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Jacob in Bethel

35 God said to Jacob, “·Go [L Rise up and go up] to the city of Bethel [12:8] and live there. Make an altar to the God who appeared to you there when you were ·running away [fleeing] from your brother Esau [28:1–22].”

So Jacob said to his ·family [household] and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods you have, and ·make yourselves clean [purify yourselves], and change your clothes. We will ·leave here and go [L rise up and go up] to Bethel. There I will build an altar to God, who ·has helped [L answered] me ·during my time of trouble [L in the day of my distress]. He has been with me [C an indication of a covenant relationship] everywhere I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods ·they had [in their possession; L in their hands], and the earrings ·they were wearing [L on their ears], and he hid them under the ·great tree [L oak; or terebinth; 12:6] near the town of Shechem. Then Jacob and his sons left there. But ·God caused the people in the nearby cities to be afraid [L the terror of God was on the surrounding cities], so they did not ·follow [pursue] them. And Jacob and all the people who were with him went to Luz, which is now called Bethel, in the land of Canaan. There Jacob built an altar and named the place ·Bethel, after God [El-Bethel; or “God of Bethel”], because God had appeared to him there when he was ·running [fleeing] from his brother.

Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak tree at Bethel, so they named that place ·Oak of Crying [L Allon-bacuth].

Jacob’s New Name

When Jacob came back from ·northwestern Mesopotamia [L Paddan-aram], God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. Your new name will be Israel.” So he called him Israel [32:28]. 11 God said to him, “I am ·God Almighty [L El Shaddai]. ·Have many children [L Be fruitful] and ·grow in number [L multiply; 1:22] as a nation. ·You will be the ancestor of many nations [L A company/assembly of nations will come from you] and kings [L will spring from your loins]. 12 The same land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you and your ·descendants [L seed; 12:2].” 13 Then God ·left him [L went up from him in the place where he spoke with him]. 14 Jacob set up a ·stone on edge [L pillar, a stone pillar] in that place where God had talked to him, and he poured a drink offering and olive oil on it to make it special for God. 15 And Jacob named the place Bethel [C “house of God”].

Rachel Dies Giving Birth

16 ·Jacob and his group [L They] ·left [departed from] Bethel. ·Before they came to [or While still some distance from] Ephrath [C near Bethlehem four miles south of Jerusalem; 35:19], Rachel began giving birth to her baby [L and had hard labor], 17 but she was having ·much trouble [hard labor]. When ·Rachel’s nurse [L the midwife] saw this, she said, “Don’t be afraid, Rachel. You are giving birth to another son.” 18 Rachel gave birth to the son, but she herself died. As she lay dying, she named the boy ·Son of My Suffering [Ben-oni], but Jacob called him Benjamin [C “son of my right hand/the south”].

19 Rachel was buried on the road to Ephrath, ·a district of [or which is] Bethlehem, 20 and Jacob set up a pillar on her grave. It is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21 Then Israel [C Jacob’s new name] continued his journey and ·camped [L pitched his tent] just south of ·Migdal Eder [or the tower of Eder; C Eder means “the flock”; perhaps located near Jerusalem; Mic. 4:8].

22 While Israel was there, Reuben ·had sexual relations [L lay] with Israel’s ·slave woman [concubine] Bilhah, and Israel heard about it [49:3–4].

The Family of Israel

Jacob had twelve sons. 23 He had six sons by his wife Leah: Reuben, his ·first son [firstborn], then Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.

24 He had two sons by his wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.

25 He had two sons by Rachel’s slave girl Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.

26 And he had two sons by Leah’s slave girl Zilpah: Gad and Asher.

These are Jacob’s sons who were born in ·northwestern Mesopotamia [L Paddan-aram].

27 Jacob went to his father Isaac at Mamre near Hebron [13:18; 18:1; 23:17–18; 25:9], where Abraham and Isaac had ·lived [sojourned; lived as an alien]. 28 Isaac lived one hundred eighty years. 29 So Isaac breathed his last breath and died [L and was gathered to his people/relatives; 25:8] when he was very old [L and full of days], and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.