Rededication at Beth-El
1Then God said to Jacob, “Get up! Go up to Beth-El and stay there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”
2So Jacob said to his household and to everyone who was with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Cleanse yourselves and change your clothes.
3Now let’s get up and go up to Beth-El so that I can make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and has been with me in the way that I have gone.”
4So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods in their hand and the rings in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak tree near Shechem.
5Then they journeyed, and the terror of God was on the cities that were around them, so they did not pursue Jacob’s sons.
6Then Jacob arrived at Luz in the land of Canaan (that is Beth-El), he and all the people who were with him.
7He built an altar there and called the place El-Beth-El because God had revealed Himself to him there when he fled from the presence of his brother.
8Then Rebekah’s nurse Deborah died, and was buried below Beth-El, under the oak—so it was named Oak of Weeping.
9God appeared to Jacob again, after he returned from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
10God said to him: “Your name was Jacob. No longer will your name be Jacob, for your name will be Israel.” So He named him Israel.
11God also said to him: “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and an assembly of nations will come from you. From your loins will come forth kings.
12The land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac— I give it to you, and to your seed after you I will give the land.”
13Then God went up from him at the place where He had spoken with him.
14Jacob set up a memorial stone in the place where He had spoken with him—a stone pillar—and he poured a drink offering on it and poured oil on it.
15Jacob named the place where God spoke with him Beth-El.
Rachel’s Death in Childbirth
16Then they traveled from Beth-El, and while they were still a distance from entering Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, but her labor was difficult.
17While she was struggling to give birth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for this is also a son for you.”
18Now as her soul was departing (for she died), she named him Ben-Oni, but his father named him Benjamin.
19Then Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
20Jacob set up a memorial stone over her grave. (It is the memorial stone over Rachel’s grave to this day.)
Israel Returns to Isaac
21Then Israel journeyed on and set up his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
22While Israel was living in that land, Reuben went and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it. Now Jacob had twelve sons.
23Leah’s sons were Jacob’s firstborn Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
24Rachel’s sons were Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s female servant, were Dan and Naphtali,
26and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s female servant, were Gad and Asher. These are Jacob’s sons, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre of Kiriat-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.
28Now Isaac’s days were 180 years.
29Then Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his peoples, old and full of days. So his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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Jacob Returns to Bethel
1 # Gn 28.11-17. God 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.”
2Jacob said to his family and to everyone else who was traveling 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 traveling 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
9-11 # Gn 32.28. #Gn 17.4-8. After 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:
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 forever.
13After God had gone, 14#Gn 28.18,19. Jacob 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, 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 right 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, traveled to the south of Eder Tower, where he set up camp.
22 # Gn 49.4. During their time there, Jacob's oldest 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.
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 first-born 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.
27 # Gn 13.18. Jacob went to his father Isaac at Hebron, also called Mamre or Kiriath-Arba, where Isaac's father Abraham had lived as a foreigner. 28-29Isaac died at the ripe old age of 180, then his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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