Genesis 35:13-22

13 Then God went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him. 14 Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it.15 So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, 2Bethel.

16 Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labor. 17 When she was in severe labor the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” 18 It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him3Ben-oni; but his father called him 4Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21 Then Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

22 It came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it.

This must have been quite a blow to Israel. First, he’s erecting an altar to God, and is at the high point of his journey. Then his wife gives birth to her second son, and subsequently dies in childbirth. Then to top it all off, one of his sons sleeps with his concubine. In the middle of this, it is interesting to notice that he tries to stay positive. Rachel names the child Ben-oni (child of my suffering), but Israel renames him to Benjamin (son of my right hand). He knew that God was with him, and that no matter what happened, God was in control.

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