Jacob goes back to Bethel
1After these things had happened, God said to Jacob, ‘Go to Bethel and live there. Build an altar to worship me. I am the God who appeared to you when you were running away from Esau.’ 2So Jacob told the people in his house and everyone who was with him, ‘Throw out all the foreign idols that you have with you. Wash your body very well and put on clean clothes. 3Then we will go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to worship God. He is the one who answered me when I was in trouble. And he has been with me everywhere that I went.’
4So the people gave to Jacob all their idols and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob buried these things under the oak tree near Shechem city. 5Then they began their journey. All the towns near there were afraid of God's power. So no one attacked Jacob and his people.
6Jacob and everyone with him arrived at Luz, now called Bethel. That is in the land of Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar there. He called the place El Bethel, because that was where God appeared to him. #35:7 El Bethel means ‘God of Bethel’. God had appeared to him when he was running away from his brother Esau.
8Rebekah's nurse, Deborah, died at that time. Jacob buried her under the oak tree near Bethel. That is why they call the place Allon Bacuth. #35:8 Allon Bacuth means ‘oak tree where people wept’.
9After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again. God blessed Jacob. 10He said to Jacob, ‘Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob. Instead, your name will be Israel.’ So God gave the name Israel to Jacob. #35:10 See Genesis 32:28.
11Then God said to him, ‘I am Almighty God. Give birth to many children so that your descendants become very many. They will become many nations and some of them will be kings. 12I give to you the land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give this land to your descendants that come after you.’ #35:12 God is telling Jacob about the promise that he made to Abraham (Genesis 17:1-8) and to Isaac (Genesis 26:3).
13Then God went away from the place where he spoke to Jacob. 14Jacob set up a special stone on the ground. It showed the place where God had spoken to him. He poured a drink offering on the stone. He also poured olive oil on it. 15In that way, Jacob called the place where God spoke to him Bethel.
16Then they left Bethel and they continued to travel. When they were still a long way from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth. She had a lot of pain. 17As she was having even more pain, the woman who was helping her said, ‘Do not be afraid. You have another son!’ 18But Rachel was dying. With her last breath, she gave to her son the name Ben-Oni. But Jacob, his father, called him Benjamin. #35:18 Ben-Oni means ‘son of my pain’. Benjamin means ‘son of my right hand’.
19After Rachel died, they buried near the road that goes to Ephrath. #35:19 Ephrath is now called Bethlehem. 20Jacob set up a special stone over the place where they buried Rachel. This stone still shows the place.
21Israel then travelled on again. #35:21 Jacob is now called Israel, but the Bible uses both names. He put up his tents beyond Migdal Eder. 22While Israel stayed there, his son Reuben had sex with Bilhah. She was Israel's slave wife, and Israel heard what had happened.
Jacob had 12 sons:
23The sons of Leah were Jacob's firstborn, Reuben, then Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
24The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Rachel's servant, Bilhah, were Dan and Naphtali.
26The sons of Leah's servant, Zilpah, were Gad and Asher.
Those were Jacob's sons who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
27Jacob arrived back at his father Isaac's home. This was in Mamre, also called Kiriath Arba, or Hebron. It was the place where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28Isaac lived for 180 years. 29Then he died and he joined his ancestors. He was an old man who had lived a long life. His sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.
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