And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
4 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,
5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.
6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.
K.J.V. Bible Text
When Joseph’s father died, Joseph was overcome with grief. As a consequence of living so long in Egypt, he must have adopted many Egyptian ways because he had his father embalmed according to the ways of the Egyptians. The scripture says this took forty days and the Egyptians mourned for seventy days. I am assuming that this was a kind of “state mourning” akin to how we might fly flags at half mast in this day and age, because surely the Egyptians were not actually grief stricken because of Joseph’s loss. However, there must have been much ceremony involved in deaths at that time in Egypt.
At the end of the mourning period, Joseph asked leave of Pharaoh to go to Canaan to bury his father according to the promise he had made his father before his death.
Pharaoh granted the permission.
Apparently, in spite of Joseph’s standing in Egypt, he was always careful to be respectful of Pharaoh.
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