Genesis 35

Genesis 35


GodI said to Jacob,II “Arise,III go upIV to Bethel,V

Notes on verse 1a

I “God” = Elohim.
II “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
III “arise” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
IV “go up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
V “Bethel” = Bethel. Related to “God” in v1. From bayit (house, household, palace, dungeon); {from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively)} + el (see note I above). This is Bethel, literally meaning “house of God.”

and settleVI there. MakeVII an altarVIII there to the GodIX

Notes on verse 1b

VI “settle” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
VII “make” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
VIII “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
IX “God” = El. Related to “God” and “Bethel” in v1. See note I above.

who appearedX to you when you fledXI fromXII your brotherXIII Esau.”XIV 

Notes on verse 1c

X “appeared” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XI “fled” = barach. This is to flee, drive away, hurry, to bolt.
XII “from” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XIII “brother” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.
XIV “Esau” = Esav. Related to “make” in v1. From asah (to squeeze, handle, or press) OR from asah see note VII above). This is Esau, perhaps meaning rough as something one handles. It could also be doer, maker, or worker. See

So Jacob said to his householdXV and to all who were with him, “Put awayXVI the foreignXVII godsXVIII that are amongXIX you,

Notes on verse 2a

XV “household” = bayit. Related to “Bethel” in v1. See note V above.
XVI “put away” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
XVII “foreign” = nekar. From the same as neker (misfortune, disaster). This is foreign or something that is foreign i.e. strange.
XVIII “gods” = elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.
XIX “among” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.

and purifyXX yourselves, and changeXXI your clothes;XXII 

Notes on verse 2b

XX “purify” = taher. This is properly being bright, which implies being pure or clean. This word can also mean purge, cleanse, or purify. It can be clean in a ritual sense or a moral one (i.e. moral or holy).
XXI “change” = chalaph. This is to slide by or rush like a flood. It can mean to pass through, change, sprout, renew, break a promise, pierce, or violate.
XXII “clothes” = simlah. Perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is mantle, clothes, wrapper.

then come,XXIII let us go up to Bethel, that I may make an altar there to the GodXXIV who answeredXXV me in the day of my distressXXVI

Notes on verse 3a

XXIII “come” = qum. Same as “arise” in v1. See note III above.
XXIV “God” = El. Same as “God” in v1. See note IX above.
XXV “answered” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by xtension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
XXVI “distress” = tsarah. From tsar (properly, a narrow or constricted place; figuratively, trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress); from tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). This is tightness, distress, affliction, trouble, or adversary.

and has beenXXVII with me whereverXXVIII I have gone.”XXIX 

Notes on verse 3b

XXVII “been” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
XXVIII “wherever” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
XXIX “gone” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.

4 So they gaveXXX to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had,XXXI and the ringsXXXII that were in their ears;XXXIII

Notes on verse 4a

XXX “gave” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
XXXI “had” = yad. Literally “in their hands.” This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
XXXII “rings” = nezem. 17x in OT. This is a ring worn for decorative reasons. It also includes earrings, nose rings, or other jewels.
XXXIII “ears” = ozen. This is ear, hearing, audience, show. Properly, it is broadness – applied to its ear in reference to its shape.

and Jacob hidXXXIV them under the oakXXXV that was near Shechem.XXXVI

Notes on verse 4b

XXXIV “hid” = taman. This is to hide, bury, keep in reserve. It is hiding something by covering it.
XXXV “oak” = elah. 13x in OT. From ayil (terebinth, oak); from the same as ulam (porch, hall); from the same as ul (mighty, strength, body, belly; root may mean to twist and that implies strength and power). This is an oak or terebinth. It could some other kind of tree that is strong.
XXXVI “Shechem” = Shekem. From the same as shekem (shoulder, neck, or some other place that bears burdens; figuratively, the spur of a hill, or one’s allotted portion); from shakam (to rise early, begin work early; properly, this is leaning one’s shoulder or back into a load or a burden; also, loading an animal for work). This is Shechem, meaning “ridge.”

