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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 establishes worship at Bethel
1God said to Jacob, “Get up, go to Bethel, and live there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you ran away from your brother Esau.”
2Jacob said to his household and to everyone who was with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you. Clean yourselves and change your clothes. 3Then let’s rise and go up to Bethel so that I can build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and who has been with me wherever I’ve gone.” 4So they gave Jacob all of the foreign gods they had, as well as the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the terebinth at Shechem. 5When they set out, God made all of the surrounding cities fearful so that they didn’t pursue Jacob’s sons. 6Jacob and all of the people with him arrived in Luz, otherwise known as Bethel, in the land of Canaan. 7He built an altar there and named the place El-bethel,#35.7 Or God of Bethel because God had revealed himself to him there when he ran away from his brother. 8Rebekah’s nurse Deborah died and was buried at Bethel under the oak, and Jacob named it Allon-bacuth.#35.8 Or oak of weeping
9God appeared to Jacob again, while he was on his way back from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but your name will be Jacob no longer. No, your name will be Israel.” And he named him Israel. 11God said to him, “I am El Shaddai.#35.11 Or God Almighty or God of the Mountain Be fertile and multiply. A nation, even a large group of nations, will come from you; kings will descend from your own children. 12The land I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I give to you; and I will give the land to your descendants after you.” 13Then God ascended, leaving him alone in the place where he spoke to him. 14So Jacob set up a sacred pillar, a stone pillar, at the place God spoke to him. He poured an offering of wine on it and then poured oil over it. 15Jacob named the place Bethel where God spoke to him.
Benjamin’s birth and Rachel’s death
16They left Bethel, and when they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into hard labor. 17During her difficult labor, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid. You have another son.” 18As her life faded away, just before she died, she named him Ben-oni,#35.18 Or my suffering son but his father named him Benjamin.#35.18 Or right-hand son or strong son 19Rachel died and was buried near the road to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem. 20Jacob set up a pillar on her grave. It’s the pillar on Rachel’s tomb that’s still there today. 21Israel continued his trip and pitched his tent farther on near the tower of Eder.
Jacob’s family
22While Israel stayed in that place, Reuben went and slept with Bilhah his father’s secondary wife, and Israel heard about it.
Jacob had twelve sons. 23The sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son, and 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 were Jacob’s sons born to him in Paddan-aram.
Isaac’s death
27Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, that is, Kiriath-arba. This is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac lived as immigrants. 28At the age of 180 years, 29Isaac took his last breath and died. He was buried with his ancestors after a long, satisfying life. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.