1 God said to Jacob, "Now move on to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to worship me--the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau."
2 So Jacob told everyone in his household, "Destroy your idols, wash yourselves, and put on clean clothing.
3 We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has stayed with me wherever I have gone."
4 So they gave Jacob all their idols and their earrings, and he buried them beneath the tree near Shechem.
5 When they set out again, terror from God came over the people in all the towns of that area, and no one attacked them.
6 Finally, they arrived at Luz (now called Bethel) in Canaan.
7 Jacob built an altar there and named it El-bethel,* because God had appeared to him there at Bethel when he was fleeing from Esau.1
8 Soon after this, Rebekah's old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called the "Oak of Weeping."*2
9 God appeared to Jacob once again when he arrived at Bethel after traveling from Paddan-aram. God blessed him
10 and said, "Your name is no longer Jacob; you will now be called Israel."*3
11 Then God said, "I am God Almighty. Multiply and fill the earth! Become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants!
12 And I will pass on to you the land I gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants."
13 Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob.
14 Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. He then poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil.
15 Jacob called the place Bethel--"house of God"--because God had spoken to him there.
16 Leaving Bethel, they traveled on toward Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). But Rachel's pains of childbirth began while they were still some distance away.
17 After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, "Don't be afraid--you have another son!"
18 Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named him Ben-oni; the baby's father, however, called him Benjamin.*4
19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
20 Jacob set up a stone monument over her grave, and it can be seen there to this day.
21 Jacob* then traveled on and camped beyond the tower of Eder.5
22 While he was there, Reuben slept with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and someone told Jacob about it. These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:
23 The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob's oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah's servant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons born to Jacob at Paddan-aram.
27 So Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, which is near Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron), where Abraham had also lived.
28 Isaac lived for 180 years,
29 and he died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death. Then his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.
Read Genesis 36