Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 35

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Chosen People (c 23-50)
Theme: The Story of Jacob (c 29-36)
Message: Rachel and Issac Die (v 1-29)

Genesis 35 Commentary

(35:1-2) Jacob Orders the Destruction of Idols -  Why did the people have these idols? Idols were sometimes seen more as good luck charms than as gods. Some Israelites, even though they worshiped God, had idols in their homes, just as some Christians today own good luck trinkets. Jacob believed that idols should have no place in his household. He wanted nothing to divert his family's spiritual focus. Jacob ordered his household to destroy all their idols. Unless we remove idols from our lives, they can ruin our faith. What idols do we have? An idol is anything we put before God. Idols don't have to be physical objects; they can be thoughts or desires. Like Jacob, we should get rid of anything that could stand between us and God.

(35:4) Jacob takes their Earrings - Jewelry in itself was not evil, but in Jacob's day earrings were often worn as good luck charms to ward off evil. The people in his family had to cleanse themselves of all heathen influence including reminders of foreign gods.

(35:10) Jacob Lives out His Name - God reminded Jacob of his new name, Israel, which meant "a prince who prevails with God. Although Jacob's life was littered with difficulties and trials, his new name was a tribute to his desire to stay close to God despite life's disappointments. Many people believe that Christianity should offer a problem-free life. Consequently, as life gets tough, they draw back disappointed. Instead, they should determine to prevail with God through life's storms. Problems and difficulties are painful but inevitable; you might as well see them as opportunities for growth. You can't prevail with God unless you have troubles to prevail over.

(35:13-14) Jacob shows God Respect -  Anointing oil was olive oil of the finest grade of purity. It was expensive, so using it showed the high value placed on the anointed object. Jacob was showing the greatest respect for the place where he met with God.

(35:18) Ben-oni means "son of my sorrow." Benjamin means "son of my right hand.

(35:22) Reuben Pays a Price -  Reuben's sin was costly, although not immediate. As the oldest son, he stood to receive a double portion of the family inheritance and a place of leadership among his people. Reuben may have thought he got away with his sin. No more is mentioned of it until Jacob, on his deathbed, assembled his family for the final blessing. Suddenly Jacob took away. Reuben's double portion and gave it to someone else. The reason? "Thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiled thou it" (49:4). Sin's consequences can plague us long after the sin is committed. When we do something wrong we may think we can escape unnoticed, only to discover later that the sin has been quietly breeding serious consequences.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Arise and Go to Bethel

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 35, and in today's text, we see God say to Jacob to arise and go up to Bethel and make an altar to the Lord there due to the idol worship. Jacob responded to the call, put away their strange gods and idols, and met at Bethel, which means "House of God." As Jacob obeyed the instruction of the Lord, we see the Lord meeting with Him and officially changing his name to Israel. In making an application, we know we are "to Arise and go to Bethel" or The House of God - The Church. Today we still have idols that come into our lives, and we need to repent and seek the Lord. We can meet with the Lord anywhere, but the Bible says we are to meet or assemble ourselves together at His House. At the Church House, we can repent, seek His Face, and when we obey His instruction, He will meet with us and give us His Instruction, Encouragement, and Anointing to do His Will for our lives. How about you? Do you value the House of God? Let us learn from our text today and the instruction to Jacob to arise and go to Bethel, and if we do, the Lord will meet with us and show us His Will for our lives.


Genesis 35

Genesis 35

 1And 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.

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

 3And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

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

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

 6So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.

 7And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

 8But Deborah, Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.

 9And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.

 10And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

 11And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

 12And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

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

 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.

 15And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.

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

 17And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.

 18And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

 19And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

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

 21And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.

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

 23The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:

 24The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:

 25And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:

 26And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid: Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.

 27And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.

 28And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.

 29And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.