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Genesis 35

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.
35
Jacob in Bethel
1God said to Jacob, “Go to the town of Bethel.#35:1 Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.” That is where I appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau. Live there and make an altar to honor me as El,#35:1 El A Hebrew name for God. the God who appeared to you.”
2So Jacob told his family and all the other people with him, “Destroy all these foreign gods that you have. Make yourselves pure. Put on clean clothes. 3We will leave here and go to Bethel. There I will build an altar to the God who has always helped me during times of trouble. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”
4So the people gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had, and they gave him all the rings they were wearing in their ears. He buried everything under an oak tree near the town called Shechem.
5Then Jacob and his sons left that place. The people in the surrounding cities wanted to follow and kill them, but God filled them with such great fear that they did not go after them. 6So Jacob and his people went to Luz, which is now called Bethel. It is in the land of Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar there. He named the place “El Bethel.”#35:7 El Bethel A name that means “the God of Bethel.” Jacob chose this name because that is the place where God first appeared to him when he was running from his brother.
8Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died there. They buried her under the oak tree at Bethel. They named that place Allon Bacuth.#35:8 Allon Bacuth This name means “the oak tree of sadness.”
Jacob’s New Name
9When Jacob came back from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again. God blessed Jacob 10and said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but I will change that name. You will no longer be called Jacob. Your new name will be Israel.#35:10 Israel This name might mean “he fights for God,” “he fights with God,” or “God fights.”” So God named him Israel.
11God said to him, “I am God All-Powerful,#35:11 God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.” and I give you this blessing: Have many children and grow into a great nation. Other nations and other kings will come out of you. 12I gave Abraham and Isaac some special land. Now I give the land to you and to all your people who will live after you.” 13Then God left that place. 14-15Jacob set up a memorial stone there. He made the rock holy by pouring wine and oil on it. This was a special place because God spoke to Jacob there, and Jacob named the place Bethel.
Rachel Dies Giving Birth
16Jacob and his group left Bethel. Before they came to Ephrath, Rachel began giving birth to her baby. 17She was having a lot of trouble with this birth. She was in great pain. When her nurse saw this, she said, “Don’t be afraid, Rachel. You are giving birth to another son.”
18Rachel died while giving birth to the son. Before dying, she named the boy Benoni.#35:18 Benoni This name means “son of my suffering.” But Jacob called him Benjamin.#35:18 Benjamin This name means “right-hand” or “favorite son.”
19Rachel was buried on the road to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20Jacob put a special rock on Rachel’s grave to honor her. That special rock is still there today. 21Then Israel continued his journey. He camped just south of Eder tower.#35:21 Eder tower Or “Migdal Eder.”
22Israel stayed there for a short time. While he was there, Reuben slept with Israel’s slave woman Bilhah. Israel heard about this, and he was very angry.#35:22 and he was very angry These words are from the ancient Greek translation. They are not in the standard Hebrew text. See Gen. 49:4.
The Family of Israel (Jacob)
These are the names of Jacob’s twelve sons:
23His firstborn son was Reuben, whose mother was Leah. Jacob’s other sons by Leah were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24His sons by Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25His sons by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, were Dan and Naphtali.
26His sons by Zilpah, Leah’s maid, were Gad and Asher.
These were Jacob’s sons who were born in Paddan Aram.
27Jacob went to his father Isaac at Mamre in Kiriath Arba (Hebron). This is where Abraham and Isaac had lived. 28Isaac lived 180 years. 29Then Isaac became weak and died and went to be with his people. He had lived a long and full life. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.