Exit Parallel Mode
 

Genesis 35

35
Bethel Revisited. 1#Jacob returns to Bethel and founds the sanctuary, an event that forms a “bookend” to the first visit to Bethel in 28:10–22. To enter the Lord’s sanctuary, one must purify oneself and get rid of all signs of allegiance to other gods (Jos 24:23; Jgs 10:16). Jacob also seems to initiate the custom of making a pilgrimage to Bethel (see Ps 122:1 and Is 2:3, 5). God said to Jacob: Go up now to Bethel. Settle there and build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.#Gn 28:12–13. 2So Jacob told his household and all who were with him: “Get rid of the foreign gods#Foreign gods: divine images, including those of household deities (see note on 31:19), that Jacob’s people brought with them from Paddan-aram. among you; then purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3Let us now go up to Bethel so that I might build an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4They gave Jacob all the foreign gods in their possession and also the rings they had in their ears#Rings…their ears: the earrings may have belonged to the gods because earrings were often placed on statues. and Jacob buried them under the oak that is near Shechem. 5Then, as they set out, a great terror fell upon the surrounding towns, so that no one pursued the sons of Jacob.
6Thus Jacob and all the people who were with him arrived in Luz (now Bethel) in the land of Canaan.#Gn 28:19; Jos 18:13; Jgs 1:22–23. 7There he built an altar and called the place El-Bethel,#El-Bethel: probably to be translated “the god of Bethel.” This is one of several titles of God in Genesis that begin with El (= God), e.g., El Olam (21:33), El Elyon (14:18), El the God of Israel (33:20), El Roi (16:13), and El Shaddai. Most of these (except El Shaddai) are tied to specific Israelite shrines. for it was there that God had revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.#Gn 28:12–13.
8Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died. She was buried under the oak below Bethel, and so it was named Allon-bacuth.#Allon-bacuth: the Hebrew name means “oak of weeping.”
9On Jacob’s arrival from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10God said to him:
Your name is Jacob.
You will no longer be named Jacob,
but Israel will be your name.#1 Kgs 18:31; 2 Kgs 17:34.
So he was named Israel. 11Then God said to him: I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will stem from you, and kings will issue from your loins. 12The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you; and to your descendants after you I will give the land.#Ex 32:13; Heb 11:9.
13Then God departed from him. 14In the place where God had spoken with him, Jacob set up a sacred pillar, a stone pillar, and upon it he made a libation and poured out oil.#Gn 28:18; 31:45. 15Jacob named the place where God spoke to him Bethel.
Jacob’s Family. 16Then they departed from Bethel; but while they still had some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel went into labor and suffered great distress. 17When her labor was most intense, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” 18With her last breath—for she was at the point of death—she named him Ben-oni;#Ben-oni: means either “son of my vigor” or, more likely in the context, “son of affliction.” Benjamin: “son of the right hand,” meaning a son who is his father’s help and support. but his father named him Benjamin. 19Thus Rachel died; and she was buried on the road to Ephrath (now Bethlehem).#Bethlehem: the gloss comes from a later tradition that identified the site with Bethlehem, also called Ephrath or Ephratha (Jos 15:59; Ru 4:11; Mi 5:1). But Rachel’s grave was actually near Ramah (Jer 31:15), a few miles north of Jerusalem, in the territory of Benjamin (1 Sm 10:2). #Gn 48:7; 1 Sm 10:2; Mi 5:1. 20Jacob set up a sacred pillar on her grave, and the same pillar marks Rachel’s grave to this day.
21Israel moved on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal-eder. 22While Israel was encamped in that region, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. When Israel heard of it, he was greatly offended.#The genealogy in vv. 23–29 is prefaced by a notice about Reuben’s sleeping with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. Such an act is a serious challenge to the authority of the father (cf. 2 Sm 3:7 and 16:21). In his final testament in chap. 49, Jacob cites this act of Reuben as the reason for Reuben’s loss of the authority he had as firstborn son (49:4). Reuben’s act is one more instance of strife in the family and of discord between father and son. #Gn 49:4; 1 Chr 5:1.
