Genesis 35 – Death Questions and Proposed Answers


Background and Printed Text: Genesis 35


1And Elohim said unto He-Will-Heel (Jacob), “Arise! Ascend House-Of-Mighty-[One]. And dwell there. And make an altar there to Mighty-[One] the Appearer unto thee in thy fleeing from the faces of Hairy thy brother.”


2And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) said unto his house and unto all who are with him, “Put-ye away the gods of the foreigner that are in your midst. And make yourselves clean. And change your garments. 3And we have arisen. And we have ascended House-Of-Mighty-[One]. And I have made an altar there to Mighty-[One] the Answerer of me in the day of my tribulation. And He was with me in the way that I walked.”


4And they gave unto He-Will-Heel (Jacob) all the gods of the foreigner that are in their hand and the earrings that are in their ears. And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) concealed them under the oak that is with Shoulder. 5And they journeyed. And the terror of Elohim was upon the cities that are round about them. And they did not pursue after the sons of He-Will-Heel (Jacob). 6And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) came toward Devious that is in the land of Merchant—he is House-Of-Mighty-[One])—he and all the people that is with him. 7And he built an altar there. And he called to the place Mighty-[One] House-Of-Mighty-[One]. For there the Gods were revealed unto him in his fleeing from the faces of his brother.


8And Bee (Deborah), Multiplied-Decanting’s (Rebekah’s) nurse, died. And she was buried from under to House-Of-Mighty-[One] under the oak. And he called his name Oak of Weeping.


9And Elohim appeared unto He-Will-Heel (Jacob) again in his coming from High Extension. And He blessed him. 10And Elohim said to him, “Thy name is He-Will-Heel (Jacob). Thy name shall not again be called He-Will-Heel (Jacob), but rather He-Will-Prince-Mighty-[One] (Israel) shall be thy name.” And He called his name He-Will-Prince-Mighty-[One] (Israel). 11And Elohim said to him, “I am Mighty-[One] My-Breasts (El Shaddai). ‘Fruit’ and multiply. A race and a congregation of races—he shall be from thee. And kings shall exit from thy loins. 12And the land that I gave to Father-Of-A-Multitude (Avraham) and to He-Will-Laugh (Isaac)—I will give her to thee and to thy seed after thee. I will give the land.” 13And Elohim ascended from upon him in the place where He spoke with him.


14And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) positioned a pillar in the place where he spoke with him, a pillar of stone. And he poured a pouring upon her. And he flowed oil upon her. 15And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) called the name of the place that Elohim spoke with him there House-Of-Mighty-[One] (Bate-El).


16And they journeyed from House-Of-Mighty-[One] (Bate-El). And there was yet a measure of the land to come to I-Will-Fruit-Her (Ephrat). And Ewe (Raquel) childed. And she was snared in her childing. 17And he was in her being snared in her childing. And the childer (midwife) said to her, “Fear not. For also this is to thee a son.” 18And he was in the exiting of her being. For she died. And she called his name Son-of-my-Exhaustion (Ben Onee). And his father called to him Son-Of-Right (Ben Yameen, Benjamin).


19And Ewe (Raquel) died. And she was buried on the way to I-Will-Fruit-Her (Ephrat). He is House-of-Bread (Bate-Lekhem, Bethlehem). 20And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) positioned a pillar upon her grave. He is the Pillar of Ewe’s (Raquel’s) Grave unto today.


21And He-Will-Prince-Mighty-[One] (Israel) journeyed. And he stretched her tent from beyond to Flock Tower.


22And he was in He-Will-Prince-Mighty-[One’s] (Israel’s) abiding in that land. And They-Saw-A-Son (Reuben) walked. And he lay with Via-Languishing (Bilhah) his father’s concubine. And He-Will-Prince-Mighty-[One] (Israel) heard.


And the sons of He-Will-Heel (Jacob) were twelve.


23The sons of Weary (Leah):


The firstborn of He-Will-Heel (Jacob) is They-Saw-A-Son (Reuben),




Hearkening (Shimon)




My-Near-[one] (Levi)




He-Confessed-Yehovah (Judah)




There-Is-A-Wage (Issachar)




They-Cohabited (Zebulun).


24The sons of Ewe (Raquel):


He-Will-Gather (Joseph)




Son-Of-Right (Benjamin).


25And the sons of Via-Languishing (Bilhah), Ewe’s (Raquel’s) slavewoman:


He-Adjudicated (Dan)




My-Wrestling (Naphtali).


26And the sons of Her-Trickling (Zilpah), Weary’s (Leah’s) slavewoman:


Troop (Gad)




Happy (Asher).


These are the sons of He-Will-Heel (Jacob) who were childed to him in High Extension.


27And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) came unto He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) his father to Bitter-Causer (Mamre), City of the Four (Kiryat Arba). He is Friendship (Hebron) where Father-Of-A-Multitude (Avraham) and He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) sojourned. 28And the days of He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) were a hundred year and eighty year. 29And He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) expired. And he died. And he was gathered old and full of days unto his peoples. And his sons Hairy (Esau) and He-Will-Heel (Jacob) buried him.




I. The Instructions (verse 1)


(Two of Jacob’s sons had murdered the males of an entire city. Jacob knew that the Canaanites and Perizzites would pursue him and his family to take vengeance. Jacob did not know what to do. Yehovah now told him what to do.)


Elohim told Jacob to arise and ascend to Bate El (Bethel), and to dwell there. He commanded him to make an altar to Mighty One Who had appeared to him when he fled from the faces of Esau.




1. Why did Elohim tell Jacob to arise and to ascend Bethel (as if he must run) instead of telling him to remain while He (Elohim) delivered him from all his neighbours and enemies?


  • Elohim did not desire Jacob’s sons to mix with the population of the land.
  • Yehovah sometimes gives escape rather than delivering. No person should consider running necessarily an act of cowardice.
  • The neighbours of Jacob would have remained bitter if he had remained in the area.
  • Jacob would have had no peace in that area after what his sons had done.
  • Jacob now has widows and fatherless children of those slain in his group; he didn’t need them being enemies with help from the neighbours—internal strife with folks from the outside.
  • Cattle and sheep need changes of pasture.
  • Had Yehovah defended Jacob, and thus His sons, Yehovah would have been declaring that the action of his sons was right. Jacob had to leave to avoid this problem.


2. What is the purpose of making and using an altar and doing a sacrifice in the Bible? Animal sacrifices to Yehovah in the Bible show a picture (like in show-and-tell) of an innocent person or group dying to aid, rescue or save another person or group (who may be guilty or who also may be innocent). All sacrifices that involve animals are of this nature. Thus, if a person considers each sacrifice, then learns what will occur during the Tribulation, that person will understand events in the Tribulation, since these sacrifices almost always (or perhaps always) refer to heroism during the Tribulation. (I will explain the Tribulation below.)


Most sacrifices of animals in the Bible are not for sin, but are for other reasons. This is true in this case. Jacob did not sin, and he will do a sacrifice in Bethel to Yehovah.


I propose that this text teaches that Jacob (that is, Israel—part of Israel) will return to Bethel during the Tribulation. Some of the folks helping that part of Israel come to Bethel will give their lives for Israel to help Israel flee from enemies. Elohim will memorialize their heroism through these sacrifices centuries before they even are born.


Eating from sacrificed animals shows participation with the sacrificed animals, but even more, with the heroes and heroines that the animals typify. Those who eat of the sacrifice are joining themselves to those who will sacrifice themselves.


Yehovah never commanded to eat or drink blood from any sacrifice; that would be an abomination (a terrible and disgusting thing) before Yehovah. The only blood participation that the Bible shows is about Messiah’s blood; He is the only One Who can give His life via His blood so that others will live. Messiah’s sacrifice is for physical and Spiritual Salvation, whereas these heroes and heroines will be sacrificing themselves for physical salvation (rescue from death), and not for everlasting Salvation. Yeshua is the only one who can do that.


Thus, every altar and every sacrifice that Saints did in the Bible were always for show-and-tell, picturing future events.


About the Tribulation: The Bible describes the Tribulation in many texts. I will give some characteristics of the Tribulation that I have learned so far.


  • The Tribulation will occur many centuries from now. We are nowhere near the Tribulation. Yehovah promised to keep His Covenant to a thousand generations; the Tribulation will occur in the 999th generation.
  • The Tribulation lasts seven years.
  • Yehovah causes the Tribulation to begin. He is very angry with Israel, having given the Israelis many centuries to come to the right conclusions by studying history and the Bible. When the leadership in Israel does a great wrong, Yehovah starts the Tribulation, strongly attacking and slaughtering Israelis, but also determining to maintain them and to save those who will come to faith.
  • When the races around Israel see the attacks from Yehovah against Israel, some decide that this is a good time to get rid of Israel, Yehovah and Messiah Yeshua at once. Thus, they attack Israel.
  • Yehovah is so angry at the attacking groups, that He attacks among the races throughout the world. This intense slaughter kills the largest number of humans that I have heard—one slaughter kills more than a billion persons. (He doesn’t kill anyone who would come to faith or who would help Israel; He only kills those who either are enemies of Israel or don’t care.)
  • Before the Tribulation, a world leader will arise who will take over all governments on the face of the earth. He will be known as the antichrist, because he is against Christ—against the Messiah (Christ being from the Greek language, and Messiah being from the Hebrew language, but meaning the same thing: one who is anointed, and thus assigned by God to do something). The Bible calls the antichrist the Assyrian, since he will be from the race of Assyria.
  • This world leader, the Assyrian, will later determine that Israel must be destroyed, since the God of Israel is messing up the planet, and thus the kingdom of the Assyrian. A second in command under the Assyrian will be a man called the false prophet. He will be the leader who directly attacks Jerusalem during the Tribulation.
  • Many terrible things will occur during the Tribulation; it will be the worst time the world has ever seen. Yehovah will do many great miracles during the Tribulation; greater miracles than what Yeshua did will be done by common folks.
  • Israelis/Jews will be scattered all over the world during the Tribulation. They will be treated from very bad to very well, depending on whether folks who find them are with or against the Assyrian.
  • A main point of the Tribulation will be to bring the Israelis to Mount Zion. Mount Zion must become much bigger than it is now, and Yehovah will do that during the second part of the Tribulation.
  • All who are non-Jewish who help the Jews during the Tribulation will be risking their lives and families. Yehovah will remember them as heroes and heroines, and will reward them. All who refuse to help the Jews will be killed and damned by the end of the Tribulation.
  • All the Israelis will finally turn in faith before the Tribulation ends. The number of Israelis will be much smaller after the Tribulation than before it, since Yehovah will remove and kill all who will not believe. The populations of the races will be just as dramatically cut down by the end of the Tribulation. Some among the races will believe.
  • Some who are not Jewish will be heroes and heroines without knowing who the Gods of Israel is/are. They are guaranteed to be given life, then everlasting life, since they risked all to save Yeshua’s property, Israel.
  • Messiah Yeshua’s arrival on Mount Zion will stop the Tribulation; it will have lasted seven years. Yet, so many strange, frightening and wonderful things will have happened during that time. Folks from all the races will sing songs of the events that occurred during the Tribulation, and those songs will be sung for a thousand years!

I could say so much more about the Tribulation, but this document would be too long. If you have questions, please ask.


3. Why did Elohim tell Jacob to make an altar to “Mighty One the Appearer unto thee” instead of making the altar to Yehovah, to Elohim, or to some other description of God? This is strange, because Yehovah’s name is not used in the description, “Mighty One the Appearer unto thee.” Elohim is speaking to Jacob, but Elohim didn’t even tell Jacob to make an altar to Elohim. Instead, He uses this curious description: “Mighty One the Appearer unto thee.” I propose that the use of this description is because when the event is fulfilled during the Tribulation, the Israelis who experience this will still not know who this God is. They will know that this is the God who appeared to Jacob, but they still won’t know that this is Yeshua.


