Jacob in Bethel
1God said to Jacob, “Go to the town of Bethel.#35:1 Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.” That is where I appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau. Live there and make an altar to honor me as El,#35:1 El A Hebrew name for God. the God who appeared to you.”
2So Jacob told his family and all the other people with him, “Destroy all these foreign gods that you have. Make yourselves pure. Put on clean clothes. 3We will leave here and go to Bethel. There I will build an altar to the God who has always helped me during times of trouble. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”
4So the people gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had, and they gave him all the rings they were wearing in their ears. He buried everything under an oak tree near the town called Shechem.
5Then Jacob and his sons left that place. The people in the surrounding cities wanted to follow and kill them, but God filled them with such great fear that they did not go after them. 6So Jacob and his people went to Luz, which is now called Bethel. It is in the land of Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar there. He named the place “El Bethel.”#35:7 El Bethel A name that means “the God of Bethel.” Jacob chose this name because that is the place where God first appeared to him when he was running from his brother.
8Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died there. They buried her under the oak tree at Bethel. They named that place Allon Bacuth.#35:8 Allon Bacuth This name means “the oak tree of sadness.”
Jacob’s New Name
9When Jacob came back from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again. God blessed Jacob 10and said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but I will change that name. You will no longer be called Jacob. Your new name will be Israel.#35:10 Israel This name might mean “he fights for God,” “he fights with God,” or “God fights.”” So God named him Israel.
11God said to him, “I am God All-Powerful,#35:11 God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.” and I give you this blessing: Have many children and grow into a great nation. Other nations and other kings will come out of you. 12I gave Abraham and Isaac some special land. Now I give the land to you and to all your people who will live after you.” 13Then God left that place. 14-15Jacob set up a memorial stone there. He made the rock holy by pouring wine and oil on it. This was a special place because God spoke to Jacob there, and 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. 17She was having a lot of trouble with this birth. She was in great pain. When her nurse saw this, she said, “Don’t be afraid, Rachel. You are giving birth to another son.”
18Rachel died while giving birth to the son. Before dying, she named the boy Benoni.#35:18 Benoni This name means “son of my suffering.” But Jacob called him Benjamin.#35:18 Benjamin This name means “right-hand” or “favorite son.”
19Rachel was buried on the road to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20Jacob put a special rock on Rachel’s grave to honor her. That special rock is still there today. 21Then Israel continued his journey. He camped just south of Eder tower.#35:21 Eder tower Or “Migdal Eder.”
22Israel stayed there for a short time. While he was there, Reuben slept with Israel’s slave woman Bilhah. Israel heard about this, and he was very angry.#35:22 and he was very angry These words are from the ancient Greek translation. They are not in the standard Hebrew text. See Gen. 49:4.
The Family of Israel (Jacob)
These are the names of Jacob’s twelve sons:
23His firstborn son was Reuben, whose mother was Leah. Jacob’s other sons by Leah were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24His sons by Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25His sons by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, were Dan and Naphtali.
26His sons by Zilpah, Leah’s maid, were Gad and Asher.
These were Jacob’s sons who were born in Paddan Aram.
27Jacob went to his father Isaac at Mamre in Kiriath Arba (Hebron). This is where Abraham and Isaac had lived. 28Isaac lived 180 years. 29Then Isaac became weak and died and went to be with his people. He had lived a long and full 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.