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February 5

Genesis 49, Matthew 22:23-46

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

The process of embalming, described already in some detail by Herodotus, involved the removal of the brain through the nose by a hooked instrument as well as the removal of the entrails through an incision in the side made with a sharp stone knife. The entrails were placed in a jar. The cranial cavity was filled with spices, likewise the abdominal cavity; but it as well as the entire body were thoroughly treated with saltpeter for seven days. Afterward the whole body was washed with a palm wine. Then it was daubed with pitch or gums, swathed in many folds of white cloth and laid away in its mummy case. Jacob and Joseph are the only two Israelites of whom the Scriptures tell that they were "embalmed," chanat, a verb having close Arabic and Ethiopic parallels and meaning first to "ripen" then to "embalm." In the case of these two Israelites this distinctly Egyptian type of preparation for burial was resorted to in order to make it feasible to transport the mummified remains to Canaan.

H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, Vol. II, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1942), pp. 1205-1206

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