Every name and/or title used for God in every text is deliberate, carefully planned, and descriptive of what those who experience the fulfillment of the show-and-tell will experience and understand.


4. Will later Israelis flee from Esau, and if so, will there be an appearance of the Mighty One at that time? The Israelis will flee from Esau’s descendents, the Edomites, who will hate them. (The Edomites are some of the occupants of a country next to Israel known as Jordan.) Yehovah will appear as the Mighty One at that time. This way, the Israelis will begin ‘to connect the dots’ to see the picture: This present God is the same as the God Who appeared to Jacob! Every experience noted in the Bible is there to teach about future things.



II. Jacob’s Commands (verses 2-3)


(Jacob now had a very much larger household. All the Hivite women and children left alive were now part of his people, taken captive by his sons.)


Jacob commanded his house and all who were with him, “Put-ye away the gods of the foreigner that are in your midst.” He also commanded, “Make yourselves clean. And change your garments.”


He told them the plan, once they had changed their garments: “And we have arisen. And we have ascended House-Of-Mighty-[One]. And I have made an altar there to Mighty-[One] the Answerer of me in the day of my tribulation.”


Jacob stated, “And He was with me in the way that I walked.”




1. Why did Jacob’s house (that is, his wives, children, slaves, and all others who are with him, including the women and children who were added as a result of the slaughter done by Jacob’s sons) have idols in the first place? Didn’t they know that Jacob feared and believed in Yehovah? Wouldn’t Jacob have insisted that no one will keep or have an idol? Saints in the Bible never destroyed or removed any idols from others unless Yehovah directly commanded it. Yehovah once commanded the destruction of idolaters, not just their idols, when they had become vile (extremely bad and sinful). He also commanded the Israelis to kill any idolaters among the Israelis!


Jacob knew that his wives and others had idols. This did not interfere in his very good relationships with them.


Jacob was a prophet. This is usually not known about him, but the words he spoke that are recorded are often prophetic. (Prophetic words are words that will occur exactly as they describe, and are given by God. One major purpose of prophecy is so that lives will be saved.)


What Jacob experienced will be exactly like what parts of Israel will experience later during the Tribulation.


During the Tribulation, parts of Israel will be idolatrous. They will be told to put away the gods of the foreigner in the same way, and they will respond just as Jacob’s household responded.


Jacob’s entire house knew what Jacob believed, but Jacob never forced his faith on anyone. Any person who is wise will never force his or her faith on someone else.


2. Who or what are the gods of the foreigner, and who is this foreigner? The gods of the foreigner are not the Gods of Israel.


Yehovah does not have a bad view of idolatrous folks from other countries. He treats them very well. A person whose idolatry leads to great sin and murder is a foreigner to Yehovah.


When the Bible uses foreigner, it is often a strongly negative (bad) term. He never considers one who fears Him as a foreigner. A foreigner is almost always an idolater who does great sin. He or she isn’t just a sojourner, but a very bad (vile) idolater.


He spoke of the gods of the foreigner in this way showing readers that the House of Jacob had borrowed gods from other groups that were vile (very bad) in their idolatry. The Israelis have borrowed gods of a foreigner to this day; they picked up those gods in Babylon during the Babylonian captivity, and they have maintained those gods through Judaism.


The Bible doesn’t identify a particular foreigner, but uses this expression as if there is only one.


3. What were they supposed to do with those gods? They didn’t know, so they gave them to Jacob!


4. Why did Jacob desire that they put the gods away? Why didn’t Jacob tell them to destroy them? Jacob was prophesying. The instructions he gave will be the most useful during the Tribulation.


He didn’t tell them to destroy them because that takes time, and they were valuable—often made of gold. He didn’t want them to continue carrying even the gold and other parts of value, since they easily could associate the other parts with the gods. He desired them entirely gone.


Jacob desired his entire household to be presentable before Yehovah. Jacob knew that this didn’t mean that they were no longer idolaters; anyone can be an idolater with or without an idol.


5. What does “make yourselves clean” mean and involve? This involves bathing themselves in water, and changing (or washing) their garments. It is a physical act that pictures a spiritual event.


Do not relate this to baptism. It isn’t related.


In order for a group to be clean before Yehovah, that group must be doing what is right. Every sin truly makes a person unclean.


Several acts made the Israelis physically unclean, including touching a dead body, drinking from a container where a bug had died, touching someone else who is unclean, etc. These acts weren’t sin. They were types that teach by show-and-tell. (Can you figure what touching a dead body pictures?)


Jacob did not command them to become Spiritually clean, but only physically clean. (This clean is not the opposite of dirty, but instead is the opposite of unclean. A person can be unclean, yet be physically quite clean.)


6. What does changing garments typify? It typifies (pictures) putting on righteousness.


Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, “What are these who are arrayed in white robes, And from where did they come?” 14And I said unto him, “Sir, thou knowest.” And he said to me, “These are they who came out of great tribulation. And they have washed their robes! And they made them white in the blood of the Lamb! 15Therefore they are before the throne of God…”


That blood of Messiah covers and removes sin. Yehovah never commanded the Israelis to use blood to cleanse garments, however; water was right to picture making clean.


7. Was House of Mighty One a house like what you know? It was a location with nothing on it (as far as I know) at this time. Yet, this name prophesies that the House of the Mighty One of Israel (Yeshua) will be located there at a future time.


Every name in the Bible indicates something. Folks named locations according to events that happened there or persons who came there. This location was named according to an event that will happen far into the future.


When that event occurs, either a building by that name will be constructed there, or more likely, a group of individuals who together make up the House of the Mighty One of Israel will gather there and will do great miracles, showing great love for each other as heroes and heroines.


The Bible also uses the word house for a group that is related (also including slaves as part of the house).


8. Why did Jacob call God “Mighty One the Answerer of me in the day of my tribulation”? Jacob is a prophet! He is prophesying what will happen during the Tribulation to various groups of Israel and those joined to Israel as they go toward Mount Zion, the only safe place on the planet.


