Genesis 35 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Genesis 35)
35:1 And a God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

(a) God is ever at hand to comfort his people in their troubles.

35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that [were] with him, Put away the strange gods that [are] among you, and be b clean, and change your garments:

(b) That by this outward act they should show their inward repentance.

35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which [were] in their hand, and [all their] c earrings which [were] in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which [was] by Shechem.

(e) For in this was some sign of superstition, as in tablets and Agnus deis (a cake of wax, stamped with a lamb bearing a cross or flag, that has been blessed by the Pope).

35:5 And they journeyed: and the (d) terror of God was upon the cities that [were] round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

(d) Thus, despite the inconvenience that came before, God delivered Jacob.

35:13 And God e went up from him in the place where he talked with him.

(e) As God is said to descend, when he shows some sign of his presence: so he is said to ascend when a vision is ended.

35:16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a f little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.

(f) The Hebrew word signifies as much ground as one can cover from resting point to resting point, which is taken for half a days journey.

35:20 And Jacob set a g pillar upon her grave: that [is] the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.

(g) The ancient fathers used this ceremony to testify their hope of the resurrection to come, which was not generally revealed.

35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and h lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard [it]. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:

(h) This teaches that the fathers were not chosen for their merits, but only by God's mercies, whose election was not changed by their faults.