And the time drew near that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in your sight, put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray you, in Egypt:
Read Chapter 47
George Leo Haydock
Thigh. To swear, as the steward of Abraham did, chap. xxiv. 2.
Kindness and truth. This act of real mercy; or, show me mercy, by promising freely to comply with my request; and truth, by fulfilling this oath. (Menochius)
Many meanspirited people, when we exhort them not to be overly concerned about burial or to give highest priority to having the remains of the dead brought back from foreign parts to their native land, quote this story to us, claiming that the patriarch also gave attention to it. First of all, however, as I said before, it must be remembered that the same set of values is not to be looked for at that time as it is with people of today. Second, the good man wanted this done not without reason but to let his descendants have a glimpse of the real prospect of returning themselves some day to the Promised Land …. I mean, for proof that future events become visible to the eyes of faith, listen to Jacob already calling death sleeping; he said, remember, “I want to sleep with my forebears,” Hence Paul also said, “By faith these people passed on without having received what was promised but having seen it from afar and greeted it.” How? By the eyes of faith. So let no one think Jacob’s instruc...