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Genesis 35

35
Jacob Returns to Bethel
1Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and live there. Build an altar there to honor me. That’s where I appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau.”
2So Jacob spoke to his family and to everyone with him. He said, “Get rid of the statues of false gods you have with you. Make yourselves pure by washing and changing your clothes. 3Come, let’s go up to Bethel. There I’ll build an altar to honor God. He answered me when I was in trouble. He’s been with me everywhere I’ve gone.” 4So they gave Jacob all the statues of false gods they had. They also gave him their earrings. Jacob buried those things under the oak tree at Shechem. 5Then Jacob and everyone with him started out. The terror of God fell on the towns all around them. So no one chased them.
6Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz. Luz is also called Bethel. It’s in the land of Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar at Luz. He named the place El Bethel. There God made himself known to Jacob when he was running away from his brother.
8Rebekah’s attendant Deborah died. They buried her body under the oak tree outside Bethel. So it was called Allon Bakuth.
9After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again. And God blessed him. 10God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. But you will not be called Jacob anymore. Your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel.
11God said to him, “I am the Mighty God. Have children so that there will be many of you. You will become the father of a nation and a community of nations. Your later family will include kings. 12I am giving you the land I gave to Abraham and Isaac. I will also give it to your children after you.” 13Then God left him at the place where he had talked with him.
14Jacob set up a sacred stone at the place where God had talked with him. He poured out a drink offering on it. He also poured olive oil on it. 15Jacob named the place Bethel. That’s where God had talked with him.
Rachel and Isaac Die
16They moved on from Bethel. Ephrath wasn’t very far away when Rachel began to have a baby. She was having a very hard time of it. 17The woman who helped her saw that she was having problems. So she said to Rachel, “Don’t be afraid. You have another son.” 18But Rachel was dying. As she took her last breath, she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
19So Rachel died. She was buried beside the road to Ephrath. Ephrath was also called Bethlehem. 20Jacob set up a stone marker over her tomb. To this day, the stone marks the place where Rachel was buried.
21Israel moved on again. He set up his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 22While Israel was living in that area, Reuben went in and slept with Bilhah. She was the concubine of Reuben’s father. And Israel heard about it.
Here are the 12 sons Jacob had.
23Leah was the mother of
Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son.
Her other sons were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
24The sons of Rachel were
Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Rachel’s female servant Bilhah were
Dan and Naphtali.
26The sons of Leah’s female servant Zilpah were
Gad and Asher.
These were Jacob’s sons. They were born in Paddan Aram.
27Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre. Mamre is near Kiriath Arba, where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. The place is also called Hebron. 28Isaac lived 180 years. 29Then he took his last breath and died. He was very old when he joined the members of his family who had already died. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
35
1Then God told Jacob, “Get ready to go to Bethel and live there. Build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau.”#35:1. See 28:11 and on. 2So Jacob told his family and everyone who was with him, “Get rid of the pagan idols you have with you. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3We have to get ready and go to Bethel so I can build an altar to God who answered me in my time of trouble. He has been with me wherever I went.”
4They handed over to Jacob all the pagan idols they had, as well as their earrings,#35:4. “Earrings”: some commentators believe that these earrings also had some religious associations. and he buried them under the oak tree at Shechem. 5As they left on their journey, the terror of God spread over all the surrounding towns, so nobody tried to retaliate against Jacob's sons.
6Jacob and everyone with him arrived at Luz (also known as Bethel) in the country of Canaan. 7He built an altar there and called the place El-Bethel,#35:7. “El-Bethel”: meaning “the God of Bethel.” Bethel in turn means “the house of God” (see 28:19). because that was where God had appeared to him when he was running away from his brother Esau.
8Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried under the oak near Bethel. So it was named “the oak of weeping.”
9God appeared to Jacob again and blessed him after his return from Paddan-aram. 10God told him, “Jacob will not be your name any longer. Instead of Jacob your name will be Israel.” So God called him Israel.
11Then God said, “I am God Almighty! Reproduce, increase, and you will become a nation—in fact a group of nations—and kings will be among your descendants. 12I will give to you and to your descendants the land I also gave to Abraham and Isaac.” 13Then God left the place where he had been speaking to Jacob. 14Afterwards Jacob set up a stone pillar where God had spoken with him. He poured out a drink offering on it, and also olive oil. 15Jacob called the place Bethel, because he had spoken with God there.
16Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor and had great difficulty giving birth. 17When she was in the worst birth-pains, the midwife told her, “Don't give up—you have another son!” 18But she was dying, and with her last breath she named him Benoni.#35:18. “Benoni” means “son of my suffering.” But his father named him Benjamin.#35:18. “Benjamin” means “son of my right hand.” The right hand was considered more favorable. 19Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (also known as Bethlehem). 20Jacob set up a stone memorial over Rachel's grave, and it's still there to this day.
21Israel#35:21. “Israel”: referring of course to Jacob after his name change. moved on and camped beyond the watch tower at Eder. 22During the time he was living there, Reuben went and slept with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and Israel found out about it.#35:22. The Septuagint adds, “and it was very distressing to him.”
These were the twelve sons of Jacob:
23The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Rachel's personal maid Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.
26The sons of Leah's personal maid Zilpah: Gad and Asher.
These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him while in Paddan-aram.
27Jacob returned home to his father Isaac at Mamre, near Kiriath-arba (also known as Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had lived. 28Isaac lived to be 180 29when he breathed his last and died at an old age. He had lived a full life, and now he joined his forefathers in death. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.