B'resheet (Gen) 35
1God said to Ya‘akov, “Get up, go up to Beit-El and live there, and make there an altar to God, who appeared to you when you fled ‘Esav your brother.” 2Then Ya‘akov said to his household and all the others with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that you have with you, purify yourselves, and put on fresh clothes. 3We’re going to move on and go up to Beit-El. There I will build an altar to God, who answered me when I was in such distress and stayed with me wherever I went.” 4They gave Ya‘akov all the foreign gods in their possession and the earrings they were wearing, and Ya‘akov buried them under the pistachio tree near Sh’khem. 5While they were traveling, a terror from God fell upon the cities around them, so that none of them pursued the sons of Ya‘akov.
6Ya‘akov and all the people with him arrived at Luz (that is, Beit-El) in the land of Kena‘an. 7He built there an altar and called the place El-Beit-El [God of Beit-El], because it was there that God was revealed to him, at the time when he was fleeing from his brother.
8Then D’vorah, Rivkah’s nurse, died. She was buried below Beit-El under the oak, which was given the name Alon-Bakhut [oak of weeping].
9After Ya‘akov arrived from Paddan-Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10God said to him, “Your name is Ya‘akov, but you will be called Ya‘akov no longer; your name will be Isra’el.” Thus he named him Isra’el. 11God further said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed a group of nations, will come from you; kings will be descended from you. (A: vi) 12Moreover, the land which I gave to Avraham and Yitz’chak I will give to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.” 13Then God went up from him there where he had spoken with him. (S: vi) 14Ya‘akov set up a standing-stone in the place where he had spoken with him, a stone pillar. Then he poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15Ya‘akov called the place where God spoke with him Beit-El.
16Then they traveled on from Beit-El, and while there was still some distance to go before arriving in Efrat, Rachel went into labor, and she had great difficulty with it. 17While she was undergoing this hard labor, the midwife said to her, “Don’t worry, this is also a son for you.” 18But she died in childbirth. As she was dying she named her son Ben-Oni [son of my grief], but his father called him Binyamin [son of the right hand, son of the south]. 19So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Efrat (that is, Beit-Lechem). 20Ya‘akov set up a standing-stone on her grave; it is the standing-stone of Rachel’s grave to this day.
21Isra’el continued his travels and pitched his tent on the other side of Migdal-‘Eder. 22It was while Isra’el was living in that land that Re’uven went and slept with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Isra’el heard about it.
Ya‘akov had twelve sons. 23The sons of Le’ah were Re’uven Ya‘akov’s firstborn, Shim‘on, Levi, Y’hudah, Yissakhar and Z’vulun. 24The sons of Rachel were Yosef and Binyamin. 25The sons of Bilhah Rachel’s slave-girl were Dan and Naftali. 26And the sons of Zilpah Le’ah’s slave-girl were Gad and Asher. These were Ya‘akov’s sons, born to him in Paddan-Aram.
27Ya‘akov came home to his father Yitz’chak at Mamre, near Kiryat-Arba (also known as Hevron), where Avraham and Yitz’chak had lived as foreigners. 28Yitz’chak lived to be 180 years old. 29Then he breathed his last, died and was gathered to his people, an old man full of years; and his sons ‘Esav and Ya‘akov buried him.
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Jacob returns to Bethel
1God 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.”#Gn 28.11-17.
2Jacob said to his family and to everyone else who was travelling 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 travelling 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
9-11After 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:#Gn 32.28.#Gn 17.4-8.
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 for ever.
13After God had gone, 14Jacob 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,#Gn 28.18,19. 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 just 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, travelled to the south of Eder Tower, where he set up camp.
22During their time there, Jacob's eldest 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.#Gn 49.4.
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 firstborn 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.
27Jacob went to his father Isaac at Hebron, also called Mamre or Kiriath-Arba, where Isaac's father Abraham had lived as a foreigner.#Gn 13.18. 28-29Isaac died at the ripe old age of one hundred and eighty, then his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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