| 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
.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.
| 1 -
up to Bethel Why? Three of his sons had committed a terrible
2 - Put away the strange gods To meet with God reform was needed am0412, 1jo0303. The gods probably included those taken by Rachel ge3119.
3 - God who answered Likely in his experience some years earlier ge3209ff.
4 - Hid them Getting totally rid of items that might cause temptation is the best plan. On ornaments, 1ti0209, 1pe0303.
| 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.
|Luz ge2819 had been from then on called Bethel v6 but is here El-Beht-el. the El means God. Scholars don't agree about this extra "el." Jacob had first called it Bethel, "the house of God." This time he may have wished to honor God for then and now.|
And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed
.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.
|10 - Not ... Jacob but Israel This was confirmation of the name change at Peniel ge3228. Also ge4803, ho1204.|
| 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.
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.
.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.
- From Bethel Not contrary to the command of v1 because the
word for "dwell" does not imply staying in a place permanently. See the
word in ge2744;
18 - Soul was in departing The word for "soul," nephesh, also means "life" and is so translated in the KJV 119 times. The idea of the spirit flying off to heaven at death is not biblical ps14604, ec0905.
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.
19 - Bethlehem The first mention of the town which later became the place of Jesus' birth mt0201 and saw other activity recorded in the Bible mi0502, ru0204, 1sa1601, 2sa2314, ezr0221. See Jerusalem vicinity map. There was another Bethlehem in the territory of Zebulun, a small area between Mt. Carmel and the Sea of Galilee. See Carmel area map for the location (the town is 10 mi./16 km.) north of Megiddo and does not appear on the map). The name, Bethlehem, means "house of bread" and also "house of Lahmu." Lahmu was a pagan God whose "house" or temple apparently existed at the location 5 mi./8 km. south of Jerusalem before the Israelite conquest of Canaan.
The structure pictured is thought to be Rachel's tomb PK17.
| 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.
- Tower of Edar Towers gave stragic advantage and safety.
22 - Reuben went This was incest since Bilhah was, in a sense, his father's wife le1808, 1co0501.
And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah,
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.