Joseph 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. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. There went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company. They came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and severe lamentation. He mourned for his father seven days. When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore its name was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. His sons did to him just as he commanded them, for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burial site, from Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. Joseph returned into Egypt—he, and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
A wonderful honor was given to the Hebrews by Egypt when Israel died. They lamented so much that the Canaanite people named a place after it. It must have been a wonderful procession because all of the servants of Pharaoh and the elders of his house were there.
It appears to me that the Egyptians who were alive at that time had come to love of the God of Israel. This is the true God of Egypt as well as all of us who need salvation. God is a God who saves. All of these people had watched as the God of Israel had warned Pharaoh in a dream about the coming famine and as He provided a Hebrew slave who believed in God, to guide them to safety. In response, they gave great honor to Israel and His God.
How I wish the our nations today would understand the importance of loving Israel’s God and honoring His people. Israel’s God has become our God and His people have become our people, because our God is a God who saves. It is God who has chosen Israel and given them the position to tell us who God is and what He is like through this Bible that we read. When we honor God’s people, we honor the God who chose them and the one that saved us.