5 As they journeyed,XXXVII a terrorXXXVIII from GodXXXIX fellXL upon the citiesXLI

Notes on verse 5a

XXXVII “journeyed” = nasa. This is properly pulling up as when one pulls up tent pegs or stakes. This would imply striking tents in order to start a journey. So this could be bring, pullout, set out, journey, or cause to go away.
XXXVIII “terror” = chittah. 1x in OT. From chathath (to be shattered, crack, terrify, discourage, break down; it could be beaten down violently or from confusion or terror). This is a terror or fear.
XXXIX “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.
XL “fell” = hayah. Same as “been” in v3. See note XXVII above.
XLI “cities” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

all aroundXLII them, so that no one pursuedXLIII them.XLIV 

Notes on verse 5b

XLII “all around” = sabib. From sabab (turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch; to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense). This is a circuit or a circle. It could refer to an environment, one’s neighbors, or a circular path round about.
XLIII “pursued” = radaph. This is to chase after, pursue, hunt, or persecute. It is running after someone or something, generally with hostile motives.
XLIV {untranslated} = ben + Yaaqob. Ben is related to “Bethel” in v1 & “household” in v2. Perhaps from banah (see note V above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Yaaqob is the same as “Jacob” in v1. See note II above.

6 Jacob cameXLV to LuzXLVI (that is, Bethel), which is in the landXLVII of Canaan,XLVIII he and all the peopleXLIX who were with him, 

Notes on verse 6

XLV “came” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XLVI “Luz” = Luz. 8x in OT. Probably from the same as luz (almond tree or almond wood; may also be hazel) OR from luz (to turn aside). The is Luz, meaning “almond tree” or “twisted.” See
XLVII “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XLVIII “Canaan” = Kna’an. From kana’ (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled. This could mean lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt. See
XLIX “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

and there he builtL an altar and calledLI the placeLII ElLIII-bethel,

Notes on verse 7a

L “built” = banah. Related to “Bethel” in v1 & “household” in v2 & {untranslated} in v5. See note V above.
LI “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
LII “place” = maqom. Related to “arise” in v1. From qum (see note III above). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
LIII “El” = El. Same as “God” in v1. See note IX above.

because it was there that GodLIV had revealedLV himself to him when he fled fromLVI his brother. 

Notes on verse 7b

LIV “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.
LV “revealed” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.
LVI {untranslated} = paneh. Literally “from the face of.” From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

And Deborah,LVII Rebekah’sLVIII nurse,LIX died,LX

Notes on verse 8a

LVII “Deborah” = Deborah. 10x in OT. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss) OR from the same as deborah (bee); {from dabar (see above)}. This is Deborah, meaning “bee” or “formalizer.” See
LVIII “Rebekah’s” = Ribqah. From the same as marbeq (fattened, a stall used for housing cattle; root may mean to tie up). This is Rebekah, perhaps meaning tied up or secured. See
LIX “nurse” = yanaq. This is to suckle or to nurse. In a causative sense, it can mean to give milk. So, this word can be used for a nursing mother or for her suckling child.
LX “died” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.

and she was buried under an oakLXI below Bethel. So it was calledLXII Allon-bacuth.LXIII

Notes on verse 8b

LXI “oak” = allon. Related to “oak” in v4. 8x in OT. From the same as allah (oak); from elah (see note XXXV above). This is an oak.
LXII “called” = qara + shem. Literally “its name was called.” Qara is the came as “called” in v7. See note LI above. Shem may be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
LXIII “Allon-bacuth” = Allon Baukuth. Related to “oak” in v8. 1x in OT. From allon (see note LXI above) + bekith (weeping, mourning);{from bakah (to weep, complain, lament)}. This is Allon-bacuth, meaning “oak of weeping.”

GodLXIV appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram,LXV and he blessedLXVI him. 

Notes on verse 9

LXIV “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.
LXV “Paddan-aram” = Paddan aram. 11x in OT. From pada (“to upgrade the operating standard) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense) OR from pada (see above) + aram (Aram, Syria, Mesopotamia – meaning elevated or citadel); {perhaps from armon (any fortified building – castle, citadel, palace)}. This is Paddan-aram, perhaps meaning “ultimate upgrade,” “plain of Aram,” “elevated ransom,” or “new Aramaic standard.” See
LXVI “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.

10 GodLXVII said to him, “Your nameLXVIII is Jacob; no longer shall you be called Jacob, but IsraelLXIX shall be your name.” So he was called Israel. 

