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Genesis 35

35
Jacob Moves to Bethel
1Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you [in a distinct manifestation] when you fled [years ago] from Esau your brother.” 2Then Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the [idols and images of] foreign gods that are among you, and ceremonially purify yourselves and change [into fresh] clothes; 3then let us get up and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4So they gave Jacob all the [idols and images of the] foreign gods they had and the rings which were in their ears [worn as charms against evil], and Jacob buried them under the #This appears to have been a special tree of uncertain type, perhaps a terebinth tree that had significance for pagan worship.oak tree near Shechem.
5As they journeyed, there was a great [supernatural] terror [sent from God] on the cities around them, and [for that reason] the Canaanites did not pursue the sons of Jacob. 6So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. 7There he built an altar [to worship the Lord], and called the place El-bethel (God of the House of God), because there God had revealed Himself to him when he escaped from his brother. 8Now Deborah, [who once was] Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried below Bethel under the oak; and the name of it was called Allon-bacuth (Oak of Weeping).
Jacob Is Named Israel
9Then God [in a visible manifestation] appeared to Jacob again when he came out of Paddan-aram, and declared a blessing on him. 10Again God said to him,
“Your name is Jacob;
You shall no longer be called Jacob,
But Israel shall be your name.”
So he was called #“He who strives with God” or “God strives” or “Prince of God.”Israel. 11And God said to him,
“I am #Heb El Shaddai, the sufficient and powerful One.God Almighty.
Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall come from you,
And kings shall be born of your #The midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips. Often a euphemism for the human genitals.loins.
12The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac
I will give to you,
and to your descendants after you I will give the land.”
13Then God ascended from Jacob in the place where He had spoken with him. 14Jacob set up a pillar (memorial, monument) in the place where he had talked with God, a pillar of stone, and he poured a drink offering [of wine] on it; he also poured oil on it [to declare it sacred for God’s purpose]. 15So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel (the House of God).
16Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath (Bethlehem), Rachel began to give birth and had difficulty and suffered severely. 17When she was in hard labor the midwife said to her, “Do not be afraid; you now have another son.” 18And as her soul was departing, (for she died), she named him Ben-oni (son of my sorrow); but his father called him Benjamin (#This had a positive meaning, like a “right-hand man,” a son in a position of importance and honor.son of the right hand). 19So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20Jacob set a pillar (memorial, monument) on her grave; that is the #This pillar was still visible at the time when Moses lived.pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21Then Israel (Jacob) journeyed on and pitched his tent on the other side of the tower of Eder [the lookout point used by shepherds].
22While Israel was living in that land, Reuben [his eldest son] went and lay with Bilhah his father’s #See note 22:24.concubine, and Israel heard about it.
The Sons of Israel
Now Jacob had twelve sons— 23The sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, then Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24and the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; 25and the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid: Dan and Naphtali; 26and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maid: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob born to him in Paddan-aram.
27Jacob came to Isaac his father at Mamre of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had lived temporarily.
28Now the days of Isaac were a hundred and eighty years. 29Isaac’s spirit departed and he died and was #See note 25:8.gathered to his people [who had preceded him in death], an old man full of days (satisfied, fulfilled); his sons Esau and Jacob buried him [in the cave of Machpelah with his parents Abraham and Sarah].
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.