~~~~~Lesson: Genesis, Chapter 35 (part 2) (reading below lesson)
1) Firstly, we're going to skip the Rape of Dinah and the aftereffects. One, because it only deals tangentially with Jacob; two, it does not affect the flow of the story; and three, because it has been brought together in its present form from three different sources, which requires much tedious explanation.
2) Bethel (different from Bethlehem, which will be important later) has played an important part in almost every section of Genesis. The patriarchs at one time or another stopped at Bethel: Abraham built and altar between Bethel and Ai; Jacob had a dream at Bethel and set up stones to mark the place. Later, during the period in which much of Israel gets involved in idolatry, Bethel will be one of the “high places” at which they worship foreign gods.
3) Jacob deals with two hard events within a short time: the death of his beloved wife Rachel, and the death of his father. The Bible does not say how he reacted to these events, but we, as fellow humans, can imagine the devastation he must have felt. It is important that Esau helped him bury his father. It seems that the disagreements between them are long in the past.
Question: Can you think of a time in the past in which having someone’s forgiveness would have meant a lot to you?
Can you think of a time in the past in which YOUR forgiveness would have probably meant a lot to another person?
~Reading: Genesis: Chapter 35- The death of Rachel and Isaac
(16-20) Then they departed from Bethel: but while they still had some distance to go on the way to Ephrath, Rachel began to be in labor and to suffer great distress. When her pangs were most sever, her mid-wife said to her, "Have no fear! This time, too, you will have a son." With her last breath- for she was at the point of death- she called him Ben-oni [meaning: son of my affliction]; his father, however, named him Benjamin [meaning: son of my right hand or son of good fortune]. Thus Rachel died; and she was buried on the road to Ephrath [that is, Bethlehem]. Jacob set up a memorial stone on her grave, and the same monument marks Rachel's grave to this day.
(27-29) Jacob went home to his father Isaac at Mamre, in Kiriath-arba [that is, Hebron], where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. The lifetime of Isaac was one hundred and eighty years; then he breathed his last. After a full life, he died as an old man and was taken to his kinsmen. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong