||It took forty days, since that was the time required for embalming. Egypt mourned [Jacob] for seventy days.
Vayimle'u-lo arba'im yom ki ken yimle'u yemey hachanutim vayivku oto Mitsrayim shiv'im yom.
||When the period of mourning of Jacob was over, Joseph addressed Pharaoh's court and said, 'If you would do me a favor, give the following personal message to Pharaoh:
Vaya'avru yemey vechito vayedaber Yosef el-beyt Par'oh lemor im-na matsati chen be'eyneychem daberu-na be'ozney Far'oh lemor.
Forty for embalming, and thirty for mourning; (Rashi); cf. Numbers 20:29, Deuteronomy 34:8. Although embalming normally required 70 days (Herodotus loc. cit.), Jacob was only given a partial embalming, for 40 days. Nevertheless, the normal waiting period would still be 70 days (Sh'muel ben Chofni; cf. Midrash Aggadah.