Most Israelis and others won’t know Yehovah very well. They will see the works of a being whom they will know as the Mighty One, and even as the Mighty One of Israel, but who is he? He will answer Israel in the day of the Tribulation by doing exactly what they request! This is one of the ways they will come to know Yeshua.


9. Jacob said, “He was with me in the way that I walked.” What did Jacob mean, and what happened while he walked? The way a person walks in the Bible has to do with the person’s conduct in life on a daily basis.


Does the person do right? Does the person do wrong? Does the person sometimes do right, and sometimes do wrong?


Is the person selfish? Is the person thoughtful of others? Is the person sometimes selfish, and sometimes thoughtful of others?


Does the person do justice (when doing justice will be costly, like standing up for an unpopular person whom others are mistreating)? Does the person refuse to do justice when it will be costly (like when the person will now also be mistreated by others who are cruel)? Does the person sometimes do justice, and sometimes decide not to do justice (when justice can be done)?


A person who does wrong has a bad walk, and if bad enough, an evil walk. A person who does right has a good walk; if they do good consistently (all the time), they have a righteous walk.


A person who sometimes does right and sometimes does wrong has a bad or an evil walk. All the good this person does is completely gone for the bad that this person does even if the good far outweighs the bad.


Jacob determined to do good at all times. Yehovah was with Jacob in the way he walked.


Jacob had some very bad experiences. Yehovah was very much with Jacob while he experienced those very bad experiences. Thus, having Yehovah with a person doesn’t mean that the person will avoid very bad experiences. Anyone who has a good walk will refuse to do bad even when experiencing very bad things.



III. The Real God (verses 4-7)


All in Jacob’s group gave to him all the gods of the foreigner that were in their hand, and the earrings that were in their ears. Jacob concealed them under the oak that was with Shechem, the city named after the leader who was killed.


They then journeyed. Instead of the Canaanites and the Perizzites gathering together to slaughter Jacob and his men, Elohim put terror into all the surrounding inhabitants. They did not pursue the sons of Jacob.


Jacob came toward Luz, the old name for Bate El (Bethel) in the land of Canaan. He built the altar there and renamed the place Mighty One House of Mighty One (El Bate El). That was the place where the Gods had been revealed to him while he fled from the faces of his brother.




1. Did they also give Jacob their own gods—gods that were not of the foreigner? All the gods that were not Yehovah were gods of the foreigner!


Yehovah is never in the form of an image or statue. All pictures of ‘Jesus’ show a man who isn’t the Biblical ‘Jesus’ (Yeshua). Those pictures are the same as statues and idols.


Yehovah commanded the Israelis to not make any images of Him. All images of Him, except for humans themselves, are violations of one of the Ten Statements (known as the Ten Commandments).


2. Why did they also give the earrings in their ears??? Their earrings were as much part of idolatry as their images.


This does not mean that earrings are wrong. Most earrings are fine, and some are very pretty. Earrings that are associated with a foreign god are wrong.


3. Why did Jacob conceal them under a tree? Jacob was not interested in destroying them, and he didn’t want to leave them open to view, knowing that others would find them and use them. Concealing (hiding) them was quick. If any of the idolaters in Jacob’s group truly desired to find and pick up their gods again, they could. Jacob was not about to force them away from their gods.


4. What caused the terror that kept the locals from pursuing the sons of Jacob? The text states that it was the terror of Elohim, indicating either that Elohim caused the terror, or that the locals became very frightened of Elohim. I cannot tell which it was—or whether it was both. While the Bible doesn’t give the cause of the terror—that is, what terrified the locals, they did not pursue Jacob’s sons. They knew that pursuing Jacob’s sons would end in some terrible disaster.


5. Why would a city be named Devious? Its name came from some person or experience. A reader cannot know unless the Bible, a local history, or the Spirit of God Himself tells why.


6. Did anyone else take part in building the altar with Jacob? I cannot tell from the text whether anyone else helped—slave or free—by gathering stones for Jacob.


7. Why did he call to the place? What does that mean? When one names another or an object, one calls to the person or the object. We would just say that he called it—whatever, but that doesn’t really mean that he named it that. Calling to the place also indicates that he is speaking to the place; he is speaking to it and naming it.


8. Why did he call the place “Mighty One House of Mighty One”? Isn’t that an odd and long name? It isn’t a long name in Hebrew: El Bate-El. Jacob associated that place with the future House of Mighty One, where the Mighty One will be the One Yehovah assigned to be the Salvation of Israel: Messiah Yeshua.


A Messiah is one who has been anointed—who has been assigned to a task by Yehovah. That anointing often takes the form of a prophet pouring oil on the top of the head of a person, showing that the person has been anointed, and also showing that the anointing is from God through the prophet.


Anyone or anything that is anointed has an oil or a cream poured or rubbed on the area being anointed.


A lamb’s or a goat’s head is anointed with an oil to keep bugs out of its ears so that it won’t be bothered and distracted by pesky creatures that can drive an animal crazy. Thus, it can do its assignment of eating grass and drinking water without distraction so that it will grow good wool.)


It will be called the House of Mighty One, since all in that household, all who come who are good guys, will belong to the Mighty One of Israel.


The place is called “Mighty One House of Mighty One” because the Mighty One will also be there—not just His household.


The text states, “For there the Gods were revealed unto him in his fleeing from the faces of his brother.” Thus, he named it also as a reminder of the Gods Who revealed themselves unto him when he originally fled from his brother.


 9. Elohim (Gods) is plural in Hebrew, yet it usually takes a singular verb (a verb showing that there is just one doing the action, not more than one). This text is different, since Elohim is plural as usual, but the verb is also plural! Why is this text written this way? Jacob saw more than one appearance of God when he saw the ladder. He saw Yehovah at the top, and he saw the ladder itself, a picture of Messiah Yeshua Himself:


Genesis 28:12 And [Jacob] dreamed. And behold, a ladder is set up on the land, and the top of it reached to the heavens. And behold the angels of God are ascending and descending on it. 13And, behold, Yehovah stood above it.


