Today I visited the Vancouver museum on a field trip. As a “wow” add-on at the end, the guide showed the students an Egyptian mummy of a ten-year old who seemed to have died from a fractured skull. Apparently the vogue for travelers to Egypt in the 1920’s was to buy a mummy, and then upon returning home, invite your friends over for an unveiling. Gruesome!
The kids could not believe the small bundle was of a ten-year old, so after acknowledging we are bigger because of more protein in our diet, the guide also explained the dehydrated body seems so much smaller. The guide explained that the dead body was put in a salt bath for 70 days to pull out all liquid, so the body would be preserved. Ok, I’m not trying to write a pre-Halloween story.
Random comment, but this made the day for me. Joseph and the Egyptians mourned Jacob for seventy days. Genesis 50 tells of some 40 days for embalming and then 70 days for mourning. An ethics professor once commented on how much we need to give ourselves more time for grieving; siting this story as an example.
So what if the practical things, 70 days of salt bathing for dehydrating and preserving a corpse in this instance, give the structure to the more profound, grieving the passing of a beloved father.
What practical parameters do I need in place?