INTRODUCTION Next week, we will take a step back from the puzzle we have been working on and see what picture all of the pieces we put together looks like. Today we have the privilege to study the last chapter of the great book of Genesis. Though we have come to the end of the book, as we will see, it is not the end of the story. We will not find all of the threads of thought wrapped up in nice neat conclusions. It ends with a “to be continued.” Last time we looked at chapter 49, which was some of the last words of the patriarch Jacob. He gathered all of his sons together so that he could tell them what would happen in the last days. To each son, he gave a few poetic words that would encapsulate their future. For Joseph and Judah, he would have more words than their brothers. It would be Joseph’s sons who would one day dominate the northern nation of Israel and would often be referred to as Ephraim by the prophets. And it would be Judah’s family that would be prominent in the southern nation of the aptly named Judah. Of course, all of this would happen centuries later. Where we are at in the narrative of history, Israel is still one family under the leadership of one man: Jacob. The end of chapter 49 is the beginning of chapter 50. Jacob has blessed all of his sons and then he commands all of them, where previously he had commanded Joseph, to take his body when he dies and carry it to the land of Canaan. There they are to bury him in the cave of Machpelah where his father and grandfather are buried. The last verse of 49 tells us that Jacob drew up his feet into his bed and breathed his last breath. That is where we pick up the story today. So what happens now that Jacob is gone? First, we see that Jacob’s sons are obedient to their father and he is buried in Egypt. But with their father gone, Joseph’s brothers begin to become concerned about their future, especially since Joseph is a ruler over them and they did some horrible things to him. Would Joseph seek revenge now that Jacob is not there to prevent it? We’ll see what is in the heart of Joseph. And finally, we’ll get the answer to the question of what happens to Joseph in the end.