John 1:51 And [Yeshua] says unto him, “Faith! I say faith unto you hereafter ye shall see the heavens open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man!”


Thus, Jacob saw both Yehovah and Yeshua in that dream; the Gods were revealed unto him.



IV. Death (verse 8)


Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, was greatly loved. Her death greatly affected everyone. She was buried “from under to” (down yonder from) Bethel, under the oak tree. The oak was named Oak of Weeping.




1. What is a nurse in the Bible? It is a woman who breastfeeds an infant of another woman. She often participates in rearing the child (teaching the child and taking care of the child).


2. How can a reader know that some in Jacob’s group greatly loved Deborah? Jacob named the place Oak of Weeping, telling readers that there was much weeping by and under that oak tree—weeping for Deborah.


3. If a person is greatly loved so that there is much weeping at the person’s death, what did the person do to be so greatly mourned? Great mourning means that the person greatly benefited others in very personal ways.


Regular mourning often occurs over the death of a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, a girlfriend, etc. Great mourning, however, occurs for a person who was a listener, who cared and who did acts that showed that he or she cared, and who invested in the lives of others.


Consider those around you right now. If a person died, would you greatly mourn, or would you just feel sad, would you feel happy, or would you feel nothing? Would you soon go back to the way you felt before you heard that the person died?


How can you live to guarantee that you will be greatly mourned when you die?


4. If Deborah was Rebekah’s nurse, what was their relationship? Deborah was likely a slavewoman of Rebekah. She would be much older, of course, since she probably breastfed Rebekah, and she certainly tended her from the time she was young. She would therefore be very much like Rebekah’s mother in so many decisions and thoughts in life. A person usually could confide in (tell a secret to) a nurse, and could count on that nurse in so many situations.


5. Why did many have nurses? Why didn’t their own mothers behave as their nurses? Their own mothers were their nurses, but daily life was hard. A nurse worked with the mother, but also freed up the mother to tend to other children, to the husband, and to run the household. When a girlchild grew up and married, the nurse often went with the new wife to help her so that the new wife could make wise decisions and learn new skills.


Nurses sometimes married, and they also sometimes had children of their own. Nurses who were slaves would still tend and work with and for the children of the owners, and the owners therefore easily became very attached to the nurses as their own mothers. It was a win-win situation in many cases.



V. Another Appearance (verses 9-13)


Elohim again appeared to Jacob in his journey from Padan Aram. He blessed him. Elohim then said to Jacob, “Thy name is Jacob. Thy name shall not again be called Jacob, but rather Israel shall be thy name.” Then Elohim called his name Israel.


Elohim next re-identified Himself: “I am Mighty-[One] My-Breasts (El Shaddai).” With that identification in mind, He said, “‘Fruit’ (become fruitful and bear fruit) and multiply. A race and a congregation of races—he shall be from thee. And kings shall exit from thy loins.”


Elohim promised to give the land that He gave to Avraham and to Isaac also to Jacob and to Jacob’s seed after Jacob. Elohim then ascended “from upon him” in the very place where He spoke with him.




1. Why did Elohim again appear unto Jacob? He appeared to bless him and to give him more information and commands.


2. What does bless mean? It means to give a benefit to another by which that person must benefit others.


Suppose a father blessed a daughter with a well of water—with a spring that produces good water without having to be pumped. Since he blessed her with it, it is now her responsibility to benefit others using that spring. Thus, she might make the water available to folks who desire to come and obtain the very good water. She might also plant a garden for sojourners using the water. She cannot keep it for herself alone. Blessings are not for that purpose.


Suppose that a mother blesses a son with an automobile. The son then must use the automobile wisely, and must benefit others—perhaps by driving folks who cannot drive to places where they need to go.


A blessing is not like a gift; it is more of a responsibility given freely to the person to whom it is given.


The word bless in Hebrew also means to invoke—to call to or into someone to do something or be something, or to prophesy what the person or offspring of the person will later do.


3. The text states that Elohim told Jacob, “Thy name is Jacob. Thy name shall not again be called Jacob, but rather Israel shall be thy name.” In Genesis 32:28, the man wrestling with Jacob already told him this. Why did Elohim say the same thing the man said?


  • This tells the reader that the man in Genesis 32:28 was Elohim, in case the reader didn’t know that.
  • Since Elohim said it twice, it must be very important information for readers of the Bible and for Jacob to know.
  • This is the only case of twice giving the same name change. Yet, Yehovah still called this man Jacob at times, and Israel at other times.
  • Jacob will truly prince (coronate—that is, crown) the Mighty One of Israel—Messiah Yeshua.


4. Elohim said, “Thy name shall not again be called Jacob, but rather Israel shall be thy name.” Did Elohim stop calling this man Jacob? No, He didn’t. The permanent change of name will occur just before the Millennium. The name Israel means He will prince Mighty One. That will occur some time between Messiah’s arrival to this planet on Mount Zion and His ruling as King for a thousand years (during the Millennium which means thousand years).


Since Yehovah still calls him Jacob, this prophecy will be fulfilled at a future time.


5. Why did Elohim identify Himself as Mighty One My Breasts (El Shaddai)? Every name and title used for God is very important in every text. Elohim describes Himself as both the Mighty One (of Israel) and ‘My Breasts,’ referring to Israel as if Israel is a breastfeeding baby, and referring to Him as if He, Elohim, is the mother who is breastfeeding Israel the baby. Since breast milk normally has everything that the baby needs to properly grow, and since it also gives the baby what it needs to overcome many diseases (it inoculates the baby), breastfeeding gives the right picture of Elohim and Israel during the Tribulation.


Israel at that time will be as vulnerable (in danger of being harmed or killed) as a baby. Elohim will save Israel, and will provide food, drink, shelter and clothing for Israel so that His promises to Avraham will occur. This is the only way Israel will be able to ‘fruit’ and multiply.


