Aug. 1. Life and Death Continue for Jacob’s Family

Gen. 35:1-29

Probably for his safety, God instructed Jacob to return to Bethel about twenty-five miles to the south of Shechem. It was at this location that he had his dream of a ladder extending to heaven. God had made His promise to Jacob at this place as he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.

As an act of purification and to make a fresh start, Jacob ordered all who were with him to put all of their foreign gods away and change their clothes for the journey. God protected them as they made their move to a new location. Upon arrival, as he had done before, he built an altar to worship God.

God appeared to Jacob and stated once again that his name would be changed to Israel. The Lord reassured him of His promise that Israel would become a great nation.

Jacob continued his journey into Ephrath. It was here that Rachel went into labor with her second child. As was the case so many times before modern medical services, she died as her son was being born. She named him Ben Oni, but Jacob called him Benjamin.

After the birth of Benjamin, Jacob moved on to Hebron, the home of his father, Isaac. It was here that Isaac died at the age of one hundred eighty years and was buried by his sons, Esau and Jacob.