Genesis 35:16-29

16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor.

17 Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, “Do not fear; you will have this son also.”

18 And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).

20 And Jacob set a pillar on her grave, which is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day.

21 Then Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

22 And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:

23 the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun;

24 the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin;

25 the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali;

26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.

27 Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had dwelt.

28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years.

29 So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Previous to this pilgrimage, after years of barrenness, Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel had finally borne a son, before they left Laban and the region of Haran (Genesis 30:22-25). She had named him Joseph and had, at the time, expressed faith that God would give her still another son. That, however, had been nearly fifteen years before, and her faith had not yet been rewarded. No doubt she had continued to pray about it, and God had finally answered. Rachel must have been well along in years by now, as Jacob was certainly 105 years old or more by this time. Finally, however, she became pregnant again. Jacob’s other wives had long since ceased bearing children, so Rachel gave birth to Jacob’s twelfth and last son. — Morris, page 522.

you will have this son also (v.17) — Genesis 30:24

Ben-Oni (v.18) = the son of my sorrows

Benjamin (v.18) = son of my right hand

Bethlehem (v.19) — the first reference in the Bible to the town where Jesus Christ was born.

The fact that Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn (when he was perhaps around 30 years old), laid with Bilhah (who would have been much older than Reuben), one of his father’s concubines, gets only passing mention here. But in Genesis 49:3-4, when Jacob was speaking to his sons, he had this to say to Reuben: Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.” In other words, Reuben lost his birthright.

Here (vs.23-26) is the first complete list of the twelve sons of Jacob. … From them came the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribal blessing being given each of them respectively at the time of Jacob’s death (Genesis 49). The names reappear in the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 2:1-2. As tribal names, they are listed on seven different occasions in the Book of Numbers, and appear again in the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33), in the division of the land in Joshua 1:5, elsewhere in the Old Testament, and finally as the twelve sealed tribes of Revelation 7:4-8. The order in which the names are given varies. — Scofield, pages 51-52.


Here was the birth of a son near Bethlehem. Rachel is used in connection with the slaughter of the innocents as the standing emblem of Israel’s love for her children and captives. Compare Jeremiah 31:15 with Matthew 2:18.

The name Ben-Oni means son of sorrow, suffering, and has always been taken as a faint and yet clear type of the suffering Man of sorrow. To father Jacob the son became Benjamin, the son of the right hand, and this is taken commonly as a shadow of the risen Christ who took His session at the right hand of God the Father. The type is clear: to the mother [Mary] he was the son of suffering, to the father, a Son seated at the right hand of glory. — Bultema, page 65.


At the age of 180, Isaac died. This must actually have been about 25 years after Jacob came back from Padan-aram, since Isaac had probably been about 135 years old or so when Jacob left home. Actually, Isaac must have still been living at the time Joseph was sold into Egypt, but the writer found it appropriate to mention his death at this point. Mention of the fact that he “was gathered unto his people” is evidence that although nothing much is said about it in this part of the Bible, the patriarchs did believe in life after death. …

It is noteworthy that Esau and Jacob were still in fellowship with each other, these many years after their first reunion, as the two once-alienated brothers came together to participate with each other in the burial ceremonies for their father. Isaac was buried in the same sepulcher with Rebekah, and with Abraham and Sarah, in the cave in the field which Abraham had purchased in Mamre (Genesis 49:29-31). — Morris, page 524.


The “records of the generations of Isaac” (Genesis 25:19) here ends with a summary look at at God’s overall blessing of Isaac. His material blessing of Isaac (and Jacob) is represented, first and foremost, by his “full quiver” (to employ the terminology of Psalm 127:4-5) of sons—i.e., in addition to Jacob and Esau, his twelve grandsons from whom the promised nation (Genesis 12:2, etc.) would descend. God’s material blessing of Isaac is further indicated by the reference to him dying as an old man, ripe of age—which latter phrase is literally translated “satisfied of (i.e., with his) days.” Indeed, this phrase also hints at God’s spiritual blessing of Isaac (i.e., that he truly knew/was known by God, since, of its remaining four occurrences, all are applied to men who died as believers, mature in faith (viz. Job [Job 42:17]; David [1 Chronicles 23:1; 29:28]; and Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:15]). — Wechsler, page 243.

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