What does Genesis 50:9 mean?
ESV: And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.
NIV: Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.
NASB: Chariots with teams of horses also went up with him; and it was a very great company.
CSB: Horses and chariots went up with him; it was a very impressive procession.
NLT: A great number of chariots and charioteers accompanied Joseph.
KJV: And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
Verse Commentary:
Joseph and his brothers are returning their father's body to Canaan to be buried in the family tomb (Genesis 50:1–6). They are not traveling alone, however. Egypt's ruler, known by the title Pharaoh, has sent a large delegation of Egyptian dignitaries and servants as a way of honoring Joseph and his father Jacob (Genesis 50:7–8).

The travelling group is large enough to warrant chariots and horsemen. These may have been armed soldiers sent to protect the company along the way. The following verses will reveal that so many Egyptians came along with Jacob's sons that the local Canaanite people thought this was an Egyptian expedition (Genesis 50:11).
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.
Accessed 4/18/2024 1:20:53 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com