Reading: Genesis 35
Principal Question: How will God respond to Jacob?
Main Point: Have each person propose a title or main point.
When Jacob arrived home, he had reconciled with his brother. Most likely the mother, Rebekah, was already dead, as she is never again mentioned in the story. She took a curse on herself when she convinced Jacob to trick Isaac (Genesis 27:13), and apparently the curse took her life early. In this story, Israel returns to the place where he first saw the dream about God. Take note of how he prepared his family for this visit.
- Read the story. What questions do you have?
- Why do you think Jacob made his family bury their foreign gods before going to Bethel?
- Why did the other towns of Hivite people not take revenge on Jacob’s family for the massacre in Genesis 34:5?
- After his change of name, do you think Jacob became worthy of the sacred trust he received from God carry the blessing of Abraham?
- Based on their behavior, were Jacob’s sons worthy to receive a sacred trust from God?
Cultural and Historical Notes
From the first time we hear about him in Genesis 30, Reuben is trying to protect his mother’s honor. After Rachel died, Reuben probably feared that Jacob might promote Rachel’s maid, Bilhah to the position of first wife. After Reuben has sexually defiled her, she would be considered unfit for this position, which guaranteed that his own mother, Leah, would automatically become the first wife.
Content Questions for English Comprehension
- Where did God tell Jacob to go?
- Do you remember what happened to Jacob when he visited this place previously?
- Who was Rachel’s second son?
- How old was Isaac when he died?
- Who attended the funeral?