1And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, who appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. 2Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments: 3and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 4And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. 5And they journeyed: and a great terror was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
6So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan (the same is Beth-el), he and all the people that were with him. 7And he built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el: because there God was revealed unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother. 8And Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried below Beth-el under the oak: and the name of it was called Allon-bacuth. 9And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. 11And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 12and the land which I gave unto Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 13And God went up from him in the place where he spake with him. 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he spake with him, a pillar of stone: and he poured out a drink offering thereon, and poured oil thereon. 15And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Beth-el.
16And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was still some way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. 17And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; for now thou shalt have another son. 18And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. 19And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath (the same is Beth-lehem). 20And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave: the same is the Pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.
21And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder. 22And it came to pass, while Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard of it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23the sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: 24the sons of Rachel; Joseph and Benjamin: 25and the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan and Naphtali: 26and the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Paddan-aram. 27And Jacob came unto Isaac his father to Mamre, to Kiriath-arba (the same is Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 28And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. 29And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, old and full of days: and Esau and Jacob his sons buried him.
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Jacob returns to Bethel
1God 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.”#Gn 28.11-17.
2Jacob said to his family and to everyone else who was travelling 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 travelling 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
9-11After 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:#Gn 32.28.#Gn 17.4-8.
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 for ever.
13After God had gone, 14Jacob 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,#Gn 28.18,19. 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 just 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, travelled to the south of Eder Tower, where he set up camp.
22During their time there, Jacob's eldest 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.#Gn 49.4.
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 firstborn 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.
27Jacob went to his father Isaac at Hebron, also called Mamre or Kiriath-Arba, where Isaac's father Abraham had lived as a foreigner.#Gn 13.18. 28-29Isaac died at the ripe old age of one hundred and eighty, then his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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