Devotional Readings

Genesis 35 – Israel and the Land….

Just a quick note. Obviously, there is much in the news lately about the land of Israel. but this took place almost 4,000 years ago. It is history.

Listen and Read the account of how Jacob became Israel.
The second part of the chapter deals with both death and sin, which in this life are ever present.
You might read the John Gil commentary on verse 22 for his perspective.

God Blesses and Renames Jacob

Gen 35:1  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.

Gen 35:2  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:

Gen 35:3  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.

Gen 35:4  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.

Gen 35:5  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.

Gen 35:6  So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.

Gen 35:7  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.

Gen 35:8  But Deborah Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.

Gen 35:9  And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.



Gen 35:10  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.


Gen 35:11  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;


Gen 35:12  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.


Gen 35:13  And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.

Gen 35:14  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.

Gen 35:15  And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.

The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac

Gen 35:16  And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.

Gen 35:17  And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.

Gen 35:18  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.

Gen 35:19  And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

Gen 35:20  And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.

Gen 35:21  And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.

Gen 35:22  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:

Gen 35:23  The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:

Gen 35:24  The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:

Gen 35:25  And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:

Gen 35:26  And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.

Gen 35:27  And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.

Gen 35:28  And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.

Gen 35:29  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.


Note that at this junction the brothers are still together.


Genesis 35:22 – Gill

And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land,…. In that part of it near Bethlehem:

that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; his concubine wife; she was the maid that Rachel gave him, and this added to his affliction, and made it double, to lose Rachel by death, and to have her favourite maid, his concubine, defiled by his own son, and whom it is highly probable he abstained from hereafter. This, though a very heinous sin of his son’s, yet might be suffered as a chastisement to Jacob, for making use of concubines:

and Israel heard it; though the crime was committed secretly, and was thought it would have been concealed, but by some means or other Jacob heard of it, and no doubt severely reproved his son for it; and though nothing is here related, as said by him on this occasion, it is certain it gave him great offence, grief and trouble, and he remembered it to his dying day, and took away the birthright from Reuben on account of it, Gen 49:3; an empty space here follows in the original text, and a pause in it, denoting perhaps the amazement Jacob was filled with when he heard it; and the great grief of his heart, which was such, that he was not able to speak a word; the Septuagint version fills up the space by adding, “and it appeared evil in his sight”:

now the sons of Jacob were twelve; who were the heads of twelve tribes, Benjamin the last being born, and Jacob having afterwards no more children, they were all reckoned up under their respective mothers, excepting Dinah, a daughter, from whom there was no tribe, in the following verses.




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