Genesis 47:29
When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise me that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt,
The Sunset of a Long LifeR.A. Redford Genesis 47:27-31
Jacob's ApprehensionW. Roberts Genesis 47:28-31
Buried Where BornGenesis 47:29-30
Jacob's Request to be Buried in CanaanW. M. Taylor, D. D.Genesis 47:29-30
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 47:29-30
Love of Home in DeathOne Thousand New IllustrationsGenesis 47:29-30
Preparation for DeathW. M. Taylor, D. D.Genesis 47:29-30
Prepared for DeathDictionary of Religious AnecdoteGenesis 47:29-30
Ready for DeathDictionary of Religious AnecdoteGenesis 47:29-30


1. It was not anxiety about temporal support, for that had been generously made sure to him by his son Joseph.

2. It was not concern about the future fortunes of his family, for these had been graciously taken under God's protection.

3. It was not uncertainty as to his own personal acceptance with Jehovah, for of that he had long ago been assured.

4. It was scarcely even fear of his approaching death, for besides being a thought with which Jacob had long been familiar, to a weary pilgrim like him the event itself would not be altogether unwelcome.

5. It was dread lest his lifeless body should be interred in Egypt, far from the graves of his ancestors in the holy land.


1. From the deeply-seated instinct in human nature, which makes men wish, if possible, to sleep beside their fathers and friends. Though religion teaches us to believe that every spot on earth is in a manner holy ground, yet it does not induce a spirit of indifference as to the last resting-place where we shall lie.

2. From a firm faith in the Divine promise that his descendants should yet return to Canaan. Even if Jacob did not anticipate that this would immediately occur, if, as is probable, he had already dark forebodings that the period of exile and servitude spoken of by Jehovah to Abraham was about to commence, he was yet able to detect a silver lining in the cloud, to see the happy time beyond, when his children, in accordance with the promise "I will surely bring thee up again," should return home to their presently abandoned inheritance.


1. By Joseph's promise. Requested by his aged parent to convey his body back to Canaan, when the life had departed, Joseph solemnly, engages to carry out that parent's wishes to the letter. "I will do as thou hast said."

2. By Joseph's oath. As if to remove every possible ground of apprehension, the old man further binds his son by an appeal to heaven. "And he said, Swear unto me; and he (Joseph) sware unto him." The venerable patriarch's anxieties were at an end. "And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head." - W.

Bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt.
1. Approaching death should make men put their houses in order, and prepare for the grave.

2. The best of sons are best trusted with the interring of parents.

3. Favour, benevolence, and fidelity dying parents may beg of surviving children.

4. Parents may bind children not to bury them in places inconvenient (ver. 29).

5. The law of nature may appoint burial with fathers, much more the law of faith.

6. The faith of the Patriarchs did work as to the place of burial to appoint it.

7. The testamental word of parents, though hard, yet should be sacred with good sons (ver. 30).

8. Holy worship of God is meet from dying saints, for His gracious disposal to the grave.

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.
Montmorency, constable of France, having been mortally wounded at an engagement, was exhorted by those who stood around him to die like a good Christian, and with the same courage which he had shown in his lifetime. To this he most nobly replied in the following manner: — "Gentlemen and fellow-soldiers, I thank you all very kindly for your anxious care and concern about me; but the man who has been enabled to endeavour to live well for fourscore years past can never need to seek now how to die well for a quarter of an hour."

(Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.)

Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.
At the time when His Majesty, George the Third, desirous that himself and family should repose in a less public sepulchre than that of Westminster Abbey, had ordered a royal tomb to be constructed at Windsor, Mr. Wyatt, his architect, waited upon him with a detailed report and plan of the building, and of the manner in which "he proposed to arrange its various recesses." The king minutely examined the whole, and when finished, Mr. Wyatt, in thanking His Majesty said he had ventured to occupy so much of His Majesty's time and attention with these details in order that it might not be necessary to bring so painful a subject again under his notice. To this the good king replied, "Mr. Wyatt, I request that you will bring the subject before me whenever you please. I shall attend with as much pleasure to the building of a tomb to receive me when I am dead as I would to the decoration of a drawing-room to hold me while living, for, Mr. Wyatt, if it please God that I shall live to be ninety or a hundred years old I am willing to stay; but if it please God to take me this night I am ready to obey the summons."

(Dictionary of Religious Anecdote.)