6. What does ‘fruit’ mean in verse 11? I am using it in a way that you mustn’t! I am using it as a verb (a word showing action) rather than as a noun (a person, place or thing). I am using it as if it means, “bear and produce fruit.”


7. What will happen if Israel ‘fruits’? Anyone in the Bible who produces good fruit is ‘fruiting,’ and does some action that is ethically or morally right.


Ethics are right actions and behaviour in one’s work and culture—whatever is proper and legal.


Morality is a set of beliefs by which one always does right actions and behaviours in the treatment of others—does whatever is proper and helpful to others who are doing right. Morality is never sinful or destructive. Morality must always include a god/God, since only a god/God can define what is good and what is right. (Different gods differ on what is right.)


When Israel ‘fruits,’ the Israelis as individuals, as groups, and as one large group will do actions that will save lives, save from harm, will benefit others in the other races, and will work for the benefit of others who are not hardened doers of evil. Thus, Israelis will risk their lives (or even lose their lives) to save the lives of children, the elderly, imprisoned innocent ones, those who are sick, etc. They will help innocent folks escape to Mount Zion, and they will refuse to stand with their own families if their families refuse to help the innocent.


8. How can Israel multiply? Israel (the race) can have more children. Some from other races will join themselves to Israel to become part of the People of Israel; Israel will also multiply in this way.


9. What is a race? It is any very large group of individuals who all have a common great great… great grandfather. (The number of ‘greats’ isn’t important.) For example, if a large group of individuals can trace their ancestry back to Avraham, they are a race. A race usually also includes one mother, but not always. Jacob had four women as wives, yet his sons all produced one race.


10. What is a congregation of races? It is a congregation (a large group gathered for one purpose) of races.


Thus, many races who all get together at various times will all trace their ancestry back to Jacob.


11. What does “kings shall exit from thy loins” mean? This means that Jacob’s offspring somewhere down the line will produce kings. Kings will be able to trace their ancestry back to Jacob.


12. If Elohim will give Jacob and Jacob’s seed the land that He promised Avraham and Isaac, doesn’t He have to take the land away from Avraham and Isaac to do this? No, He doesn’t. They will all be owners of the same land, and they will enjoy the land, its inhabitants, and its visitors together!


13. Who is this seed? It is Messiah Yeshua, as another text explains:


Galatians 3:16 Now, the promises were made to Avraham and his seed. He doesn’t say, “And to seeds,” as of many; but “And to thy seed” as of one, which is Messiah!


14. Why did Elohim say, “I will give the land”? He is making clear to all careful readers that the Israelis will not be able to get that land on their own, no matter what they do or try. He alone must give that land—the Land of Israel—to them.


15. What did Elohim look like? I propose that He looked like Yeshua after Yeshua was resurrected, but without the holes from nails and sword. Elohim is Yeshua.


16. The text states that Elohim ascended from upon Jacob. What does that mean? The word upon is the same as by in Hebrew, but it is more personal—coming right into a person’s personal ‘space.’ It is like when an adult speaks closely and firmly with a child—the child feels like the adult is upon him or her! Elohim appeared to Jacob as the Mighty One; Jacob understood that this was a ‘big Man’—who is God.



VI. A Pillar and a Name (verses 14-15)


Jacob positioned a stone pillar in the place where Elohim spoke with him. He poured a pouring upon the stone, and he ‘flowed’ oil upon the stone. He called that place where God had spoken to him Bate El.




1. Why did Jacob position a stone pillar in the place where Elohim spoke with him? The word pillar (matzevah in Hebrew) comes from the verb meaning to take a stand, like what a person would do who is determined to remain and not budge from a place, or not budge from a decision. I propose that Jacob’s offspring in the Tribulation will do exactly that in this very location: they will take a stand and refuse to budge. If this is correct, what happens next with the oil pouring will also occur at that time.


2. What did Jacob pour upon her? Who is she? Why did Jacob do this? This part of the verse gives two different actions: Jacob poured something, and he flowed something. I propose that Jacob poured oil upon the stone (feminine in gender, and thus, her), and I propose that it pictures the Spirit of the Holy One of Israel being poured on the stone.


If the stone pictures Messiah, this pouring is the act of anointing—assigning a work and a responsibility. While extremely few Jewish folks today believe that Yeshua is the anointed One of Yehovah, they will come to recognize this during the Tribulation. This location and this event pictures some very important change in the Israelis. I propose that they will come to recognize that Yeshua is the Anointed One of Yehovah—as if they are anointing Him personally.


3. What does oil picture in the Bible? I propose that oil pictures preparedness—being prepared for some assignment, including being given the power to do it and to keep away all distractions that would stop it from being done.


4. If the above is true, why anoint a rock? If that Rock is Messiah, and if the timing of the fulfillment of this event will be the Tribulation, that Rock will be where folks who are part of the House of the Mighty One of Israel will congregate (gather). They will be given an assignment or assignments and plenty of power to do what is required!


When the Israelis experience edible oil coming out of a rock in which they found safety from their enemies, they will remember what Jacob did when he poured oil on the rock.



VII. The Hard Birth (verses 16-18)


They journeyed from House of God, and had a little way to go to come to Ephrat (known also as Bethlehem). Raquel was pregnant, and she gave birth. The child was not coming out properly. The midwife finally got the child out, and it was a boy. She spoke to the greatly pained and weakened Raquel, telling her to not fear; this child was also a son. Raquel was dying, however. She called the child Son of my Exhaustion (Ben Onee). Jacob called the little one Son of my Right (Benjamin).




1. What was the distance from Bethel to Ephrat?


Jacob's Journeys 

On the map (copyright Access Foundation, Zaine Ridling, Ph.D., Editor), find Bethel and Bethlehem (which is Ephrat). It was about 30 miles.


2. What does “Raquel childed” mean? This means that she began to give birth.


3. What does “she was snared in her childing” mean? I propose that this is a breech birth, where the feet or buttocks appear first. This birth can lead to injury of the baby or the mother. Babies usually need to come out head-first; otherwise the arms with the head can get stuck.


