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CHAPTER 35 Jan. 20 
Jacob Quits Pagan Gods 
God said to Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and live there. Make there an altar to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother. 2Then Jacob said to his household, and to all who were with him, Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, change your garments. 3Let us arise, and go up to Bethel. I will make there an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 4They gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. 5They travelled, and a terror of God was on the cities that were around them, and they didn’t pursue the sons of Jacob. 6So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. 7He built an altar there, and called the place El Beth El; because there God was revealed to him, when he fled from the face of his brother. 8Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the oak; and its name was called Allon Bacuth.
Jacob Is Renamed Israel 
9God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan Aram, and blessed him. 10God said to him, Your name is Jacob. Your name shall not be Jacob any more, but your name will be Israel. He named him Israel. 11God said to him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations will be from you, and kings will come out of your body. 12The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and to your seed after you will I give the land. 13God went up from him in the place where He spoke with him. 14Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He spoke with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it, and poured oil on it. 15Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him Bethel.
The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac 
16They travelled from Bethel. There was still some distance to come to Ephrath, and Rachel travailed. She had hard labour. 17When she was in hard labour, the midwife said to her, Don’t be afraid, for now you will have another son. 18It happened, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Benoni, but his father named him Benjamin. 19Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath (the same is Bethlehem). 20Jacob set up a pillar on her grave. The same is the Pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21Israel travelled, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder. 22It happened, while Israel lived in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25The sons of Bilhah (Rachel’s handmaid): Dan and Naphtali. 26The sons of Zilpah (Leah’s handmaid): Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram. 27Jacob came to Isaac his father, to Mamre, to Kiriath Arba (which is Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac lived as foreigners. 28The days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29Isaac gave up the spirit, and died, and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. Esau and Jacob, his sons, buried him.


35:2 These household teraphim would have been the property deeds to Laban’s property, but because of what God had promised him, Jacob was willing to resign all that hope of worldly advantage (35:3). ”Foreign gods” would’ve sounded strange to Jacob’s family- the gods they worshipped would’ve been local Canaanite gods, yet Jacob speaks as if the local world around them was actually a foreign country. He thus shows how we who are in the family of faith should live even in our own land as if we are visitors from abroad in a foreign land (Heb. 11:13).
35:4 Jacob was outnumbered and surrounded by angry enemies, whom his sons had foolishly provoked. He turns to God and throws away all his human wealth, which he might have used to placate his angry enemies. And somehow, it all worked out for him- because there’s no record that his enemies did in fact take revenge against the small and vulnerable Jacob family.
35:7 See on 33:11.
35:10 The record continues to sometimes refer to Jacob as “Jacob” rather than as “Israel”. This reflects how Jacob didn’t fully believe in nor accept that new name which God had given him. We are baptized into God’s Name, and yet we too can doubt or forget the wonder of this, and likewise fail to identify ourselves as God identifies us.
35:11 Seeking to imitate God isn't always a recipe for an easy life now for us as humans. The Hebrew word translated “Almighty”, Shaddai,  is rooted in the word shad, meaning breast, and has the sense of fruitfulness. Thus “God said unto [Jacob], I am God Almighty [shaddai]: be fruitful [like me] and multiply”. It seems Jacob sought to obey this by invitation to be like God by having a child in his old age by Rachel- and yet, perhaps due to her age, she died in that childbirth, in that seeking to imitate the Father.