Jacob Returns to Bethel 35 1Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to honor me. That’s where I appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau.” 2So Jacob spoke to his family and to everyone who was with him. He said, “Get rid of the strange gods you have with you. Make yourselves pure, and change your clothes. 3Come, let’s go up to Bethel. There I’ll build an altar to honor God. He answered me when I was in trouble. He’s been with me everywhere I’ve gone.” 4So they gave Jacob all of the strange gods they had. They also gave him their earrings. Jacob buried them under the oak tree at Shechem. 5Then Jacob and everyone who was with him started out. The terror of God fell on the towns all around them. So no one chased them. 6Jacob and all of the people who were with him came to Luz. Luz is also called Bethel. It’s in the land of Canaan. 7Jacob built an altar at Luz. He named the place El Bethel. There God made himself known to Jacob when he was running away from his brother. 8Rebekah’s attendant Deborah died. They buried her body under the oak tree below Bethel. So it was called Allon Bacuth. 9After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again. And God blessed him. 10God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. But you will not be called Jacob anymore. Your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. 11God said to him, “I am the Mighty God. Have children and increase your numbers. A nation and a community of nations will come from you. Kings will come from your body. 12I am giving you the land I gave to Abraham and Isaac. I will also give it to your children after you.” 13Then God left him at the place where he had talked with him. 14Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him. He poured out a drink offering on it. He also poured oil on it. 15Jacob named the place Bethel. That’s where God had talked with him. Rachel and Isaac Die 16They moved on from Bethel. Ephrath wasn’t very far away when Rachel began to have a baby. She was having a very hard time of it. 17The woman who helped her saw that she was having problems. So she said to her, “Don’t be afraid. You have another son.” 18But Rachel was dying. As she took her last breath, she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin. 19So Rachel died. Her body was buried beside the road to Ephrath. Ephrath was also called Bethlehem. 20Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. The pillar marks the place of Rachel’s tomb to this very day. 21Israel moved on again. He set up his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 22While Israel was living in that area, Reuben went in and made love to Bilhah. She was the concubine of Reuben’s father. And Israel heard about it. Here are the 12 sons Jacob had. 23Leah was the mother of Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son. Her other sons were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. 24The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 25The sons of Rachel’s female servant Bilhah were Dan and Naphtali. 26The sons of Leah’s female servant Zilpah were Gad and Asher. Those were Jacob’s sons. They were born in Paddan Aram. 27Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre. Mamre is near Kiriath Arba, where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. The place is also called Hebron. 28Isaac lived 180 years. 29Then he took his last breath and died. He was very old when he joined the members of his family who had already died. His sons Esau and Jacob buried his body.
New International Readers Version® / © 1984 Biblica, Inc. About