Genesis 35:1-15

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 35:1-15

  1. Locate the passage

Genesis 34 is something of an interlude between occasions of Jacob’s worship. Since Jacob had not fully complied with the Lord’s instructions, he had placed his family in jeopardy. Now, the Lord reminded Jacob of His intentions for the Patriarch. As Jacob followed the Lord’s instructions, he found Divine protection and his previous encounter with the Lord (change of his name, covenant promise, significance of Bethel, obedience to the covenant, and faithful worship) was restored.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative and describes actions Jacob should have already taken. The conversations in this passage are God to Jacob and Jacob to his family.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

35:1-7 – God’s instructions to Jacob are repeated

35:1 – Jacob had to be reminded of what he should have already known

35:2-4 – Jacob prepares his family for the restoration of worship

35:5-7 – Jacob followed the Lord instructions and experienced the Lord’s protection

35:8 – The Death of Deborah

35:9-15 – God’s Continued Covenant with Jacob

35:9-13 – The Lord appeared to Jacob and the Covenant is reiterated

35:14-15 – Jacob worshipped the Lord

  1. Exegete the passage

Two things stand out in the first verse: Jacob has to be reminded by God to return to Bethel, and he has to be instructed to make an altar there. The first is what he was already told to do, and the second is what he should have already known. Perhaps the Lord is graciously reminding Jacob that he was not where he should have been and wasn’t doing what he should have been doing.

This chapter records that Jacob’s return to the land is complete. It also establishes the people of Israel in the land promised to Abraham.

35:1 – God shouldn’t have to repeat Himself. Jacob should have listened to the Lord the first time and perhaps the episode of Genesis 34 might have been averted. But, in His grace, the Lord repeated His command to Jacob.

35:2 – Jacob prepared his house to obediently worship the Lord. Jacob instructed his family to do three things as they prepared to worship the Lord: put away foreign gods, purify themselves, and change their garments.

35:3 – “Who answered me in the day of my distress”

35:4 – Jacob buried the foreign gods and jewelry of their past

35:5 – They “journeyed”

35:5 – The “terror of the Lord”

35:6 – “Luz”

35:7 – Jacob built an altar

35:8 – The death of Deborah is one of three burial accounts in Genesis 35 (Deborah, Rachel, and Isaac)

35:9 – God appeared again, and blessed Jacob

35:10 – The second account of the changing of the name of Jacob, like the subsequent account of the changing of the name of Bethel, marks the significance of this encounter and the restoration of Jacob’s authentic worship of the Lord.

35:11 – I am God Almighty.

35:13 – The Lord … “talked” with him

35:14-15 – Jacob’s continued worship of the Lord is demonstrated by his setting up of a pillar marking the place where he talked with the Lord, pouring an offering of oil, and calling the name of the place, “Bethel.”

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

References   [ + ]

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