Genesis 50:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 50:4, NIV: When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh's court, 'If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him,

Genesis 50:4, ESV: And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,

Genesis 50:4, KJV: And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,

Genesis 50:4, NASB: When the days of mourning for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, 'If now I have found favor in your sight, please speak to Pharaoh, saying,

Genesis 50:4, NLT: 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.

Genesis 50:4, CSB: When the days of mourning were over, Joseph said to Pharaoh's household, "If I have found favor with you, please tell Pharaoh that

What does Genesis 50:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Immediately before he died, Jacob commanded his sons to bury him in Canaan (Genesis 47:29–30), in the family burial tomb. This was where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah were all laid to rest (Genesis 49:29–32). To carry out that request, Joseph will need permission to leave Egypt to travel to Canaan. For all of Joseph's power in Egypt, he was still technically a slave owned and controlled by the absolute authority of the Pharaoh.

Joseph brings the request indirectly, asking someone in the household of Pharaoh to present it for him. It's unclear why Joseph would not go straight to the Pharaoh himself now that the 70 days of mourning have passed. Perhaps he felt that this individual in Pharaoh's household may have more influence than he himself would. Another possibility is that local etiquette prevented someone from appearing before Pharaoh while in a state of mourning.

In any case, Joseph approaches this person with great respect, asking for this favor to be based on his own reputation in the land: "If I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh." He spells out the request in the following verse (Genesis 50:5).