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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God Blesses Jacob at Bethel
1 # Gen 28.11–17 God said to Jacob, “Go to Bethel at once, and live there. Build an altar there to me, the God who appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau.”
2So Jacob said to his family and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that you have; purify yourselves and put on clean clothes. 3We are going to leave here and go to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who helped me in the time of my trouble and who has been with me everywhere I have gone.” 4So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that they had and also the earrings that they were wearing. He buried them beneath the oak tree near Shechem.
5When Jacob and his sons started to leave, great fear fell on the people of the nearby towns, and they did not pursue them. 6Jacob came with all his people to Luz, which is now known as Bethel, in the land of Canaan. 7He built an altar there and named the place after the God of Bethel, because God had revealed himself to him there when he was running away from his brother. 8Rebecca's nurse Deborah died and was buried beneath the oak south of Bethel. So it was named “Oak of Weeping”.
9When Jacob returned from Mesopotamia, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10#Gen 32.28God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but from now on it will be Israel.” So God named him Israel. 11#Gen 17.4–8And God said to him, “I am Almighty God. Have many children. Nations will be descended from you, and you will be the ancestor of kings. 12I will give you the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, and I will also give it to your descendants after you.” 13Then God left him. 14#Gen 28.18–19There, where God had spoken to him, Jacob set up a memorial stone and consecrated it by pouring wine and olive oil on it. 15He named the place Bethel.
The Death of Rachel
16Jacob and his family left Bethel, and when they were still some distance from Ephrath, the time came for Rachel to have her baby, and she was having difficult labour. 17When her labour pains were at their worst, the midwife said to her, “Don't be afraid, Rachel; it's another boy.” 18But she was dying, and as she breathed her last, she named her son Benoni,#35.18 Benoni: This name in Hebrew means “son of my sorrow”. but his father named him Benjamin.#35.18 Benjamin: This name in Hebrew means “son who will be fortunate”.
19When Rachel died, she was buried beside the road to Ephrath, now known as Bethlehem. 20Jacob set up a memorial stone there, and it still marks Rachel's grave to this day. 21Jacob moved on and set up his camp on the other side of the tower of Eder.
The Sons of Jacob
(1 Chr 2.1–2)
22 # Gen 49.4 While Jacob was living in that land, Reuben had sexual intercourse with Bilhah, one of his father's concubines; Jacob heard about it and was furious.#35.22 One ancient translation and was furious; Hebrew does not have these words.
Jacob had twelve sons. 23The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob's eldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 25The sons of Rachel's slave Bilhah were Dan and Naphtali. 26The sons of Leah's slave Zilpah were Gad and Asher. These sons were born in Mesopotamia.
The Death of Isaac
27 # Gen 13.18 Jacob went to his father Isaac at Mamre, near Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac had lived. 28Isaac lived to be 180 years old 29and died at a ripe old age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.