction.

Treated as royalty

The process of embalming was not simple. For more on the topic, click here. Jacob was treated like one of the leaders of Egypt. Then we’re told that all the Egyptians mourned for 70 days! (This was just two days less than they normally mourned the death of a Pharaoh). Again, Jacob, due to Joseph, his son, was treated like royalty. 

The ask

So Jacob is embalmed and ready to be taken home per his request. One final step – they need Pharaoh’s approval. It was the proper thing to do – especially since he’d be gone a while. If he went without asking, Pharaoh might have wondered if Joseph was trying to do something sneaky. I sense this is why he also promised to return quickly.

It’s curious that Joseph, even though 2nd in command to Pharaoh, doesn’t directly go to Pharaoh. I can only guess that it goes back to the statement that Egyptians despised the Jews (Genesis 43:32) for they were shepherds, combined with Pharaoh’s being considered gods. Interesting to note that this is, “the kind of detail that would be noted by true witness of the events, and not made up by a storyteller.” (enduringword.com)


  • As we see how Jacob was treated due to Joseph, we see a picture of us and Christ. We are treated by God as royalty, sons of the King, because of Christ. Know that you are His adopted child (Romans 8:16).
Nigerian king crowned. Royalty. Image from scmp.com *

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