Genesis Chapter 35
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Matthew Henry's Genesis Chapter 35 Bible commentary...
God commands Jacob to go to Beth-el, He puts away idols from his family. (1-5) Jacob builds an altar, Death of Deborah, God blesses Jacob. (6-15) Death of Rachel. (16-20) Reuben's crime, The death of Isaac. (21-29)1-5 Beth-el was forgotten. But as many as God loves, he will remind of neglected duties, one way or other, by conscience or by providences. When we have vowed a vow to God, it is best not to defer the payment of it; yet better late than never. Jacob commanded his household to prepare, not only for the journey and removal, but for religious services. Masters of families should use their authority to keep up religion in their families, #Jos 24:15|. They must put away strange gods. In families where there is a face of religion, and an altar to God, yet many times there is much amiss, and more strange gods than one would suppose. They must be clean, and change their garments. These were but outward ceremonies, signifying the purifying and change of the heart. What are clean clothes, and new clothes, without a clean heart, and a new heart? If Jacob had called for these idols sooner, they had parted with them sooner. Sometimes attempts for reformation succeed better than we could have thought. Jacob buried their images. We must be wholly separated from our sins, as we are from those that are dead and buried out of sight. He removed from Shechem to Beth-el. Though the Canaanites were very angry against the sons of Jacob for their barbarous usage of the Shechemites, yet they were so kept back by Divine power, that they could not take the opportunity now offered to avenge them. The way of duty is the way of safety. When we are about God's work, we are under special protection; God is with us, while we are with him; and if He be for us, who can be against us? God governs the world more by secret terrors on men's minds than we are aware of.
6-15 The comfort the saints have in holy ordinances, is not so much from Beth-el, the house of God, as from El-beth-el, the God of the house. The ordinances are empty things, if we do not meet with God in them. There Jacob buried Deborah, Rebekah's nurse. She died much lamented. Old servants in a family, that have in their time been faithful and useful, ought to be respected. God appeared to Jacob. He renewed the covenant with him. I am God Almighty, God all-sufficient, able to make good the promise in due time, and to support thee and provide for thee in the mean time. Two things are promised; that he should be the father of a great nation, and that he should be the master of a good land. These two promises had a spiritual signification, which Jacob had some notion of, though not so clear and distinct as we now have. Christ is the promised Seed, and heaven is the promised land; the former is the foundation, and the latter the top-stone, of all God's favours.
16-20 Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children, she died! The death of the body is but the departure of the soul to the world of spirits. When shall we learn that it is God alone who really knows what is best for his people, and that in all worldly affairs the safest path for the Christian is to say from the heart, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. Here alone is our safety and our comfort, to know no will but his. Her dying lips called her newborn son Ben-oni, the son of my sorrow; and many a son proves to be the heaviness of her that bare him. Children are enough the sorrow of their mothers; they should, therefore, when they grow up, study to be their joy, and so, if possible, to make them some amends. But Jacob, because he would not renew the sorrowful remembrance of the mother's death every time he called his son, changed his name to Benjamin, the son of my right hand: that is, very dear to me; the support of my age, like the staff in my right hand.
21-29 What a sore affliction Reuben's sin was, is shown, " and Israel heard it." No more is said, but that is enough. Reuben thought that his father would never hear of it; but those that promise themselves secrecy in sin, are generally disappointed. The age and death of Isaac are recorded, though he died not till after Joseph was sold into Egypt. Isaac lived about forty years after he had made his will, chap. #27:2|. We shall not die an hour the sooner, but much the better, for timely setting our hearts and houses in order. Particular notice is taken of the agreement of Esau and Jacob at their father's funeral, to show how God had wonderfully changed Esau's mind. It is awful to behold relations, sometimes for a little of this world's goods, disputing over the graves of their friends, while they are near going to the grave themselves.
AZUBUIKE BENEDICTA's Genesis Chapter 35 comment on 4/19/2013, 8:17am...
pls i somebody to summarise between verse 1-4 for me . iam a bit confused concerning earing
Rhonda's Genesis Chapter 35 comment on 12/04/2012, 5:15pm...
I am trying to understand all the incest that took place in this book. In this day and time it would be an outrage. I am taking that God wanted nations to be built into the world he had created. Can someone, please enlighten me.
HOSNY KHALIL's Genesis Chapter 35 comment on 11/14/2012, 5:00am...
It looks like someone was telling a story, but doesn't sound God's words, if those words have been told by human, so all humans make mistakes when they tell stories, but God doesn't make mistakes or either sends prophets to get drunk and let young daughters sleep with their own father. Otherwise God was absent when his prophets did sin or fornicated with his daughters. If God allowed this to happen with a prophet and have him write this story in the bible, so, can we (as humans) do the same with our daughters? By cancelling our brain and become like animals? I need some priest to answer me please. Thanks for your reply.
Lorral Weaver's Genesis Chapter 35 comment on 11/09/2012, 5:38pm...
The reason that Reuben was wrong, was not because he stole his father's property, (we as women are not property) it was because Reuben committed adultery with his father's wife, or his stepmother. True the Ten Commandments hadnít been given yet, but it was still adultery which is forbidden and wrong. Bilhah had become one with Jacob, so Reuben had defiled that union with Jacob and Bilhah. God always does things in His order. If we are allowed to do things our way, then the world would be a lot worse off than it is now.
Timothy Wayne George's Genesis Chapter 35 comment on 5/09/2012, 8:43am...
Jacob has repented of his sins, and set his house in order by removing all the idols that they had. When Rachel died this was very hard on Jacob because he loved her more than his other wives. God changed his name to Israel, so that he will no longer be a deceiver. Israel built, an altar there and God blessed him. God allowed those multiple wives, but he has commanded that all men repent. Every man is to have one wife, and every woman is to have one husband. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us, and they did not have that then. Nevertheless what Reuben did was wrong, and this was a result of sowing, and reaping. God would deal with the sons of Israel for their sins, and the son of his beloved wife Rachel, Joseph would rebuke them in Egypt. No one gets away with sin, and we are told if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. We must confess sin, and repent of it, then forsake it. If we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. A wife is not the property of her husband, but the two shall become one flesh. A man is to leave his father, and mother then cleave unto his wife. When we do what God has commanded, our marriages will be blessed.
Emmanuel's Genesis Chapter 35 comment on 3/28/2012, 8:32am...
To my mind, this chapter reveals that Racheal surrendered all the idols she had stolen from her father. God blessed Jacob again, reiterating the change of his name
Janet's Genesis Chapter 35 comment about verse 2 on 9/09/2011, 3:06pm...
why did jacob allow these idols to his house?
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