Summary of Genesis 35:
God told Jacob to settle in Bethel and build Him an altar there. So Jacob and his household prepared to move, ridding themselves of their idols, purifying themselves, and changing their clothes. Jacob buried the foreign gods and their rings under an oak at Shechem. God protected them as they went so they would not suffer repercussions from the slaughter of Shechem.
No one pursued Jacob and his family when they left Shechem for God sent a terror upon them. Jacob built an altar at Bethel as instructed by God. Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died. God appeared to Jacob again and re-named him Israel.
God repeats his covenant to Abraham and Isaac to Jacob, saying to be fruitful and multiply for a nation will come from your body and He will give this land to his descendants. God left and Jacob set up a stone pillar.
Rachel died after they left Bethel giving birth to Benjamin. She was buried along the route. Israel moved on and stayed for a bit near Migdal Eder. Here, Reuben slept with Bilhah.
Jacob’s 12 sons are: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
Jacob finally arrived home in Hebron to see Isaac who was still alive. Isaac died at age 180 and was buried by Jacob and Esau.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 4: Genesis 35
9) God told Jacob to settle in Bethel and build Him an altar there. Bethel is the place where God appeared to Jacob in a dream, renewing His covenant with Jacob, promises to watch over him wherever he goes and bless the world through him.
10) He purged his household of idols and had everyone purify themselves. Then they set out to God’s command.
11a) 35:1: Authoritative, commanding, caring, leading, protecting
35:3: Answers in distress and is with you wherever you go.
35:9-10: God blesses and molds people
35:11-12: God keeps his promises and repeats them
b) God is with me. He leads. He helps in my distress. He blesses. He keeps His promises. He protects. He cares. He is my everything.
12) The repercussions of man’s first sin in the Garden: death of his loved ones: Rachel and Isaac. His son sleeping with his concubine.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 4: Genesis 35
Woah! Anyone else shocked that Jacob knew about foreign gods in his household and let them stay until God told him to move? Man, he is flawed, isn’t he? Yet, we see Jacob obey this time. He is growing with God.
A lot happens in this chapter that the Bible ploughs through.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 4: Genesis 35
Jacob Gets Right With God
Note how God is not mentioned once in Genesis 34. Yet, He reappears here, being mentioned over 10 times. God is with us, orchestrating, no matter what evil is going on in the world.
Jacob is in effect returning to God here. He is finally going to Bethel to be separate from others as he was supposed to do earlier. (Genesis 31:13). His whole family will benefit because of it.
Rachel probably still had the foreign gods she stole from her father, Laban. It appears more had foreign gods. Jacob gets right with God, all follow him.
Changing of the clothes signifies a return to God. Those earrings must have been pagan worship as well. Everything associated with pagans must go in a cleansing.
God ensured no one hurt them as revenge for Shechem Genesis 34:30.
Jacob obeyed God fully, building an altar. Nothing is more important than obedience to God’s call.
Deborah is mentioned for the first time. This is pretty cool. She was buried at Allon Bachuth or “oak of weeping.” I would have liked to have been mentioned. Note how Rebekah’s death was not recorded. Don’t confuse this Deborah for Deborah the judge in the book of Judges.
God appeared to Jacob again for the 4th time (apparently in bodily form i.e. Jesus) and reminded him of his new name, Israel. God wants to remind us of who we are to Him. Revelation 2:4-5 renewing his covenant.
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God blesses those who do what God tells us to do.
Drink offerings are found in several places in the Bible: Exodus 29:40-41, Leviticus 23:13, and Numbers 15:5-7 Or the pouring out of your life like an offering as Paul says (Philippians 2:17 and 2 Timothy 4:6).
Children are blessings, yet all Rachel saw was sorrow, naming her son, Ben-Oni, “son of my sorrow.” Jacob renamed him Benjamin “son of his right hand.”
Rachel was buried where she died, some distance from Ephrath. Rachel has been remembered in Scripture for her weeping. Jeremiah described the mourning of Assyrian exiles as Rachel weeping for her children (Jeremiah 31:15) and Herod’s murder of Bethlehem’s boys as Rachel as well (Matthew 2:18).
Your right hand is typically your strong one if you are right-handed. Of course, Jesus sits at God’s right hand.(Colossians 3:1). We see the right hand elsewhere in the Bible too: Exodus 15:6: Psalm 16:8 (Psalm 63:8) (Psalm 138:7).
Life still happens, as does death and sorrow from man’s first sin.
Reuben, Jacob’s first son and the one seemingly to carry forth the blessings, sleeps with Bilhah, Jacob’s concubine, the mother of Reuben’s brothers dan and Naphtali. It’s Judah who will bring forth the Messiah. This was a power act and nothing more.
Jacob’s family is most definitely dysfunctional
Jacob does get to see Isaac again. What a blessing. We need to remember this since we never know when we’ll see someone in our lives for the last time. Isaac dies at 180 and Esau returns for the burial. It’s good to see even in such dysfunctional families, love still remains.
We never see Jacob and Esau together after this in Scripture.