Today's passage: Genesis 35:1-29
- In the midst of Jacob's great fear of the retaliation of the surrounding people after his sons destroyed Shechem, God met his need.
- Jacob and all his household move away from Shechem.
- His household is purified. All the false gods are done away with.
- Jacob builds an altar where God first spoke to him (Bethel). This altar and their worship was a sign of the faithfulness of God.
- At Bethel, God reiterated and confirmed His promise to Jacob. God's promise was given to Abraham, Isaac, and to Jacob and all who came from him (Israel).
- As this section of narrative comes to a close, many details to the account are wrapped up:
- Rachel bears another son and dies in childbirth.
- Reuben sins against God, his father and Bilhah.
- This may have been an attempt to claim his place as the firstborn and heir of his father's household/possessions. It did not work (Genesis 49:3-4).
- Isaac (Jacob's father) dies at the age of 180.
- Jacob and Esau are reunited again to bury him, without any further detail.
Questions to consider:
- Why didn't Jacob's fears of retaliation come true? What did God do to preserve Jacob's household (And His promises)?
- Why do you think the details in the second half of this chapter are so brief in their telling? In what way are verses 9-15 the end of this chapter in God's grand narrative? What had come to a conclusion?
- Even though it appears some people's earthly stories ended in this chapter, how is the grand narrative continuing to move along? Ultimately, what are we to be learning about God through these accounts, through this portion of the book of Genesis?