Yaakov Avinu asks his son Yosef to promise that he will posthumously take him out of Egypt and bury him in Eretz Yisroel along with his forefathers. Yosef promises, and then a very strange conversation ensues.
Yaakov tells Yosef "when I was returning from Padan to Eretz Yisroel your mother Rachel died on the road, near Beis Lechem. Now although it was not the rainy season (the roads were quite travelable), nor was it far from the main place of habitation (less than a mile), never the less I did not even bring her to Beis Lechem. Instead I buried her by the side of the road, Derech Efras."
The Midrash (see Rashi) says that Yaakov added, "I know you are holding this in your heart on me. But you should know that what I did - I did by the word of Hashem! When Nebuchadnezzar will drive Bnei Yisroel out of eretz Yisroel, they will stop at your mother's burial place and call out to Hashemin her merit. Hashem will then promise her children's return to Eretz Yisroel.
Great! Yaakov explains to Yosef his reasoning to allay Yosef's question.
But if Yaakov knew Yosef was holding this "in your heart" why did he wait 48 years to explain himself?!
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