Moses fulfills vow
Made by B’nei Yisrael
Joseph leaves Egypt

A few weeks ago, in the closing verses of the Book of Genesis, we read about the promise made by B’nei Yisrael (the sons of Israel/Jacob) to their brother Joseph:

Genesis 50:24-26
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. God will surely take notice of you and bring you up from this land to the land promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” So Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “When God has taken notice of you, you shall carry up my bones from here.” Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

As this week’s parasha begins the people are preparing to cross the sea to freedom. Before we get to Shirat Hayam (Song of the Sea) in Chapter 15, we learn Moses has ensured the promise made to Joseph long ago will be fulfilled.

Exodus 13:19
And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, who had exacted an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will be sure to take notice of you: then you shall carry up my bones from here with you.”


Image:  Joseph’s Tomb, near Shechem, in the early 1900s

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