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Genesis 35

35
Jacob’s Return to Bethel
1Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.”
2So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. 3We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”
4So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem. 5As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.
6Eventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.
8Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means “oak of weeping”).
9Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, 10saying, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.”#35:10 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for “heel” and “deceiver.” Israel means “God fights.” So God renamed him Israel.
11Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! 12And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” 13Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob.
14Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil. 15And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.
The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac
16Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. 17After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” 18Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). 19So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20Jacob set up a stone monument over Rachel’s grave, and it can be seen there to this day.
21Then Jacob#35:21 Hebrew Israel; also in 35:22a. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation. traveled on and camped beyond Migdal-eder. 22While he was living there, Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Jacob soon heard about it.
These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:
23The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob’s oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
26The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.
These are the names of the sons who were born to Jacob at Paddan-aram.
27So Jacob returned to his father, Isaac, in Mamre, which is near Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had both lived as foreigners. 28Isaac lived for 180 years. 29Then he breathed his last and died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death. And 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.