Jacob in Bethel
1God said to Jacob, “Go to the city of Bethel and live there. Make an altar to the God who appeared to you there when you were running away from your brother Esau.”
2So Jacob said to his family and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods you have, and make yourselves clean, and change your clothes. 3We will leave here and go to Bethel. There I will build an altar to God, who has helped me during my time of trouble. He has been with me everywhere I have gone.” 4So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had, and the earrings they were wearing, and he hid them under the great tree near the town of Shechem. 5Then Jacob and his sons left there. But God caused the people in the nearby cities to be afraid, so they did not follow them. 6And Jacob and all the people who were with him went to Luz, which is now called Bethel, in the land of Canaan. 7There Jacob built an altar and named the place Bethel, after God, because God had appeared to him there when he was running from his brother.
8Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak tree at Bethel, so they named that place Oak of Crying.
Jacob’s New Name
9When Jacob came back from Northwest Mesopotamia, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. Your new name will be Israel.” So he called him Israel. 11God said to him, “I am God Almighty. Have many children and grow in number as a nation. You will be the ancestor of many nations and kings. 12The same land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you and your descendants.” 13Then God left him. 14Jacob set up a stone on edge in that place where God had talked to him, and he poured a drink offering and olive oil on it to make it special for God. 15And 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, 17but she was having much trouble. When Rachel’s nurse saw this, she said, “Don’t be afraid, Rachel. You are giving birth to another son.” 18Rachel gave birth to the son, but she herself died. As she lay dying, she named the boy Son of My Suffering, but Jacob called him Benjamin.
19Rachel was buried on the road to Ephrath, a district of Bethlehem, 20and Jacob set up a rock on her grave to honor her. That rock is still there. 21Then Israel continued his journey and camped just south of Migdal Eder.
22While Israel was there, Reuben had sexual relations with Israel’s slave woman Bilhah, and Israel heard about it.
The Family of Israel
Jacob had twelve sons. 23He had six sons by his wife Leah: Reuben, his first son, then Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24He had two sons by his wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
25He had two sons by Rachel’s slave girl Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.
26And he had two sons by Leah’s slave girl Zilpah: Gad and Asher.
These are Jacob’s sons who were born in Northwest Mesopotamia.
27Jacob went to his father Isaac at Mamre near Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac had lived. 28Isaac lived one hundred eighty years. 29So Isaac breathed his last breath and died when he was very old, and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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Jacob Returns to Bethel
1Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel, dwell there, and there make an altar to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”
2#Ge 18:19; 31:19So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3#Ge 31:3; 31:42Let us arise and go up to Bethel, and there I will make an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4#Jos 24:25–26; Jdg 9:6So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their possession and all their earrings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak which was near Shechem. 5#Ex 23:27As they traveled, the terror of God was on the cities that were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.
6#Ge 28:19So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. 7#Ge 28:13; 35:1There he built an altar and called the place El Bethel, because God had appeared to him there when he fled from his brother.
8#Ge 24:59Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried beneath Bethel under the oak. So it was called Allon Bakuth.
9#Ge 12:7; 18:1God appeared to Jacob again when he came out of Paddan Aram and blessed him. 10#Ge 17:5; 17:15God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. Your name shall not be called Jacob any more, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel.
11#Ge 17:1; 17:16; Ex 6:3God said to him, “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations will come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. 12#Ge 12:7; 28:13The land that I gave Abraham and Isaac, I will give to you, and to your descendants after you I will give the land.” 13#Ge 17:22; 18:33Then God went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him.
14#Ge 28:18–19Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it too. 15#Ge 28:19So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.
The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac
16#Mic 5:2; Ge 48:7They journeyed from Bethel, and when they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had a difficult labor. 17#Ge 30:24When she was in hard labor, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear. You will have this son also.” 18As her soul was departing (for she died), she called his name Ben-Oni, but his father called him Benjamin.
19#Mic 5:2; Ge 48:7; Ru 1:2Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. 20#1Sa 10:2Jacob set a pillar on her grave. It is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day.
21#Mic 4:8Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder. 22#1Ch 5:1; Lev 18:8When Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Israel heard about it.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
23#Ge 29:32–35; 30:18–20The sons of Leah were
Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn,
and Simeon and Levi and Judah and Issachar and Zebulun.
24#Ge 30:22–24The sons of Rachel were
Joseph and Benjamin.
25And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were
Dan and Naphtali.
26And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were
Gad and Asher.
These are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Paddan Aram.
27#Ge 13:18; 18:1Jacob came back to Isaac his father in Mamre of Kiriath Arba (which is Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28#Ge 25:7Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29#Ge 15:15; 49:33And Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days, and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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