What does Genesis 50:10 mean?
ESV: When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
NIV: When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father.
NASB: When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they mourned there with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed seven days of mourning for his father.
CSB: When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, which is across the Jordan, they lamented and wept loudly, and Joseph mourned seven days for his father.
NLT: When they arrived at the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan River, they held a very great and solemn memorial service, with a seven-day period of mourning for Joseph’s father.
KJV: And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
NKJV: Then they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and they mourned there with a great and very solemn lamentation. He observed seven days of mourning for his father.
Verse Commentary:
Most of Jacob's household (Genesis 46:27; 50:8) are traveling to bury their father (Genesis 49:33). Their destination is the family tomb in Mamre in Canaan (Genesis 23:17–20). Traveling with them is an enormous company of Egyptian officials, dignitaries, servants, and an armed escort of chariots and horsemen (Genesis 50:6–7, 9). Jacob's funeral has become an Egyptian state-sponsored event and a grand production.

Extravagant though it may be, this is still a funeral procession. The company stops along the way and camps at a local landmark known as the "threshing floor of Atad." Threshing is the process of knocking grain seeds from stems, before separating out the edible parts. This was probably a large, flat, open area. The funeral party spends seven days there joining together in the custom of loud and vigorous mourning. As is still practiced in many cultures today, this could include shouting, crying, and tearing of clothing. Joseph himself participated in this week-long mourning event.
Verse Context:
Genesis 50:1–14 begins with Joseph weeping by his father's deathbed. Jacob is embalmed and an official period of mourning is observed in Egypt. With Pharaoh's blessing and a large company of Egyptian mourners, Jacob's sons travel to Canaan. There, as requested, they bury their father in the family tomb, alongside Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob's wife Leah. Then they all return to Egypt.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 50 begins with Joseph's weeping over his father's body, followed by the embalming of Jacob, a 70–day period of state mourning, and a trip to Canaan to bury Jacob with his fathers. Joseph's brothers, worried that he would take his revenge on them for selling him into slavery, seek Joseph's forgiveness. He assures them he will not harm them. The chapter skips to the end of Joseph's life. After assuring his people that God will return them to Canaan one day, Joseph dies and is embalmed.
Chapter Context:
After settling in Egypt, under his son's protection (Genesis 47—49), Jacob dies (Genesis 49:33). He is embalmed and all of Egypt mourns. Joseph buries his father in the family tomb in Canaan, then returns to Egypt. He asks that his body be taken back to Canaan someday. This sets up the events of the book of Exodus. Over centuries, Israel will grow into a prosperous people, only to be enslaved by a jealous Egyptian monarchy. This provides a context for God to rescue Israel and demonstrate His power.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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