Jacob’s Return to Bethel
1Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.”
2So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. 3We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”
4So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem. 5As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.
6Eventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.
8Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means “oak of weeping”).
9Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, 10saying, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.”# Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for “heel” and “deceiver.” Israel means “God fights.” So God renamed him Israel.
11Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! 12And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” 13Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob.
14Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil. 15And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.
The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac
16Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. 17After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” 18Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). 19So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20Jacob set up a stone monument over Rachel’s grave, and it can be seen there to this day.
21Then Jacob# Hebrew Israel; also in 35:22a. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation. traveled on and camped beyond Migdal-eder. 22While he was living there, Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Jacob soon heard about it.
These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:
23The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob’s oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
26The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.
These are the names of the sons who were born to Jacob at Paddan-aram.
27So Jacob returned to his father, Isaac, in Mamre, which is near Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had both lived as foreigners. 28Isaac lived for 180 years. 29Then he breathed his last and died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death. And his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.