Now Jacob's name is Israel.


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Genesis 35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”
2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.
8 Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.
9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel.
11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.
14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.
Here's the link to the commentary I use.

And change your garments: This was an important step, both literally and as a symbol of something spiritual. Jacob wanted them to be cleaned up and in their best frame of mind to come before the God they had neglected.​
And the earrings which were in their ears: Apparently, these earrings also had a pagan connection. Though one could find some justification for keeping the earrings, they got rid of them nonetheless.​
Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died: We know nothing of this woman before this account. Seemingly, she came with Rebekah as a companion when she came from Haran to marry Isaac. Obviously, she was a beloved member of the family, because they named the place where she was buried Allon Bachuth, which means “Oak of Weeping.”​

Rebekah’s nurse: Some commentators assume for some reason that she came to be in Jacob’s household, coming from his mother’s household, but we do not know for certain if this is the case.​
Then God appeared to Jacob again… and blessed him: When Jacob finally arrived at the place God told him to go, he immediately found great blessing. God appeared to him, God blessed him, and God called him by his new name (Israel).​
After screwing up the characters in yesterday's story, I have to be more careful this morning.

At any rate, Jacob, his wives, his sons, his only daughter, their slaves, and all the livestock, are now headed to Bethel [Seir] where they were supposed to go instead of Shechem. If Jacob had done as he was supposed to do.... Dinah would not have been defiled, and Shechem wouldn't have been destroyed.

The verses say God [not just some sheet kicking guy] changed Jacob's name to Israel.

Out of nowhere, Rebekah's nurse Deborah died. I didn't even know she was in the crowd. When did she get there? Where did she come from?

I assumed that Jacob [Israel] was alone when he ran from his home. After all he used a rock for a pillow [Genesis 28:11]. So, I assumed he didn't leave with a big entourage. I figured he was totally alone, so no one could tell Esau where to find him. I figured he was... alone... totally alone. Now Rebekah's nurse is in the crowd. Oh, this is confusing!

Look again... verse 8.... it looks like Deborah may not have been with Jacob [Israel] after all. Jacob [Israel] and company had just returned to Bethal [Verse 6]. So maybe Jacob [Israel] and company showed up just in time for a funeral. How sad... Rebekah would have been looking forward to seeing her favorite twin son, but alas, she is in mourning for her nurse. In this case the nurse would have been more like part of the family. Poor Rebekah.

I've heard a lot of sermons about verses 2-4. Those earrings really garnered a lot of attention.

The commentary says they might have been "charms".

At any rate the preachers say this is the first-time people cleaned up and dropped their gold and silver to worship God. No look... they handed over their earrings that were probably crafted in gold and silver... but the gold and silver weren't put in a collection plate... it was buried so no one would be worshipping other gods. Since it was followed by a drink offering... well that just sealed the deal for most preachers. Here's the first "get dressed we're going to church" mention in the Bible.

I'm pretty sure though, if you told the preacher you wanted to take all the riches in the church treasury and bury it... They would say you were insane and throw you out of church.

I wonder if Rachel got rid of the idols she had packed on her camel.

At any rate, Jacob [Israel] and company was back in Bethel, Canaan.

Now Jacob's name is Israel.