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. This was 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. Make yourselves clean, and change your clothes. 3We will leave here and go to Bethel. There I will build an altar to God. He 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 they gave him the earrings they were wearing. 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 the sons of Jacob. 6And Jacob and all the people who were with him went to Luz. It is now called Bethel. It is in the land of Canaan. 7There Jacob built an altar. He named the place Bethel, after God, because God had appeared to him there. That was when he was running from his brother.
8Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak tree at Bethel. They named that place Oak of Crying.
Jacob’s New Name
9When Jacob came back from Northwest Mesopotamia, God appeared to him again. And God 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 All-Powerful. Have many children and grow in number as a nation. You will be the ancestor of many nations and kings. 12I gave Abraham and Isaac land. I will give that same land 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 with this birth. 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 died. As she lay dying, she named the boy Son of My Suffering. But Jacob called him Benjamin.# This name means “right-hand son” or “favorite son.”
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 today. 21Then Israel, also called Jacob, continued his journey. He camped just south of Migdal Eder.
22While Israel was in that land Reuben had physical relations with Israel’s slave woman Bilhah. And Israel heard about it.
The Family of Israel
Jacob had 12 sons. 23He had 6 sons by his wife Leah. Reuben was his first son. Then Leah had Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
24He had 2 sons by his wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
25He had 2 sons by Rachel’s slave girl Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.
26And he had 2 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. This is where Abraham and Isaac had lived. 28Isaac lived 180 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 Goes Back to Bethel
1And God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there, and make an altar to the God who appeared to you when you fled from before Esau your brother.” 2Then Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are in your midst and purify yourselves and change your garments. 3Then let us make ready and let us go up to Bethel, so that I can make an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my trouble, and who has been with me on the way that I have gone.” 4So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that were in their hands, and the ornamental rings that were in their ears. And Jacob buried them under the oak which was near Shechem. 5Then they set out on their journey, and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, so that they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. 6And Jacob came to Luz which was in the land of Canaan (that is Bethel), he and all the people that were with him. 7And he built an altar there and called the place El-Bethel, for there God had appeared to him when he fled before his brother. 8And Deborah, the nurse of Rebekah, died. And she was buried below Bethel, under the oak. And its name was called Allon-Bacuth.#“The Oak of Weeping” 9And God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-Aram, and he blessed him. 10And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” Then his name was called Israel. 11And God said to him, “I am El-Shaddai.#Possibly “God Almighty,” but more likely “God of the Wilderness” Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and an assemblage of nations shall be from you, and kings shall go out from your loins. 12And as for the land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I will give it to you. And to your descendants after you I will give the land. 13And God went up from him at the place where he spoke with him. 14And Jacob set up a pillar at the place where God had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. And he poured out a drink offering upon it, and poured oil on it. 15And Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.
The Death of Rachel
16Then they journeyed from Bethel. And when they were still some distance#Literally “there was still the stretch of land” from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor. And she had hard labor. 17And when her labor was the most difficult#Literally “at her distress at giving birth” the midwife said to her, “Do not be afraid for you have another son.”#Literally “for this one also to you is a son” 18And it happened that when her life was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-Oni.#“Son of my sorrow” But his father called him Benjamin.#“Son of the right hand” 19And Rachel died and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20And Jacob erected a pillar at her burial site. That is the pillar of the burial site of Rachel unto this day. 21And Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.#Or “Migdal-Eder” 22And while Israel was living in that land Reuben went and had sexual relations with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. And Israel heard about it.
The Twelve Sons of Jacob
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23The sons of Leah: The firstborn of Jacob was Reuben. Then Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25The sons of Bilhah, the female servant of Rachel: Dan and Naphtali. 26The sons of Zilpah, the female servant of Leah: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-Aram.
The Death of Isaac
27And Jacob came to Isaac his father at Mamre, or Kiriath-Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac dwelled as aliens. 28Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29And Isaac passed away and died, and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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