Genesis 35

1Hashem said to Yaakov, “Arise, go up to Beit El and remain there; and build a mizbayach there to the God who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”

אוַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל־יַעֲקֹב קוּם עֲלֵה בֵית־אֵל וְשֶׁב־שָׁם וַעֲשֵׂה־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לָאֵל הַנִּרְאֶה אֵלֶיךָ בְּבָרְחֲךָ מִפְּנֵי עֵשָׂו אָחִיךָ׃

2So Yaakov said to his household and to all who were with him, “Rid yourselves of the alien gods in your midst, purify yourselves, and change your clothes.

בוַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וְאֶל כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עִמּוֹ הָסִרוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵי הַנֵּכָר אֲשֶׁר בְּתֹכְכֶם וְהִטַּהֲרוּ וְהַחֲלִיפוּ שִׂמְלֹתֵיכֶם׃

3Come, let us go up to Beit El, and I will build a mizbayach there to the God who answered me when I was in distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”

גוְנָקוּמָה וְנַעֲלֶה בֵּית־אֵל וְאֶעֱשֶׂה־שָּׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לָאֵל הָעֹנֶה אֹתִי בְּיוֹם צָרָתִי וַיְהִי עִמָּדִי בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הָלָכְתִּי׃

4They gave to Yaakov all the alien gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears, and Yaakov buried them under the terebinth that was near Shechem.

דוַיִּתְּנוּ אֶל־יַעֲקֹב אֵת כָּל־אֱלֹהֵי הַנֵּכָר אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדָם וְאֶת־הַנְּזָמִים אֲשֶׁר בְּאָזְנֵיהֶם וַיִּטְמֹן אֹתָם יַעֲקֹב תַּחַת הָאֵלָה אֲשֶׁר עִם־שְׁכֶם׃

5As they set out, a terror from Hashem fell on the cities round about, so that they did not pursue the sons of Yaakov.

הוַיִּסָּעוּ וַיְהִי חִתַּת אֱלֹהִים עַל־הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתֵיהֶם וְלֹא רָדְפוּ אַחֲרֵי בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב׃

6Thus Yaakov came to Luz—that is, Beit El—in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him.

ווַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב לוּזָה אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן הִוא בֵּית־אֵל הוּא וְכָל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־עִמּוֹ׃

7There he built a mizbayach and named the site El-bethel, for it was there that Hashem had revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

זוַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ וַיִּקְרָא לַמָּקוֹם אֵל בֵּית־אֵל כִּי שָׁם נִגְלוּ אֵלָיו הָאֱלֹהִים בְּבָרְחוֹ מִפְּנֵי אָחִיו׃

8Devora, Rivka's nurse, died, and was buried under the oak below Beit El; so it was named Allon-bacuth.

חוַתָּמָת דְּבֹרָה מֵינֶקֶת רִבְקָה וַתִּקָּבֵר מִתַּחַת לְבֵית־אֵל תַּחַת הָאַלּוֹן וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ אַלּוֹן בָּכוּת׃

9Hashem appeared again to Yaakov on his arrival from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.

טוַיֵּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶל־יַעֲקֹב עוֹד בְּבֹאוֹ מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ׃

10Hashem said to him, “You whose name is Yaakov, You shall be called Yaakov no more, But Yisrael shall be your name.” Thus He named him Yisrael.

יוַיֹּאמֶר־לוֹ אֱלֹהִים שִׁמְךָ יַעֲקֹב לֹא־יִקָּרֵא שִׁמְךָ עוֹד יַעֲקֹב כִּי אִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל יִהְיֶה שְׁמֶךָ וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

11And Hashem said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Be fertile and increase; A nation, yea an assembly of nations, Shall descend from you. Kings shall issue from your loins.

יאוַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אֱלֹהִים אֲנִי אֵל שַׁדַּי פְּרֵה וּרְבֵה גּוֹי וּקְהַל גּוֹיִם יִהְיֶה מִמֶּךָּ וּמְלָכִים מֵחֲלָצֶיךָ יֵצֵאוּ׃

12The land that I assigned to Avraham and Yitzchak I assign to you; And to your offspring to come Will I assign the land.”

v'-et ha-A-retz a-SHER na-TA-tee l'-av-ra-HAM ul-yitz-KHAK l'-KHA e-t'-NE-nah ul-zar-a-KHA a-kha-RE-kha e-TAYN et ha-A-retz

יבוְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לְאַבְרָהָם וּלְיִצְחָק לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה וּלְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ אֶתֵּן אֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃

13Hashem parted from him at the spot where He had spoken to him;

יגוַיַּעַל מֵעָלָיו אֱלֹהִים בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר אִתּוֹ׃

14and Yaakov set up a pillar at the site where He had spoken to him, a pillar of stone, and he offered a libation on it and poured oil upon it.

ידוַיַּצֵּב יַעֲקֹב מַצֵּבָה בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר אִתּוֹ מַצֶּבֶת אָבֶן וַיַּסֵּךְ עָלֶיהָ נֶסֶךְ וַיִּצֹק עָלֶיהָ שָׁמֶן׃

15Yaakov gave the site, where Hashem had spoken to him, the name of Beit El.

טווַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶת־שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אִתּוֹ שָׁם אֱלֹהִים בֵּית־אֵל׃

16They set out from Beit El; but when they were still some distance short of Efrat, Rachel was in childbirth, and she had hard labor.

טזוַיִּסְעוּ מִבֵּית אֵל וַיְהִי־עוֹד כִּבְרַת־הָאָרֶץ לָבוֹא אֶפְרָתָה וַתֵּלֶד רָחֵל וַתְּקַשׁ בְּלִדְתָּהּ׃

17When her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Have no fear, for it is another boy for you.”

יזוַיְהִי בְהַקְשֹׁתָהּ בְּלִדְתָּהּ וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ הַמְיַלֶּדֶת אַל־תִּירְאִי כִּי־גַם־זֶה לָךְ בֵּן׃

18But as she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Binyamin.

יחוַיְהִי בְּצֵאת נַפְשָׁהּ כִּי מֵתָה וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן־אוֹנִי וְאָבִיו קָרָא־לוֹ בִנְיָמִין׃

19Thus Rachel died. She was buried on the road to Efrat—now Beit Lechem.

va-ta-MAT ra-KHAYL va-ti-ka-VAYR b'-DE-rekh ef-RA-tah HEE BAYT LA-khem

יטוַתָּמָת רָחֵל וַתִּקָּבֵר בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶפְרָתָה הִוא בֵּית לָחֶם׃

 35:19   She was buried on the road to Efrat

Yaakov did not bury his beloved wife Rachel in the family plot in Chevron, but rather in nearby Beit Lechem. Rashi explains that Rachel was intentionally buried there in Beit Lechem, on the side of the road on which the Jews were forcibly marched into exile following the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash. At that devastating moment in Jewish history, the down­trodden people found comfort in Rachel’s holy resting spot as she entreated God’s mercy towards His people. This is alluded to in Yirmiyahu’s prophecy (Jeremiah 31:15-17) “A cry is heard in Rama — wailing, bitter weeping — Rachel is weeping for her children.” According to the Zohar, the Mashiach will ultimately lead the dispersed Jews along that same route, again passing Rachel’s grave as they are led back to their land and thus fulfilling the continuation of Yirmiyahu’s prophecy, “they shall return from the enemy’s land… the children shall return to their country.”  Today, Rachel’s Tomb on the outskirts of contemporary Bethlehem remains a popular destination for people to pour out their hearts in prayer for the day when all of Rachel’s descendants will pass her grave, on their way back home into Eretz Yisrael.

Jewish women praying at the tomb of Rachel in Beit Lechem.

Rachel’s Tomb in Beit Lechem, c. 1890

20Over her grave Yaakov set up a pillar; it is the pillar at Rachel's grave to this day.

כוַיַּצֵּב יַעֲקֹב מַצֵּבָה עַל־קְבֻרָתָהּ הִוא מַצֶּבֶת קְבֻרַת־רָחֵל עַד־הַיּוֹם׃

21Yisrael journeyed on, and pitched his tent beyond Migdal-eder.

כאוַיִּסַּע יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּט אָהֳלֹה מֵהָלְאָה לְמִגְדַּל־עֵדֶר׃

22While Yisrael stayed in that land, Reuven went and lay with Bilha, his father's concubine; and Yisrael found out. Now the sons of Yaakov were twelve in number.

כבוַיְהִי בִּשְׁכֹּן יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאָרֶץ הַהִוא וַיֵּלֶךְ רְאוּבֵן וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֶת־בִּלְהָה פִּילֶגֶשׁ אָבִיו וַיִּשְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי־יַעֲקֹב שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר׃

23The sons of Leah: ReuvenYaakov's first-born—Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Yissachar, and Zevulun.

כגבְּנֵי לֵאָה בְּכוֹר יַעֲקֹב רְאוּבֵן וְשִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי וִיהוּדָה וְיִשָּׂשכָר וּזְבוּלֻן׃

24The sons of Rachel: Yosef and Binyamin.

כדבְּנֵי רָחֵל יוֹסֵף וּבִנְיָמִן׃

25The sons of Bilha, Rachel's maid: Dan and Naftali.

כהוּבְנֵי בִלְהָה שִׁפְחַת רָחֵל דָּן וְנַפְתָּלִי׃

26And the sons of Zilpa, Leah's maid: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Yaakov who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

כווּבְנֵי זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחַת לֵאָה גָּד וְאָשֵׁר אֵלֶּה בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר יֻלַּד־לוֹ בְּפַדַּן אֲרָם׃

27And Yaakov came to his father Yitzchak at Mamre, at Kiryat Arba—now Chevron—where Avraham and Yitzchak had sojourned.

כזוַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב אֶל־יִצְחָק אָבִיו מַמְרֵא קִרְיַת הָאַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן אֲשֶׁר־גָּר־שָׁם אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק׃

28Yitzchak was a hundred and eighty years old

כחוַיִּהְיוּ יְמֵי יִצְחָק מְאַת שָׁנָה וּשְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה׃

29when he breathed his last and died. He was gathered to his kin in ripe old age; and he was buried by his sons Esau and Yaakov.

כטוַיִּגְוַע יִצְחָק וַיָּמָת וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל־עַמָּיו זָקֵן וּשְׂבַע יָמִים וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ עֵשָׂו וְיַעֲקֹב בָּנָיו׃