Genesis Chapters 33-35

Jun 28, 2012  |  Genesis, Old Testament  |  No Comments

God Leads Israel Back to Bethel

  • Chapters 33-34 make no real mention of God, other than Israel acknowledging God’s generosity to him in 33:11.  Israel briefly reconciles with Esau, but then buys a plot of land near the city of Shechem.  While there, Israel’s daughter Dinah is raped, and, in retaliation, Israel’s sons trick the Shechemites into circumcising all their males, in order to weaken and then slaughter them. They destroyed and looted the city and took their wealth, their livestock, their women and children.
  • Genesis 35:1 And God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there; and make an altar to God, who appeared to you when you fled the face of your brother Esau.”
  • Jacob tells the people to get rid of the foreign gods, purify themselves and change their clothes.
  • Genesis 35:3 And let us arise and go up to Bethel. And I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and was with me in the way that I went.
  • Genesis 35:5 As they journeyed, a terror from God fell on the cities all around them, so that no one pursued them.
  • Genesis 35:7 And there he built an altar and called the place El-Bethel, because it was there that God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother.
  • Genesis 35:9 And God revealed himself to Jacob again, when he came out of Paddan Aram, and he blessed him.
  • Genesis 35:10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. Your name will not be called Jacob any more, but Israel will be your name.” So He called his name Israel.
  • Genesis 35:11-12 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations will come from you, and kings will come out of your loins. And the land I gave Abraham and Isaac, I give to you, and to your seed after you will I give the land.”
  • Genesis 35:13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
  • Genesis 35:14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured a drink offering on it and he poured oil on it.
  • Genesis 35:15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.

Prayers and Reflections on the Passage

  • Lord, thank you, that in our times of greatest distress, you are still with us, and you lead us back to you, as you led Jacob back to Bethel, time and again.
  • Lord, thank you that you protect us from our enemies as you protected Jacob, even when his enemies wanted to attack and pursue.  You put fear of you in their hearts.
  • Lord, don’t let us forget that you are an awesome and fearful God.
  • Thank you, Lord, that you repeat your promises to Jacob and to us, so it is perfectly clear.
  • Thank you that you speak with us, not in just one place, but at any time and any place, but like Jacob, you also bless us. Let us be like Jacob and remember your blessings, guidance and protection.

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