In Genesis 49: 30 - 33 (Sefaria)

30 בַּמְּעָרָ֞ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר בִּשְׂדֵ֧ה הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֛ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־פְּנֵי־מַמְרֵ֖א בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן אֲשֶׁר֩ קָנָ֨ה אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶ֗ה מֵאֵ֛ת עֶפְרֹ֥ן הַחִתִּ֖י לַאֲחֻזַּת־קָֽבֶר׃

the cave which is in the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site—

31 שָׁ֣מָּה קָֽבְר֞וּ אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֗ם וְאֵת֙ שָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ שָׁ֚מָּה קָבְר֣וּ אֶת־יִצְחָ֔ק וְאֵ֖ת רִבְקָ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וְשָׁ֥מָּה קָבַ֖רְתִּי אֶת־לֵאָֽה׃

there Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah—

32 מִקְנֵ֧ה הַשָּׂדֶ֛ה וְהַמְּעָרָ֥ה אֲשֶׁר־בּ֖וֹ מֵאֵ֥ת בְּנֵי־חֵֽת׃

the field and the cave in it, bought from the Hittites.”

33 וַיְכַ֤ל יַעֲקֹב֙ לְצַוֺּ֣ת אֶת־בָּנָ֔יו וַיֶּאֱסֹ֥ף רַגְלָ֖יו אֶל־הַמִּטָּ֑ה וַיִּגְוַ֖ע וַיֵּאָ֥סֶף אֶל־עַמָּֽיו׃

When Jacob finished his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and, breathing his last, he was gathered to his people.

That 's what he requests Joseph after blessing all his sons on his death bed. He has not considered joining the burial place of RACHEL at Bethleem. Was it a consequence of a previous vow, or a pre-existing pattern ? Had his passion for Rachel turned cold ? Or was he setting a pattern for the future ?

1 Answer 1


Shadal says explicitly in his commentary to Genesis 48:7 that Jacob felt it more important to lie with his ancestors than with his cherished wife:

ונ"ל שהכוונה לומר צר לי מאד כי לא יכלתי לקברה במערת המכפלה וגם לא אוכל לומר לך שתקברני אצלה כי עם כל מה שאני אוהב אותה יותר אני חייב בכבוד אבותי

It seems to me that Jacob meant to say, "It grieves me greatly that I was not able to bury her in the cave of Machpelah, and yet I cannot tell you to bury me next to her, because for all that I love her, my greater obligation is to honor my fathers.

(Klein translation)

  • As far as I know one should be buried in ones own town unless israel or with parents (and may be moved to Israel) but no mention is made of with a wife.
    – interested
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 7:14
  • @Alex. Clear. But Yakov speaks for himself in Ge 48:7, right ? Not setting a pattern for the Jewish people to develop in the future ?
    – Pioni5777
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 14:31

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