Genesis 50:1 MEANING

Genesis 50:1
Verse 1. - And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. Joseph had no doubt closed the eyes of his revered and beloved parent, as God had promised to the patriarch that he would (Genesis 46:4), and now, in demonstration both of the intensity of his love and of the bitterness of his sorrow, he sinks upon the couch upon which the lifeless form is lying, bonding over the pallid countenance with warm tears, and imprinting kisses of affection on the cold and irresponsive lip. It is neither unnatural nor irreligious to mourn for the dead; and he must be callous indeed who can see a parent die without an outburst of tender grief.

50:1-6 Though pious relatives and friends have lived to a good old age, and we are confident they are gone to glory, yet we may regret our own loss, and pay respect to their memory by lamenting them. Grace does not destroy, but it purifies, moderates, and regulates natural affection. The departed soul is out of the reach of any tokens of our affection; but it is proper to show respect to the body, of which we look for a glorious and joyful resurrection, whatever may become of its remains in this world. Thus Joseph showed his faith in God, and love to his father. He ordered the body to be embalmed, or wrapped up with spices, to preserve it. See how vile our bodies are, when the soul has forsaken them; they will in a very little time become noisome, and offensive.And Joseph fell upon his father's face,.... Laid his own face to the cold face and pale cheeks of his dead father, out of his tender affection for him, and grief at parting with him; this shows that Joseph had been present from the time his father sent for him, and all the while he had been blessing the tribes, and giving orders about his funeral:

and wept upon him; which to do for and over the dead is neither unlawful nor unbecoming, provided it is not carried to excess, as the instances of David, Christ, and others show:

and kissed him; taking his farewell of him, as friends used to do, when parting and going a long journey, as death is. This was practised by Heathens, who had a notion that the soul went out of the body by the mouth, and they in this way received it into themselves: so Augustus Caesar died in the kisses of Livia, and Drusius in the embraces and kisses of Caesar (w). Joseph no doubt at this time closed the eyes of his father also, as it is said he should, and as was usual; see Genesis 46:4.

(w) Vid. Kirchman. de Funer. Rom. l. 1. c. 5.

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