4. What does “he was in her being snared in her childing” mean? This means that what happened next was during the time of the baby being snared—being stuck. They were trying to turn the little one around, or were trying to get the baby out in the breech position.


5. What is a midwife? A midwife is a woman who has experience birthing a child. She has training in its complications, and she can greatly help in this process whether there is or isn’t a doctor or birthing nurse available.


The word for midwife used in this text literally means childer, indicating a person who helps bring a child from the womb.


6. Why did the midwife tell Raquel not to fear? The midwife knew that Raquel was being strained to death. If Raquel could relax she would be able to make it—or she had a better chance of making it. Knowing that she had a son might give Raquel the stamina (ability to make it) that she needed.


7. What does “he was in the exiting of her being” mean? This tells the reader that the next event occurred while Raquel was dying. The exiting of her being is the time when the soul and the spirit exit from the person’s physical body.


The soul of the person is the real person; you are a soul. The soul is where the personality is found.


The physical body of a person is like a house for the soul.


The spirit of the person is the life-giving breath, as well as the character that the person has determined to live.


The spirit that gives the physical body life returns to Yehovah; He alone gives life to every living thing in this universe.


8. Who is she in, “And she called his name Ben Onee”? She is Raquel. She named the child just before she died.


9. Why didn’t Jacob honour the name she gave to the child?


  • Jacob did not desire the name of the child to remind him or others of this terrible and sorrowful incident.
  • The name of the child was prophetic. Yehovah desired the child to have the right name.

10. What does right mean in, “Son-Of-Right”? It refers to direction: right versus left. It is not right versus wrong.


11. Why did Jacob name this child Ben Yameen? Jacob was a prophet. The Spirit of Yehovah directed him to name the child. Apart from this, I cannot tell.



VIII. Another Pillar (verses 19-20)


Raquel died. She was buried on the way to Ephrat (also known as Bethlehem, House of Bread). Jacob positioned a pillar upon her grave. That is the Pillar of Raquel’s Grave to this very day.




1. Did Raquel die in Bethlehem? No, she didn’t; she died on the way to Bethlehem.


2. What other famous person was born in this area of Israel? Yeshua was born in Bethlehem centuries after Raquel died.


3. What does Bethlehem mean? It means House of Bread. That can refer to a bakery where bread is made, or it can refer to a city named after a place that had bread when folks needed it. It can refer to a number of possibilities. The most important reason for its name is because Yeshua, later called the bread of life, was born there so that all could obtain the bread that gives everlasting life.


John 6:35 And Yeshua said unto them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger! And he who believes on me shall never thirst!”


4. Why did Jacob position a pillar upon her grave? He determined to mark the spot where she was buried—perhaps to be able to find it again later.


5. Was Jacob sad? Jacob had worked for her for fourteen years. He had then worked so hard for six more years. Now, he had gotten free, and had spent some time with her; then the incident with Dinah caused them to move. She died so suddenly. Jacob would have been very sad.


6. If we go to Israel to look for this Pillar of Raquel’s grave, will we find it? No. Most landmarks in Israel are false, made up so that tourists think they are seeing something from centuries ago. (The Israelis haven’t done this; the landmarks were there before the present State of Israel was established.)


There is a possibility of the real marker being found, but it is a very remote (unlikely) possibility. Someone wanting a souvenir may have taken the real maker centuries ago. The Bible speaks of it as if it can be found right where Jacob placed it.



IX. Settling (verses 21-22)


Israel journeyed. He stretched (set up) her tent just beyond a location called Flock Tower.


During the time that Israel abode in that land, Reuben walked and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. Israel heard about this.




1. Where is Flock Tower? According to one dictionary that I sought, it is “a tower between Bethlehem and Hebron.” See the map above to find these two locations.


2. The text states, “he stretched her tent…” Whose tent did he stretch? Jacob stretched the tent of Raquel, as far as I could tell. The text didn’t identify which woman’s tent. This may have been a way for him to grieve for her if it was Raquel’s tent.


3. What happened in verse 22? Israel abode in the land (he stayed there for a while). Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn son walked. He went in to Bilhah (I expect into her tent), and he had sexual intercourse with her. Bilhah was Jacob’s concubine. Israel heard what had occurred.


4. What is a concubine? It is a woman who is like a wife in many ways, but neither she nor her children inherit anything from the man.


5. Was what Reuben did wrong? Yes! It was quite wrong! It was the kind of action that occurred before the flood in Noah’s day, when men took whatever or whomever they desired. What Reuben did was a son having sex with his mother, though Bilhah wasn’t Reuben’s mother; she was a stepmother.


I cannot find any command against this, yet. Yehovah will later command against this when He gives Israel the commandments.


6. Why didn’t Bilhah scream or fight? The text doesn’t say. She may have desired this. She may have felt like she had been raped. She may have had many other possible reactions and feelings. The text doesn’t say.


7. Why did Reuben do this? Reuben’s act was against his father. He showed great contempt for his father. I suspect that Reuben was still furious over what had happened to his natural and direct sister, Dinah.


8. Why didn’t Jacob do anything about this? What could Jacob do? Could he execute his firstborn son? Could he send him away? Jacob again waited. Nothing will be done about the terrible act of Reuben until Yehovah gives Jacob prophecy over what will become of Reuben’s offspring in Genesis 49.


9. From whom did Jacob hear this? The text again doesn’t tell the reader.



X. The List (verses 22-26)


The Bible now gave a list of the twelve sons of Jacob with their mothers.


Leah: Reuben, Shimon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun


Raquel: Joseph, Benjamin


Bilhah: Dan, Naphtali


Zilpah: Gad, Asher


These sons were ‘childed’ to Jacob in Padan Aram.




1. Memorize the names of the twelve sons in order as given in this text. (No question.)


2. Now, place the meanings of the names of the twelve sons in order. They are:


They-Saw-A-Son Hearkening My Near [one] He Confessed Yah There is a wage They Cohabited He will Gather Son of Right He Adjudicated My Wrestling Troop Happy.


