Genesis 35:21 MEANING

Genesis 35:21
(21) The tower of Edar.--Heb., Eder. Micah (Genesis 4:8) calls it "the hill of the daughter of Zion;" but the word used often means a beacon-hill, a hill on which a tower for observation is erected, wrongly translated in the Authorised Version a stronghold. The tower may, therefore, have been a few miles south of Jerusalem; and as the word "beyond" includes the idea of up to, as far as, the meaning is that Jacob now occupied this region permanently with his cattle. Until Esau, with his possessions, withdrew to Seir, there would be no room for Jacob and his flocks and herds at Hebron, but he would at Eder be so near his father as to be able often to visit him. And thus his exile was now over, and he was at last at home.

Verse 21. - And Israel (or Jacob) journeyed (from Ephrath, after the funeral of Rachel), and spread - i.e. unfolded (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 26:25) - his tent beyond the tower of Edar - literally, to, i.e. not trans (Vulgate), ultra (Dathe), but ad, usque (Rosenmüller), as far as Migdol Edar, the Tower of the Flock - probably a turret, or watch-tower, erected for the convenience of shepherds in guarding their flocks (2 Kings 18:8; 2 Chronicles 26:10; 2 Chronicles 27:4), - the site of which is uncertain, but which is commonly supposed to have Been a mile (Jerome) or more south of Bethlehem." The LXX. omit this verse.

35:21-29 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.And Israel journeyed,.... Having stayed near Bethlehem, as it is said, about two months (h); this is the first time Jacob is by Moses called Israel, after this name, was given him; the reason of which the Jews say is, because he bore the death of Rachel with so much patience:

and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder; which was a place of pasturage, and fit for his flocks, see Micah 4:8; it was about a mile from Bethlehem to the south (i), and is supposed to be the place where the shepherds were watching their flocks, when the angel reported to them the birth of Christ, Luke 2:8; pretty remarkable are the words added here in the Targum of Jonathan,"the place from whence the King Messiah will be revealed in the end of days.''

(h) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.((i) Bunting's Travels, p. 76.

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