Bereisheet (Genesis): Vayishlach > Ch 35

G-d tells Jacob to go to Beth-El and make an altar there. G-d protects him along the way.

  • G-d said to Jacob, "Arise and go up to Beth el and abide there, and make there an altar to the G-d Who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau." Jacob asked his household to gather idols taken from Shechem and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree near Shechem. They traveled, and the fear of G-d was upon the cities around them, so that they did not pursue Jacob's sons.

Jacob builds an altar to G-d in the same place where received the blessing when he fled from Esau. G-d blesses Jacob, renames him Israel and promises him the covenant of his forefathers (these may be details of what has been mentioned previously)

  • Jacob built an altar in Luz, which is in the land of Canaan and he called the place El Beth el, for there G-d had been revealed to him when he fled from before his brother Esau. And G-d appeared again to Jacob when he came from Padan aram, and He blessed him. G-d said to him, "Your name is Jacob. Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name." And He named him Israel. And G-d said to him, "I am the Almighty God; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a multitude of nations shall come into existence from you, and kings shall come forth from your loins. And the land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I will give to you and to your seed after you will I give the land." And G-d went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him. Now Jacob had erected a monument in the place where He had spoken with him, a stone monument, and he poured a libation upon it, and [then] he poured oil upon it. Jacob named the place where G-d had spoken with him Beth el.

Rachel gives birth to Benjamin and dies.

  • They journeyed from Beth el, and Rachel gave birth, and her labor was difficult. When her soul departed she named her son Ben oni, but his father called him Benjamin. Rachel was buried on the road to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob erected a monument on her grave; that is the tombstone of Rachel until this day.

Jacob returns to Isaac to the plain of Mamre (Kiriath-Arba/Hebron). Isaac dies at 180 yrs of age

  • The days of Isaac were a hundred and eighty years. And Isaac expired and died and was gathered in to his peoples, old and sated with days, and his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.

Rashi Commentary

  • the foreign nations That you have in your possession from the spoils of Shechem. — from Zohar, vol. 1, 173a]
  • under the terebinth Heb. אֵלָה, a species of tree that bears no fruit.
  • El Beth-el Heb. בֵּית-אֵל אֵל, The Holy One, blessed be He, is in Beth-el (בְּבֵית-אֵל)
  • again The second time in this place: once when he went away and once when he returned.
  • Your name shall no longer be called Jacob Heb. יַעִקֹב, an expression of a man who comes with stealth and guile (עָקְבָה), but [יִשְׂרָאֵל], a term denoting a prince (שַׂר) and a chief. — [from Zohar vol. 1, 1712, vol. 3, 45a, and Chullin 92a]
  • Ben-oni The son of my pain.
  • And Isaac expired There is no order of earlier and later events (chronological order) in the [narrative of] Torah. The selling of Joseph [actually] preceded Isaac’s demise by 12 years, for when Jacob was born, Isaac was 60 years old, and Isaac died in Jacob’s 120th year, for it is stated: “and Isaac was sixty years old” (Gen. 25:26)-if you subtract 60 from 180 [Isaac’s age at his death], you have 120 left. Joseph was 17 years old when he was sold, and that year was Jacob’s 108th year. How so? He was blessed at the age of 63 [as Rashi explains Gen. 28: 9], for 14 years he hid in the academy of Eber, totaling 77. He worked 14 years for a wife, and at the end of the 14 years, Joseph was born, as it is said: “Now it came to pass when Rachel had borne Joseph, etc.” (Gen. 30:25). The total is 91. [Add to this] the 17 [years] until Joseph was sold, and it totals 108. (Moreover, it is explicit that from when Joseph was sold until Jacob came to Egypt, 22 years had passed, as it is said: “And Joseph was thirty years old, etc.” (Gen. 41:46), and the seven years of plenty and two years of [the] famine [had elapsed before Jacob’s arrival.] This totals 22. And it is written:“The days of the years of my sojournings are one hundred thirty years” (Gen. 47:9). [Since Jacob arrived in Egypt at age 130, 22 years after Joseph had been sold,] it follows that Jacob was 108 when he (Joseph) was sold.) [from Seder Olam, ch. 2]

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