3. I will now string them together to see if sentences are present. (Hebrew sentence order is a little different from English sentence order.) Compare the answer above with this below:


They saw a son hearkening. My near one confessed Yah! There is a wage! They cohabited. Son of Right will gather. He adjudicated my wrestling. A troop is happy!


This tells a story, if I have correctly divided it.


Its story starts out, “They saw a son hearkening.” That has been what Yehovah has desired from the Israelis from the very beginning.


Then, “My near one confessed Yah!” Another Jewish person (perhaps) confessed Yah, stating that he (or she) now knows that Yehovah exists, and that he (or she) believes in Yehovah.


Next, the declaration, “There is a wage!” shows that the Israelis will begin to realize that they will be rewarded for doing right and well. They will obtain a wage for their service to Yehovah!


“They cohabited.” The Israelis will form into small groups, and they will do everything together in these groups. They will all need to seek shelter and bedding, often all being in the very same bed as if they were brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, just to survive.


“Son of Right will gather.” Yehovah’s Son Who sits at His Right hand, Yeshua, will gather all Israel that is scattered, along with all who have been friends to Israel during the Tribulation.


“He adjudicated my wrestling.” He, Yehovah, will formally judge the struggle that the entire People of Israel has had with Yehovah and with His Messiah.


“A troop is happy!” The Israelis are finally truly right (righteous) before Yehovah. They are gaining only victories over their enemies at this time during the last part of the Tribulation. They will go out in troops; they will rescue and save lives; they will come and go, a very happy troop of soldiers (including men and women).


I propose the above based on many other texts I have seen. That doesn’t mean that it is right. I cannot prove this particular gathering of these names.


4. I will again string them together, but with the names of the parents involved, to see if sentences are present. The following are the names:


He-Will-Heel Weary They-Saw-A-Son Hearkening My-Near-[One] He-Confessed-Yah There-Is-A-Wage They-Cohabited Ewe He-Will-Gather Son-Of-Right Via-Languishing He-Adjudicated My-Wrestling Her-Trickling Troop Happy


I propose this, stringing it all together:


He will heel, weary. They saw a son hearkening. My near one confessed Yah! There is a wage! They cohabited. Son of Right will gather a ewe via languishing. He adjudicated my wrestling. Her trickling troop is happy!


This also tells a story.


“He will heel, weary.” To ‘heel’ is to go for the heel of another, including to trip the person or to at least bring the person down. Jacob (Israel, the people) is very weary at this time. This is the only type of warfare that can be done because the enemies are too strong to be attacked in the open. This is earlier in the Tribulation, I propose.


“They saw a son hearkening.” That has been what Yehovah has desired from the Israelis from the very beginning.


Then, “My near one confessed Yah!” Another Jewish person (perhaps) confessed Yah, stating that he (or she) now knows that Yehovah exists, and that he (or she) believes in Yehovah.


Next, the declaration, “There is a wage!” shows that the Israelis will begin to realize that they will be rewarded for doing right and well. They will obtain a wage for their service to Yehovah!


“They cohabited.” The Israelis will form into small groups, and they will do everything together in these groups. They will all need to seek shelter and bedding, often all being in the very same bed as if they were brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, just to survive.


“Son of Right will gather a ewe via languishing.” Yehovah’s Son Who sits at His Right hand of Yehovah— that is, Yeshua, will gather all Israel that is scattered as if they are sheep, right down to even a ewe lamb, along with all who have been friends to Israel during the Tribulation. This will occur when all are languishing. It is the heart of the 23rd Psalm, which is about a sheep that is dying at the beginning, and becomes very strong by the end.


“He adjudicated my wrestling.” He, Yehovah, will formally judge the struggle that the entire People of Israel has had with Yehovah and with His Messiah.


“Her trickling troop is happy!” The Israelis are finally truly right (righteous) before Yehovah. They are trickling  to Mount Zion in small groups. They are so happy! They see others! This is Psalm 126, where the trickling groups come together at Mount Zion, and realize that they are not the only ones left alive; other groups are coming there also!


See how I changed what I thought of the last part, once I saw the trickling? I needed the names of the women to get a better picture of what will occur. Again, I cannot prove that I have divided the names properly, but I do know that the declarations perfectly fit what I have seen elsewhere in the Bible. You will see them, too, as you study the Bible!



XI. Isaac’s Death (verses 27-29)


Jacob came back to Isaac his father in Mamre/Kiryat Arba (also known as Hebron) where Avraham and Isaac previously sojourned.


Isaac lived 180 years worth of days. He then expired and died, and was gathered unto his peoples old and full of days. Esau and Jacob buried him together.




1. Did Jacob see his father Isaac again? Yes, he did! He was able to spend time with him before he died.


2. Was 180 years a long time to live? The number of years that folks lived decreased as time went on. 180 years was long.


3. What is the difference between expiring and dying? Expiring is exhaling, breathing out (breathing out one’s last breath, in this case). Dying is when the heart stops and the brain ceases to function, when the spirit and the soul leave the physical body.


4. In what way was he gathered unto his peoples? All his relatives and ancestors who died before him went to Sheol. Those in Biblical faith went to one part of Sheol, and those not in faith went to another part. Those in one part could speak to others in the other part, but they could not get to each other.


Thus, Jacob went to where the rest of his folks who had died were waiting to be judged. Jacob was on the good side of Sheol, known as Paradise.


5. When folks die today, are they gathered to their peoples? Most folks are. Sheol is still where it was before, but now it only has folks who died without Biblical faith. This is where almost all folks go when they die.


A very few go to the heavens—the place where those who have Biblical faith now go when they die. The part of Sheol that was the good side, that had Paradise, the real Garden of Eden, was transferred to the heavens. That is what folks normally call heaven.


Since most folks will die without Biblical faith, they will never go to the heavens, though at nearly all funerals those who speak will assume that the dead person went to heaven.


6. Esau and Jacob buried their father together. What does this show? This shows that Esau and Jacob now were friends, as well as brothers. They both mourned together over the death of their papa.


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