Genesis 35: Heading Back Home. Again.

Genesis 35: Heading Back Home. Again.

Journey through the Book of Genesis with me.  The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!

** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier! 

Genesis 35:1-29

discussion questions

QUESTION 1: Verse 8 - Why is Deborah (Rebekah’s nurse) mentioned in this context?

QUESTION 2: Why does God often repeat His promises? (v.9-12). Why did Jacob need to once again hear that his name would no longer be Jacob, but Israel? (v.9-11)

QUESTION 3: What is a “drink offering” and why was additional oil poured on the pillar of stone? (v.14)

QUESTION 4: Why in the world would Reuben engage in this incestuous act? (v.22). Was this purely a perverted act of lust or was this a challenge to his father’s position as head of the household, as was the case with king David and his son, Absalom in (2 Samuel 16:20-22)?

QUESTION 5: (verse 27) - Isaac is STILL ALIVE?!?!? Why did it take so long for Jacob to reunite with his father? Shouldn’t this reunion have taken place at the end of Genesis 33?


INSIGHT 1: Bethel is an important location Jacob continually relocates to.  It has great spiritual significance to the family.

  • In Genesis 12:8, Abram built an altar to the LORD there. 
  • In Genesis 28:10-19, God first met with Jacob there in a dream and Jacob set up a pillar there in honor of his meeting with God.
  • In Genesis 31:13, God acknowledges Bethel as a spiritually meaningful location where Jacob made vows to Him.

INSIGHT 2: Though Jacob has been in a close relationship with God, his family appears to NOT have followed suit. Jacob still had to instruct them to “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.” (V.2)

INSIGHT 3: God struck terror in the hearts of the cities Jacob’s family passed through because the murder incident from chapter 34 would have called for retribution from neighboring cities.

INSIGHT 4: This tactic of striking fear in the heart of the enemy is a strategy God has used on other occasions to protect his people. When Abimelech took Sarah from Abraham as his wife in Genesis 20, God struck fear in his heart in a dream so he was forced to return her to Abraham.

PRAYER: “LORD, strike terror in the hearts of those who oppose the work you have called me to do in your name. Let your fear cause them to fall to their knees and acknowledge that your hand is over my life and that Jesus Christ is King!”

INSIGHT 5: (Verse 18) Jacob seems to finally be letting go of his father-wounds from the past and stepping into his new identity as a friend of God. Whereas Rachel (on her death bed) names her child, “Ben-oni”, which means “son of my sorrow”, thereby associating him with her pain; Jacob renames him “Benjamin, meaning “son of the right hand”, thereby giving him a name with honor. Jacob’s sense of identity is no longer rooted in his past, but in his new identity in his relationship with God.

INSIGHT 6: Rachel’s death must have struck Jacob really hard. She is the reason why his family has grown so large. All Jacob wanted from the very beginning was to build a family with Rachel, just her (Genesis 29); though God would providentially accomplish HIS will through a larger family.

Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.