Genesis 35 : Jacob’s Travels

July 5, 2023 ·

God instructs Jacob to return to Bethel, the place where God had appeared to him before, and to construct an altar there. Jacob gathers all his family members and asks them to give him their idols, which he then buries. Together, they set off for Bethel, where Jacob builds an altar as instructed. Afterwards, Jacob goes back to Paddan Aram, where God reaffirms his new name, Israel, and blesses him with the promises originally given to Abraham. Jacob erects a pillar and offers sacrifices in that place.

Tragically, Rachel dies while giving birth to Benjamin, Israel’s final son. The twelve sons of Israel are: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. Jacob eventually returns to his father, Isaac, in Hebron, also known as Kiriath Arba. Isaac passes away at the age of 180 and is buried in Machpelah, the same burial site where Abraham was laid to rest.

Key verse:
3. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.

My thoughts:
This narrative is comparatively condensed compared to the preceding chapters that follow Jacob, and it serves as a conclusion to the section of Genesis focused on Jacob, paving the way for the story of his son, Joseph.

I perceive that Jacob’s relationship with God primarily revolves around a few significant events. There are specific occasions where he has profound encounters with God, and each time he expresses awe and amazement at being in close proximity to God. While Abraham and Isaac also had significant encounters with God, these instances appear to be less prominent in the context of their entire lives, and their reactions seem less surprised. This disparity may be attributed to the fact that Abraham and Isaac maintained a day-to-day relationship with God, whereas Jacob’s relationship was more event-driven.

The shared message throughout the lives of the three patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—is the promise that they will become a great nation and inherit the land of Canaan, their place of residence.

In category:Genesis
Next Post

Genesis 36 : Genealogy of Esau and Seir

Summary: Esau had multiple wives, mostly Canaanites, and they resided in Seir, separate from Jacob. Among Esau's sons were Eliphaz and Reuel, and one of his wives was Oholibamah. The descendants of Eliphaz, Reuel, and Oholibamah became the chiefs of…
Previous Post

Genesis 34 : First chopped, then sworded

Summary: Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped by Shechem, the son of Hamor, a Hivite. Shechem expresses his desire to marry Dinah, and Hamor proposes intermarriage between their families. However, Jacob's sons, furious over Dinah's assault, demand that the men of…
Random Post

Exodus 16 : Bread of Heaven

Summary: The people get annoyed because they have no food in the desert, whereas they at least had food in Egypt. So God promises food. So that evening, quail came and landed near them, so they had meat. In the…
Random Post

Exodus 2 : Baby Moses Saved

Summary: Moses, the central figure of this chapter, is born to his mother who endeavors to conceal him from the Egyptians. After three months, she can no longer keep him hidden, and resorts to placing him in a basket on…
Random Post

Genesis 50 : Joseph buries his father, and later dies

Summary: Upon his father's death, Joseph wept profusely and arranged for his father to be embalmed in the Egyptian manner. Subsequently, Joseph requested permission from Pharaoh to take his father's body to Canaan for burial. The Pharaoh granted his request…
Random Post

Genesis 9: God's Deal and Noah Gets Drunk

Summary: God blessed Noah and his sons, and allowed them to eat animals. He also made the rainbow as a sign of that covenant. However, Noah got drunk and naked, and his son Ham saw him. Ham then told his…
From Dust to Glory is made by Ric Moseley