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Genesis 35

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.
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].