Genesis 50:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 50:2, NIV: Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him,

Genesis 50:2, ESV: And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel.

Genesis 50:2, KJV: And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.

Genesis 50:2, NASB: Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel.

Genesis 50:2, NLT: Then Joseph told the physicians who served him to embalm his father's body; so Jacob was embalmed.

Genesis 50:2, CSB: He commanded his servants who were physicians to embalm his father. So they embalmed Israel.

What does Genesis 50:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob has died (Genesis 49:33). After kissing his father's face, Joseph commanded Egyptian physicians to embalm his father's body. Egyptian embalming was an extensive process resulting in what we now call mummification. It involved extracting the brain and internal organs, soaking the body in specific liquids, and wrapping it heavily in bandages. Only Jacob and, later, Joseph are described in the Old Testament as having been embalmed.

This level of attention was a sign of status in Egypt, something fitting to Joseph's position as the second in command in the nation (Genesis 41:44). Embalming would have kept Jacob's body from decomposing before Joseph and his brothers had the time to lay it to rest in the family burial tomb in Canaan (Genesis 47:29–30).