1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; 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.
4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.
7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
8 But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.
9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.
10 And 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.
11 And 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;
12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.
13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.
15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor.
17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.
19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.
21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.
22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid: Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.
27 And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arba, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.
29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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Genesis chapter 35 is a pivotal chapter in the book of Genesis, as it marks a significant turning point in the life of Jacob and his family. This chapter begins with God instructing Jacob to return to Bethel, the place where God had appeared to him and promised to bless him and his descendants. It is here that Jacob builds an altar and renews his covenant with God, reaffirming his commitment to follow God's will.
The main themes of this chapter include the importance of obedience to God, the fulfillment of God's promises, and the consequences of sin. Through the events that unfold in this chapter, we see how God remains faithful to His promises and how He works in the lives of His people to bring about His plans and purposes.
The chapter begins with God instructing Jacob to return to Bethel, the place where God had appeared to him and promised to bless him and his descendants. This was a significant moment for Jacob, as it marked a return to the place where he had first encountered God and received His promises. It was also a reminder for Jacob to renew his commitment to God and to follow His will.
Upon arriving in Bethel, Jacob builds an altar and calls it "El Bethel," which means "God of Bethel." This act of building an altar was a common practice in the Old Testament, and it symbolized the establishment of a covenant between God and His people. By building this altar, Jacob was reaffirming his commitment to follow God and to worship Him alone.
This act of obedience to God's instruction to return to Bethel is a reminder for us to always be obedient to God's will. It is easy to get distracted by the things of this world and to forget our commitment to God. But like Jacob, we must be willing to return to the place of our first encounter with God and renew our commitment to follow Him.
As Jacob returns to Bethel and renews his covenant with God, we see the fulfillment of God's promises to him. In verse 11, God reaffirms His promise to Jacob, saying, "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants." This promise was first given to Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, and now it is being passed down to Jacob.
God's promises are always fulfilled in His perfect timing. Despite the challenges and struggles that Jacob faced, God remained faithful to His promises and brought them to fruition. This is a reminder for us to trust in God's timing and to have faith that He will fulfill His promises in our lives as well.
As Jacob and his family journey towards Bethel, they stop at Shechem, where Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped by a man named Shechem. This event brings great shame and sorrow to Jacob's family, and it also serves as a reminder of the consequences of sin. The actions of Shechem not only affected him but also brought pain and suffering to Jacob's family.
In response to this act of violence, Jacob's sons take matters into their own hands and deceive the men of Shechem, ultimately leading to their destruction. This serves as a cautionary tale of the consequences of taking matters into our own hands and not trusting in God's justice. It also highlights the importance of seeking forgiveness and reconciliation rather than seeking revenge.
As Jacob and his family continue their journey, Rachel, Jacob's beloved wife, goes into labor and gives birth to her second son, Benjamin. However, Rachel dies during childbirth, and Jacob is left to mourn the loss of his wife. This event serves as a reminder of the fragility of life and the reality of death.
Despite the sorrow and pain of losing his wife, Jacob finds comfort in knowing that Rachel's soul is with God. This is a reminder for us that even in the midst of tragedy and loss, we can find peace and comfort in God's presence and the promise of eternal life.
The birth of Benjamin is a bittersweet event for Jacob and his family. On one hand, it brings joy and hope for the future, as Benjamin is the youngest son and the fulfillment of God's promise to Jacob. On the other hand, it also serves as a reminder of the loss of Rachel and the consequences of sin.
Despite the challenges and struggles that Jacob and his family faced, God remained faithful to His promises and brought about the birth of Benjamin. This is a reminder for us that even in the midst of difficult circumstances, God is still at work, and His plans and purposes will prevail.
Genesis chapter 35 is a powerful reminder of God's faithfulness, even in the midst of trials and challenges. Through the events that unfold in this chapter, we see how God remains faithful to His promises and how He works in the lives of His people to bring about His plans and purposes.
The chapter also highlights the importance of obedience to God's will and the consequences of sin. We are reminded to always be obedient to God and to trust in His timing and His plans for our lives. We are also cautioned against taking matters into our own hands and seeking revenge, as it can lead to further harm and destruction.
Furthermore, the chapter serves as a reminder of the fragility of life and the reality of death. But even in the midst of tragedy and loss, we can find comfort and hope in God's presence and the promise of eternal life.
Overall, Genesis chapter 35 teaches us the importance of remaining faithful to God, trusting in His promises, and seeking forgiveness and reconciliation rather than seeking revenge. It also reminds us to find comfort and hope in God's presence, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.