The Journey of Joseph: Jacob’s Death.  

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. 29 Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am 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 at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.” 33 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.” (Genesis 49:28–33 (ESV)

Moses recorded the final moments of the patriarch Jacob. Following Jacob’s blessings upon his sons he requested that they bury him in the land of Canaan. This paralleled his earlier request of Joseph (Gen. 47:29-31).   

Jacob said to them, ““I am 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 at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.”

In effect, Jacob desired to be buried in the family plot. He possessed a strong sense of his family’s heritage.

Dr. R. C. Sproul explains, “Like Abraham and Isaac, Jacob demonstrates his trust in the Lord’s promise in asking to be buried with them at Machpelah, in the good land the Creator promised to his family (Gen. 49:29–32). God’s faithfulness to His word guarantees Jacob’s salvation, and he teaches his sons this lesson by having them bury him there.”

John Calvin writes, “Jacob did not wish to be carried into the land of Canaan, as if he would be nearer to heaven for being buried there; but that, being dead, he might claim possession of a land which he had held during his life…because it was profitable that the memory of the promise should be renewed, by this symbol, among his surviving sons, in order that they might aspire to it.”

Following his blessings and last instructions to his sons, Jacob died. Today’s text says, “When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.”

Dr. John Walvoord states, “So Jacob died after 147 years (Gen. 47:28) of struggle; his sorrow came to an end. Infirmities, he had many; sins, not a few. But Jacob had an unquenchable desire for God’s blessing. He had a deep piety that habitually relied on God in spite of all else. In the end he died as a man of genuine faith. He learned in his life where the real blessings came from, and he fought with God and man to be privileged to hand them on to his sons.”

It has been said that it is not as important how you start, but how you finish. Jacob finished well, by the grace of God. May we strive to finish well in the life the LORD has given to us.

Soli deo Gloria!  

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