Genesis Chapter 35

Genesis Chapter 35 depicts how Jacob takes counsel from God. He and his family move through the land toward Bethel under the protection of the Lord. Accounts of the deaths of Rachel, Deborah, and Isaac are recorded, as well as the birth of Jacob’s youngest son Benjamin.

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Jacob Journeys to Bethel

After Jacob’s sons had killed Hamor and Shechem, the Lord God commanded him to travel to Bethel to make his home and build an alter. In keeping with the Lord’s instructions, Jacob told his family and all the people that lived with him that they were heading to Bethel where he would erect an alter to God, since the Lord had answered his prayers during times of distress. Jacob ordered them to change their garments and gather all the gods that they had. After collecting them, Jacob hid them with the bodies of the men from the city.

Jacob Builds an Alter

Jacob arrived safely in Bethel and settled with all the people that accompanied him. He built an alter to God and called the place Elbethel meaning “God of Bethel.” While there, Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah, died, so Jacob buried her in Bethel under an oak tree.

God Appears to Jacob

When Jacob was leaving Padanaram, the Lord appeared to him and blessed him. He told him that his name would no longer be Jacob, but Israel. He then commanded Israel to multiply, promising him that kings would come from his line. The Lord also promised to give Israel the land that He gave to Abraham and Isaac. After communing with God, Israel built a pillar of stone and poured a wine offering and oil onto it. He named the place “Bethel” because God had spoken to him.

Rachel’s Death

As Israel was leaving Bethel, his wife Rachel went into labor. The labor was hard and painful and, as a result, she died after giving birth. Though she called him Benoni, Israel named his newborn son Benjamin. After her death, Israel buried Rachel in Ephrath, Bethlehem. Israel journeyed on and set his tents past the tower of Edar.

Israel’s Sons

Israel had sons by four different women. Rachel’s sons were Joseph and Benjamin. Leah’s son included Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. Rachel’s handmaid had two sons called Dan and Naphtali, while Leah’s handmaid had two sons called Asher and Gad.

Isaac’s Death

Jacob then returned to Mamre, his father’s city. Isaac was very old by that time and died a short while after Israel had arrived. Israel and Esau buried him in his homeland.

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Genesis Chapter 35 (King James Version)

1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.
7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
8 But Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.
9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.
10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.
11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.
13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.
15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.
19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.
21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.
22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid: Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.
27 And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.
29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

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