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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Genesis 35

Verses 1-29

CHAPTER 35 Jacob at Bethel and Three Deaths

1. The divine commandment (Genesis 35:1 )

2. The defilement put away (Genesis 35:2-4 )

3. The journey to Bethel and the altar (Genesis 35:5-7 )

4. Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, dies (Genesis 35:8 )

5. God appears to Jacob (Genesis 35:9-15 )

6. Benoni-Benjamin and Rachel’s death (Genesis 35:16-20 )

7. The twelve sons of Jacob (Genesis 35:21-26 )

8. Isaac’s death (Genesis 35:27-29 )

The Lord did not leave Jacob in Shechem amidst the evil and corrupting influences. The Lord now reminded him of what had happened long ago and of the unfulfilled vow he had made when he had his dream-vision. And he responded. His house, however, was first cleansed from the defilement; the strange gods among them, most likely teraphim. or household gods, had to be put away. After that was done he gave the order to go to Bethel to make an altar there unto God. They gave up their gods and earrings; the latter must have been in the shape of figures representing idols. And after this cleansing they became a mighty host, the terror of God fell upon the cities through which they journeyed. The altar is built and the place called El Bethel (God of the House of God). Rebekah’s nurse died. After Genesis 49:31 Rebekah is no longer mentioned; not even her death. This corresponds with that which she typifies, the church. Jacob as we learned foreshadows the history of the earthly people of God and as that is related no more mention of Rebekah is made. Then God met him again and Jacob becomes Israel in reality.

Rachel gives birth to another son at Ephrath and dies there. The one born has a double name. “Benoni,” which means “son of sorrow”; “Benjamin,” which is “the son of the right hand.” Here we have another type of the Lord Jesus Christ, His humiliation and exaltation. Bethlehem is here mentioned for the first time in the Bible.

After the names of the twelve sons of Jacob are given and Reuben’s evil deed is recorded we hear of the death of Isaac. He died 180 years old and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. We now add a little diagram, which gives the family tree of the patriarchs down to the end of this book.

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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Genesis 35". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.