The sons of Jacob were now twelve. 23The sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24#Benjamin is here said to have been born in Paddan-aram, apparently because all twelve sons of Jacob are considered as a unit. the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; 25the sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali; 26the sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27Jacob went home to his father Isaac at Mamre, in Kiriath-arba (now Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had resided. 28The length of Isaac’s life was one hundred and eighty years; 29then he breathed his last. He died as an old man and was gathered to his people. After a full life, his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
35
1And Elohim said unto Ya'akov, Arise, go up to Beit-El, and settle there; and make there a Mizbe'ach unto El (G-d) that appeared unto thee when thou didst flee from the face of Esav achicha. 2Then Ya'akov said unto his Bais, and to all that were with him, Put away the elohei hanekhar that are among you, and be tahor, and change your simlah (garments); 3And let us arise, and go up to Beit-El; and I will build there a Mizbe'ach unto El (G-d) Who answered me in my yom tzoros, and was with me in the derech in which I went. 4And they gave unto Ya'akov kol elohei hanekhar which were in their yad, and all their nezamim which were in their oznayim; and Ya'akov buried them under the elah (terebinth) which was at Shechem. 5And they journeyed; and the chittat Elohim (terror of G-d) was upon the cities that were around them, and they did not pursue after the Bnei Ya'akov. 6So Ya'akov came to Luz, which is in Eretz Kena'an, that is, Beit-El, he and kol haAm that were with him. 7And he built there a Mizbe'ach, and called the makom (place) El Beit-El; because there HaElohim appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of achiv. 8But Devorah meineket Rivkah died, and she was buried under an alon (oak) below Beit-El; and shmo was called Alon Bachut. 9And Elohim appeared unto Ya'akov again, when he returned from Padan Aram, and made a berakhah upon him. 10And Elohim said unto him, Shimcha is Ya'akov; shimcha shall not be called any more Ya'akov, but Yisroel shall be shemecha; and He called shmo Yisroel. 11And Elohim said unto him, I am El Shaddai; be fruitful and multiply; a Goy (nation) and a Kehal Goyim shall be from thee, and Melechim shall come out of thy loins; 12And HaAretz which I gave Avraham and Yitzchak, to thee I will give it, and to thy zera after thee will I give HaAretz. 13And Elohim went up from him in the makom where He talked with him. 14And Ya'akov set up a matzevah (pillar, monument) in the makom where He talked with him, even a matzevat even (pillar of stone); and he poured a nesech (drink offering) thereon, and he poured shemen (oil) thereon. 15And Ya'akov called the shem of the makom where Elohim spoke with him, Beit- El. 16And they journeyed from Beit-El; and there was still a space of ha'aretz to get to Ephratah; and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor. 17And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the meyaledet (midwife) said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this ben also. 18And it came to pass, as her nefesh was in departing, (for she died) that she called shmo Ben-Oni (Son of Affliction); but aviv called him Binyamin. 19And Rachel died, and was buried on the derech to Ephratah, which is Beit- Lechem. 20And Ya'akov set up a matzevah upon her kever; that is matzevet kevurat Rachel to this day. 21And Yisroel journeyed, and pitched his ohel beyond Migdal-Eder. 22And it came to pass, when Yisroel dwelt in that land, that Reuven went and lay with Bilhah pilegesh aviv and Yisroel heard it. Now the Bnei Ya'akov were Sheneym Asar (Twelve); 23The Bnei Leah: Reuven bechor Ya'akov, and Shimon, and Levi, and Yehudah, and Yissakhar, and Zevulun; 24The Bnei Rachel: Yosef, and Binyamin; 25And the Bnei Bilhah shifchat Rachel: Dan, and Naphtali; 26And the Bnei Zilpah shifchat Leah: Gad, and Asher; these are the Bnei Ya'akov, which were born to him in Padan Aram. 27And Ya'akov came unto Yitzchak Aviv unto Mamre, unto Kiriat HaArba, which is Chevron, where Avraham and Yitzchak sojourned. 28And the days of Yitzchak were me'at shanah u'shemonim shanah. 29And Yitzchak expired, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being zaken (old) and full of yamim; and his banim Esav and Ya'akov buried him.