Genesis 35

Genesis 35 – Jacob is Renamed and Isaac Passes


After taking all of the women and children captive, Jacob tells them to give up their gods, clothing, and jewlery. He makes them take on his god, ‘the god who answered me in the day of my distress’. I bet all of those people thought their god had come to them in a moment of distress, too.

Jacob and his group journeyed and the towns around them were scared of them and their god, likely for what had happened just verses before by Simeon and Levi. They got away with mass murder with no repercussions other than a talking to by their father. No response from the almighty omnipotent omniscient god.

During the journey Rebekah’s nurse died and they buried her and named the spot. I don’t understand the naming except to make geography more difficult.

Speaking of naming; god appears to Jacob in v.10 and says he will no longer be called Jacob but will be called Israel. Along with the naming came another promise of innumerable descendants and becoming a great nation, and he again promises the land to him and his seed.

2 things:

1-Jacob was already renamed Israel in Gen. 32:28. Why is everything repeated and repeated? The namings and the promises. Like the bible I will continue to call him Jacob.

2-v.1 says god told Jacob to go to Bethel, but in v.15 Jacob renames the place they are in Bethel, and don’t forget Jacob renamed the place already in Gen. 28:19! Anachronism, multiple authorship…

OK, Jacob renames the place Bethel, again, as they travel away from there Rachel died in childbirth. Before she died she named the child Ben-oni, but Jacob changed it to Benjamin.

Rachel was buried in Bethlehem where Jacob built a pillar on her grave.

Big moment here in v.21-22………Jacob is actually called Israel, but only three times, even in v.22 it calls him Israel and then calls him Jacob again. Why, if god renamed him, twice even, is he still called his old name?

In v.22, Reben had sex with Bilhah (one of the concubines of Jacob). The text mentions this little near-incest encounter but says nothing about a reprimand or discipline for it. It skips immediately to naming the sons of Jacob by each of his wives/concubines. Twelve sons by four women.

Jacob and his family come unto the house of his father Isaac just before his death at 180 in v.29.





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Posted on October 5, 2013, in Genesis. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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