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Tsiyon News

Tsiyon Messianic Radio Newsletter  - Vol 8.33 -  06/21/6013 TAM  -  08/28/13 AD

Eliyahu ben David Bet Midrash

End of The Beginning

Genesis 50



On the road to Tsiyon

Hidden in Plain Sight

Focus on Israel

Tsiyon Reading Room



End of The Beginning

End of the BeginningJoseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, all the elders of the land of Egypt, All the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s house... There went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.  Genesis 50:6-9

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Joseph's Palace and Tomb?

Archaeology has revealed through the discovery of numerous inscriptions that many of the rulers in the Nile Delta region during the 14th Dynasty had Semitic names, due to the influx of people from the Levant, especially Semites, into the Nile Delta region during this period. Semites held positions ranging from a lowly slave to a powerful chancellor, just as the books of Genesis and Exodus depict. Joseph was probably a ruler or government official during this same time period.

Tell el Dab ExcavationIn stratum d/2 at Tel el-Daba, a large villa in the shape of the four-room Israelite house measuring 10 x 12 m was discovered.

Adjacent is a cemetery, and the largest tomb (Tomb 1, probably belonging to the villa owner) contained a broken statue of an Asiatic that had been defaced.

This defacement could have occurred after the Hyksos were expelled and the Egyptians destroyed their monuments and art. The statue was easily identified as Asiatic because of the hairstyle, the fragments of yellow coloring found, and the throwstick on the shoulder—the hieroglyphic determinative for a person from the Levant. The statue was about 1.5 times the height of a normal man, indicating a person of importance. The tomb was underground, and covered by a small pyramid structure. A small chapel is located at the entrance of the tomb before the burial chamber, typical of Egyptian construction. However, the sarcophagus was discovered empty, although the other tombs in the cemetery still contained their bodies and actual corpses are not normally stolen during tomb robbery. A few archaeologists have suggested this could have been Joseph’s villa and tomb, and that the body is missing because it was taken back to Canaan by Moses (Genesis 50:25-26). However, it is also possible that Joseph lived at Heliopolis to the south, since he married a daughter of a priest of On/Heliopolis (Genesis 41:45).

When the Patriarchs Jacob and Joseph die, both are embalmed (or mummified) in Egypt, and Joseph is buried there (Genesis 50:2, 26). Egyptians were typically buried in tombs, and would range from a simple hole to an extravagant pyramid. The word used in Genesis for embalm is “chanat,” related to the word spice, and is only used in Genesis 50 and Song of Songs 2:13 (used of a fig tree). In the ancient Near East, mummification was only practiced in Egypt, where spices, oils, and perfumes were used in the process, beginning in the Middle Kingdom—the time when the Patriarchs Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph were in Egypt.

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From Eliyahu

As the Book of Beginnings unfolds its final chapter, Chapter 50,  we come to the end of the Era of the Patriarchs as well as the entire Book of Genesis.  Consistent with our journey through this unique book, here we will find more than a mere continuation of the narrative, or in this case, a wrap-up.  Instead, we learn still more about YHWH and His friend, Jacob Israel and Israel's sons.  We will encounter some surprises AND we will find a great deal that speaks to the Remnant of Israel in these last days. This is also timely for this ongoing period of Teshuvah (Return/Repentance) which began on the 1st day of the 6th month and ends with the 10th day of the 7th month, the Day of Atonement. In fact, we have an episode here in the lives of our Tribal Fathers that provides us with important lessons having to do with forgiveness and repentance. Don't miss it on Tsiyon Road, this Sabbath!

Blessings and Shalom!   

Eliyahu ben David 



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