There is a cultural practice in Africa and other continents that people prefer to be buried near their friends and kinsmen. In the case of Jacob, there was something deeper in this request. In the new testament, it doesn’t matter where a man is buried. W. M. Taylor says that for Jesus’s brief occupation of Joseph’s tomb, he had consecrated the whole earth as a cemetery for His people. His death and resurrection is the guarantee that whoever dies as a child of God will hear the trump when it sounds at the great resurrection. So it doesn’t matter anymore where we are buried. In Jacobs case, there was more to it. He had a promise of the land, but had not yet possessed it. Jacob wanted to show he believed the word God had spoken to him by covenant that the land would be his. He was 147 years when he died. Yet he held unto the word God had spoken to him. Later, Joseph made a similar demand(Gen.50:25) on the ground that God will visit them. What have you waited for, and for how long? I get excited when reading the Hebrew Hall of fame. The records show that most died without seeing the promise, but were persuaded that what God promised will come to pass( Heb.11:13). Jacob wanted to be a partaker.
And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: Genesis 47:29 KJV