One Thousand New Illustrations.
It is almost the universal custom in America, and seems to be growing in favour here, for great men to be buried in the place where they have mostly lived, and among their own kith and kin. Washington lies at Mount Vernon; Lincoln at Springfield; Emerson and Hawthorne under the pines of New England; Irving on the banks of the Hudson; Clay in Kentucky. They are laid to rest not in some central city or great structure, but where they have lived, and where their families and neighbours may accompany them in their long sleep.

(One Thousand New Illustrations.)

This may suggest to those who have family arrangements to make, that they should not defer the making of them until they come to be in the article of death, but should settle their affairs while yet they are in full health, in the possession of a sound mind, and in calm, unbiassed spirit. If, for example, a will has to be made by a man — and every man, if he have anything to leave, both for his own sake and for the sake of those who are most nearly related to him, should make a will — why should he postpone the making of it until he come to die? It will not bring death any sooner if he should make it at once, and it may prevent many evils if it is made now. Then, if God should greatly prosper him in future years, and should thus alter his circumstances, let him destroy the former will and make another, lest terrible injustice and hardship be done to the survivors by putting them back into a scale of living to which they have not for long been accustomed, and leaving them with a pitiful provision instead of an ample sustenance such as could easily have been provided. I have known cases of great suffering just from this cause. Let every man keep his affairs well in hand, so that those around him shall have to mourn only his departure when he dies, and shall have no cause to blame him for want of thought for his nearest and his dearest relations. If there is anything that you feel you ought to do in the way of settling your affairs, so as to secure peace and comfort among the members of your family when you die, do it at once, for the uncertainty of life is proverbial, and you know not what a day may bring forth. You cannot read the newspapers for a week together without discovering that many unseemly squabbles over the division of property might have been prevented if those who in business were so energetic in the making of money had possessed only the foresight to arrange calmly, and in circumstances in which there could be no ground for the insinuation either of undue influence on the part of ethers, or of incompetence on their own, for its division. If there is anything you feel impelled to say or do before you die, then say or do it now, and the older you are, let the now be only the more emphatic.

(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)

This request was rooted in something deeper than the merely natural desire of a man to have his body laid beside those of his nearest kindred. Under the New Testament dispensation, indeed, we have learned that it makes no matter where our bodies are buried, for by His brief occupancy of the tomb of Joseph the Lord Jesus Christ has consecrated the whole earth as a cemetery for His people; and by His resurrection from the grave He has given us the assurance that they that sleep in Him, wheresoever their resting-places are, shall hear His voice at the last great day, and shall come forth in spiritual and incorruptible forms to meet Him in the skies. The mere locality of our grave, therefore, is of comparatively small importance, whether we are laid away under the arctic snows, like the brave explorers who accompanied the dauntless Franklin, or beneath the shade of tropical shrubs on the rim of the Dark Continent, like those missionary martyrs who by their sepulchres have taken possession of the Machpelah in that new Land of Promise, or in the dark, unfathomed caves of ocean, with the white foam of the waves for our shroud, and the whistling of the winds for our requiem. It is all one to the Christian where his body is laid. And yet even the Christian has the natural desire to be laid beside his kindred; so that in all our cemeteries we have family lots, and in many of our old country homesteads we come yet upon the quiet and secluded enclosure where the ashes of the first settlers and those of their successors lie. But Jacob's desire that his body should be laid in Machpelah had a deeper root than nature. The land of Canaan was his by God's covenant. He had not yet obtained it. For aught that he could see, he was to die without entering on its possession; but even in his death he would show that he still believed that his children would have its ownership, and therefore he made Joseph swear that he would bury him in the sepulchre of his fathers. Nor was this all. He wanted his sons and his descendants to know that Egypt was not their rest. He desired to fix their minds on Canaan, and to fan in their hearts the desire to return thither when God should open up the way.

(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)

The inclination to return in old age to the place which is endeared by the recollections of infancy is very general. It is mentioned by Goldsmith, with that finished delicacy of description which scarcely admits of improvement, and by Chalien, in some of the most beautiful lines in the French language. It is thus described in some of the practical prose of Chateaubriand: "After having wandered over the globe, man, by an affecting species of instinct, likes to return and die on the spot which gave him birth, and to sit for a moment, on the border of the grave, under the same tree which overshadowed his cradle." As John Leyden lay dying in India, whither he had gone to make his fortune, his heart dwelt on its child-memories, and his last words were about the little rural hamlet where he was born..

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