Genesis 35:9-15

Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him.

10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel.

11 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.

12 The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.”

13 Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him.

14 So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it.

15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.

The great name of “Israel,” promised to him in chapter 32 at Penuel, is now given at Bethel; and, with it, is revealed the glorious title El-Shaddai, i.e. God Almighty—the God who was able to fulfill to him the promises here made. To Jacob personally, as to Isaac and Abraham, resurrection is assured; for He says: “to thee will I give this land.” Note: (Genesis 32:28) “Thy name shall be”: (35:10) “He called his name.” — Williams, page 36.

I think it’s interesting that v.9 says that “God appeared to Jacob.” Since we know that no man has ever seen God the Father (John 1:18), this can only mean it was a theophany—a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. And that makes it a clear statement of the deity of Christ because He identified Himself to Israel as El-Shaddai.

God once again appeared to Jacob, renewing the promises made thirty years before at the same spot. God identified Himself as “God Almighty” (Hebrew El Shaddai). God had revealed Himself by this name to Abram (Genesis 17:1) and to Isaac (Genesis 28:3), and now to Jacob. The name is related to the Hebrew word for “breast” (shad), and conveys the idea of God as the One who nourishes and provides, who is strong enough to meet every need.

Once again God promised Jacob that he and his seed, which would be a great multitude, would possess this land, as He had promised also to Abraham and Isaac. Furthermore, though he would be a “nation,” he would also be a “company of nations,” [perhaps] a reference to the continuing distinctiveness of the twelve tribes of Israel.

God also reaffirmed and reimpressed on Jacob that he now had a new name, Israel. He was a prevailing and powerful prince of God! He should therefore live and comport himself as one who possessed such a high calling. — Morris, pages 520-521.


The first mention of the drink offering (v.14). It is not found among the Levitical offerings of Leviticus 1–7, though included in the instructions for sacrifice in the land (Numbers 15:5-7). It was always “poured out,” never drunk, and may be considered a type of Christ in the sense of Psalm 22:14; Isaiah 53:12. — Scofield, page 51.

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