Genesis Bible Study: Chapter 35–37
God asked Jacob to move to Bethel, build an alter to Him and settle there
Bethel was the place where Jacob had the dream where He saw the angels and heard the voice of God after he ran away from home.
Jacob then tells his family that they’re going to be moving and they should get rid of all their idols, which they did.
As they moved on their way too Bethel, the Lord sent fear into the people around the towns so that no one would attack Jacob or his family.
On arrival at Bethel, The Lord revealed Himself to Jacob.
“Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.””
Genesis 35:11–12 NKJV
Then the Lord changed Jacob’s name officially to Israel.
Jacob and his family moved towards another town and on their way, Rachel went into labour. She gave birth to a son whom Israel named Benjamin. She died soon after giving birth, a consequence, I believe, of her actions and Israel’s words.
“But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die! And if you find anything else that belongs to you, identify it before all these relatives of ours, and I will give it back!” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the household idols.”
Genesis 31:32 NLT
We really need to be careful with what we say.
When the Bible says, death and life are in the power of the tongue, it wasn’t joking.
After all of this, Reuben (Israel’s first son), slept with Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, Israel’s concubine, his STEPMOM and Israel heard about it.
Israel then returned to his father, Isaac. Isaac then died at the age of 180 years and was buried by Esau and Jacob.
This chapter talks about the genealogy of Esau, also known as Edom.
His generation were later known as the Edomites. They were a problematic bunch as well and were enemies of the nation of Israel.
Joseph, Israel’s favorite child.
Israel clearly didn’t learn from his own parents, how having an obvious favorite child could cause problems.
The family of Israel settled in Canaan. Joseph was 17 years old and he took care of his father’s flock. He also worked with his half brothers and he used to report the bad things his brothers were doing to his dad.
Joseph was Israel’s favorite because he was born in Israel’s old age. Also, he was the child from his favorite wife. Israel made a beautiful gift for him, said to be a coat of many colors.
“But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.”
Genesis 37:4 NLT
These men also wanted love from their father, and they hated the son that got all the love they wanted.
One time, Joseph had a dream and he went to share it with his brothers. This made his brothers hate him more. Not just because of the dreams, but because of the way he spoke about them.
“Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.”
Genesis 37:6–8 NLT
He had a similar dream another time, this time he said it in the presence of his father and Israel scolded him for it.
I wonder if the fact that he was obviously his father’s favorite and now these dreams, gave Joseph a bit of pride.
Soon after, Israel sent Joseph to go visit his brothers at work and give a report.
When his brothers saw him coming, they planned to kill him. Reuben however suggested putting him in an empty well to leave him to die, instead of getting blood on their hands.
Reuben actually had plans to get him out later and return him home.
So when Joseph arrived, they striped him of his coat and put him in the well.
Later on Judah suggests selling him to some Ishmaelites traders that they saw on the road, because Joseph is their own flesh and blood and it’d be a hassle to cover up the crime.
So they sold him for 20 pieces of silver.
Later when Reuben came to take Joseph out, he learned of what had happened and wondered what he would tell his father.
Reuben had already wronged his father before
The brothers killed a goat and put the blood on Joseph’s coat and deceived their father that he was killed by a wild animal.
This familial deceptive attitude. Hian.
Israel was devastated and he mourned Joseph for a long time, refusing to be consoled, he said he would die mourning Joseph.
Meanwhile, Joseph was sold in Egypt, to the house of Potiphar, who was Captain of the Palace guards for Pharaoh the king of Egypt.