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Genesis 35

35
Chapter 35
Jacob goes back to Bethel
1After these things had happened, God said to Jacob, ‘Go to Bethel and live there. Build an altar to worship me. I am the God who appeared to you when you were running away from Esau.’ 2So Jacob told the people in his house and everyone who was with him, ‘Throw out all the foreign idols that you have with you. Wash your body very well and put on clean clothes. 3Then we will go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to worship God. He is the one who answered me when I was in trouble. And he has been with me everywhere that I went.’
4So the people gave to Jacob all their idols and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob buried these things under the oak tree near Shechem city. 5Then they began their journey. All the towns near there were afraid of God's power. So, no one attacked Jacob and his people.
6Jacob and everyone with him arrived at Luz, now called Bethel. That is in the land of Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar there. He called the place El Bethel, because that was where God appeared to him. #35:7 El Bethel means ‘God of Bethel’. God had appeared to him when he was running away from his brother Esau.
8Rebekah's nurse, Deborah, died at that time. Jacob buried her under the oak tree near Bethel. That is why they call the place Allon Bacuth. #35:8 Allon Bacuth means ‘oak tree where people wept’.
9After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again. God blessed Jacob. 10He said to Jacob, ‘Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob. Instead, your name will be Israel.’ So God gave the name Israel to Jacob. #35:10 See Genesis 32:28.
11Then God said to him, ‘I am Almighty God. Give birth to many children so that your descendants become very many. They will become many nations and some of them will be kings. 12I give to you the land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give this land to your descendants that come after you.’ #35:12 God is telling Jacob the promise that he made to Abraham (Genesis 17:1-8) and to Isaac (Genesis 26:3).
13Then God went away from the place where he spoke to Jacob. 14Jacob set up a special stone on the ground. It showed the place where God had spoken to him. He poured a drink offering on the stone. He also poured olive oil on it. 15In that way, Jacob called the place where God spoke to him Bethel.
16Then they left Bethel and they continued to travel. When they were still a long way from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth. #35:16 Ephrath is now called Bethlehem. She had a lot of pain. 17As she was having even more pain, the woman who was helping her said, ‘Do not be afraid. You have another son!’ 18But Rachel was dying. With her last breath, she gave to her son the name Ben-Oni. But Jacob, his father, called him Benjamin. #35:18 Ben-Oni means ‘son of my pain.’ Benjamin means ‘son of my right hand.’
19After Rachel died, they buried near the road that goes to Ephrath. 20Jacob set up a special stone over the place where they buried Rachel. This stone still shows the place.
21Israel then travelled on again. #35:21 Jacob is now called Israel, but the Bible uses both names. He put up his tents beyond Migdal Eder. 22While Israel stayed there, his son Reuben had sex with Bilhah. She was Israel's slave wife, and Israel heard what had happened.
Jacob had 12 sons:
23The sons of Leah were Jacob's firstborn, Reuben, then Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
24The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Rachel's servant, Bilhah, were Dan and Naphtali.
26The sons of Leah's servant, Zilpah, were Gad and Asher.
Those were Jacob's sons who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
27Jacob arrived back at his father Isaac's home. This is in Mamre, also called Kiriath Arba, or Hebron. This is the place where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28Isaac lived for 180 years. 29Then he died and he joined his ancestors. He was an old man who had lived a long life. His sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.
35
Jacob Returns to Bethel
1 # Gn 28.11-17. God told Jacob, “Return to Bethel, where I appeared to you when you were running from your brother Esau. Make your home there and build an altar for me.”
2Jacob said to his family and to everyone else who was traveling with him:
Get rid of your foreign gods! Then make yourselves acceptable to worship God and put on clean clothes. 3Afterwards, we'll go to Bethel. I will build an altar there for God, who answered my prayers when I was in trouble and who has always been at my side.
4So everyone gave Jacob their idols and their earrings,#35.4 earrings: These would have had symbols of foreign gods on them. and he buried them under the oak tree near Shechem.
5While Jacob and his family were traveling through Canaan, God terrified the people in the towns so much that no one dared bother them. 6Finally, they reached Bethel, also known as Luz. 7Jacob built an altar there and called it “God of Bethel,” because that was the place where God had appeared to him when he was running from Esau. 8While they were there, Rebekah's personal servant Deborah#35.8 Deborah: See 24.59 and the note there. died. They buried her under an oak tree and called it “Weeping Oak.”
God Blesses Jacob at Bethel
9-11 # Gn 32.28. #Gn 17.4-8. After Jacob came back to the land of Canaan, God appeared to him again. This time he gave Jacob a new name and blessed him by saying:
I am God All-Powerful, and from now on your name will be Israel#35.9-11 Israel: See the note at 32.28. instead of Jacob. You will have many children. Your descendants will become nations, and some of the men in your family will even be kings. 12I will give you the land that I promised Abraham and Isaac, and it will belong to your family forever.
13After God had gone, 14#Gn 28.18,19. Jacob set up a large rock, so that he would remember what had happened there. Then he poured wine and olive oil on the rock to show that it was dedicated to God, 15and he named the place Bethel.#35.15 Bethel: See the note at 28.19.
Benjamin Is Born
16Jacob and his family had left Bethel and were still a long way from Ephrath, when the time came for Rachel's baby to be born. 17She was having a rough time, but the woman who was helping her said, “Don't worry! It's a boy.” 18Rachel was at the point of death, and right before dying, she said, “I'll name him Benoni.”#35.18 Benoni: In Hebrew “Benoni” means “Son of my Sorrow.” But Jacob called him Benjamin.#35.18 Benjamin: In Hebrew “Benjamin” can mean “Son at my Right Side” (the place of power).
19Rachel was buried beside the road to Ephrath, which is also called Bethlehem. 20Jacob set up a tombstone over her grave, and it is still there. 21Jacob, also known as Israel, traveled to the south of Eder Tower, where he set up camp.
22 # Gn 49.4. During their time there, Jacob's oldest son Reuben slept with Bilhah, who was one of Jacob's other wives.#35.22 other wives: See the note at 22.24. Bilhah had been Rachel's servant woman (see 29.28-30). And Jacob found out about it.
Jacob's Twelve Sons
23-26Jacob had twelve sons while living in northern Syria.#35.23-26 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10. His first-born Reuben was the son of Leah, who later gave birth to Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Leah's servant Zilpah had two sons: Gad and Asher.
Jacob and his wife Rachel had Joseph and Benjamin. Rachel's servant woman Bilhah had two more sons: Dan and Naphtali.
Isaac Dies
27 # Gn 13.18. Jacob went to his father Isaac at Hebron, also called Mamre or Kiriath-Arba, where Isaac's father Abraham had lived as a foreigner. 28-29Isaac died at the ripe old age of 180, then his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.