Notes on verse 10

LXVII “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.
LXVIII “name” = shem. Same as “called” in v7. See note LXII above.
LXIX “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “God” and “Bethel” and “God” in v1. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note I above). This is God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

11 GodLXX said to him, “I am GodLXXI Almighty:LXXII be fruitfulLXXIII and multiply;LXXIV

Notes on verse 11a

LXX “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.
LXXI “God” = El. Same as “God” in v1. See note IX above.
LXXII “Almighty” = Shaddai. Perhaps from shadad (to ruin, assault, devastate, oppress, destroy completely; properly, it is being burly; figuratively it is something that is powerful) OR from shed (protective spirit) OR shadah (to moisten) OR shad (breast). Perhaps meaning almighty, “my destroyer,” “my protective spirit,” “my rainmaker,” “self-sufficient, “who is abundantly,” or “breasted one” – as the one who abundantly provides or grants fertility/abundance to humans. See
LXXIII “be fruitful” = parah. This is to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase. It is bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXIV “multiply” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.

a nationLXXV and a companyLXXVI of nations shall comeLXXVII from you, and kings shall springLXXVIII from you.LXXIX 

Notes on verse 11b

LXXV “nation” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
LXXVI “company” = qahal. This is an assembly, congregation, or multitude.
LXXVII “come” = hayah. Same as “been” in v3. See note XXVII above.
LXXVIII “spring” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXIX {untranslated} = chalats. Literally “from your loins.” 10x in OT. From chalats (to arm, give strength). This is loins or waist. Figuratively, this refers to fertility or vigor.

12 The land that I gave to AbrahamLXXX and IsaacLXXXI I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspringLXXXII after you.” 

Notes on verse 12

LXXX “Abraham” = Abraham. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
LXXXI “Isaac” = Yitschaq. From tsachaq (to laugh, mock, play, make sport; this is laughing out loud whether in joy or in a scornful way). This is Isaac, meaning “he laughs.”
LXXXII “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.

13 Then GodLXXXIII went up from him at the place where he had spokenLXXXIV with him. 14 Jacob set upLXXXV a pillarLXXXVI in the place where he had spoken with him,

Notes on verses 13-14a

LXXXIII “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.
LXXXIV “spoken” = dabar. Related to “Deborah” in v8. See note LVII above.
LXXXV “set up” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.
LXXXVI “pillar” = matstsebah. Related to “set up” in v14. From natsab (see note LXXXV above). This is literally something that is stationed. So, it could refer to a column, a stump, some kind of image or idol, or a garrison.

a pillarLXXXVII of stone;LXXXVIII and he poured outLXXXIX a drink offeringXC on it,

Notes on verse 14b

LXXXVII “pillar” = matstsebeth. Related to “set up” and “pillar” in v14. 6x in OT. From matstebah (see note LXXXVI above). This is something standing like a pillar or stone. It can also refer to a tree stump.
LXXXVIII “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
LXXXIX “poured out” = nasak. This is to cover, pour out, offer like a libation, or to cast like one casts metal. By analogy, it can mean anointing a king
XC “drink offering” = nesek. Related to “poured out” in v14. From nasak (see note LXXXIX above). This is a drink offering or a molten image.

and pouredXCI oilXCII on it. 15 So Jacob calledXCIII the place where GodXCIV had spoken with him Bethel.

Notes on verses 14c-15

XCI “poured” = yatsaq. This is to pour out, flow, wash away, or overflow. It can imply melting as one does to cast metal. By extension, it can refer to something being steadfast, stiffened, firmly in place.
XCII “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
XCIII “called” = qarashem. Same as “called” in v8. See note LXII above.
XCIV “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note I above.

16 Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when they were still some distanceXCV from Ephrath,XCVI RachelXCVII was in childbirth,XCVIII and she had hard labor.XCIX 

Notes on verse 16

XCV “were still some distance” = hayah + od + kibrah + erets + bo. Literally “there was still a little land to go.” Hayah is the same as “been” in v3. See note XXVII above. Kibrah is 3x in OT. From kebar (an amount of time, awhile, formerly, to this point); from kabar (to be many, multiply, increase amount or quality; properly, this is to braid or weave together). This is a distance or length. Erets is the same as “land” in v6. See note XLVII above. Bo is the same as “came” in v6. See note XLV above.
XCVI “Ephrath” = Ephrath. 10x in OT. From the same as apher (covering, ashes, bandage); from the same as epher (ashes or dust – properly something strewn) OR from parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense) OR from parar (to divide, split) OR from apar (to be exhausted). This is Ephrath or Ephrathah. It is a female name and the name of several places, including Bethlehem. It may mean “fruitfulness,” “exhausted,” “worthless,” or “fruitful.” See
XCVII “Rachel” = Rachel. From the same as rachel (a ewe, sheep). Its root may refer to travelling. This is Rachel, meaning “ewe.”
XCVIII “was in childbirth” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
XCIX “had hard labor” = qashah + yalad. Literally “was difficult to labor for her.” Qashah is to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe. Yalad is the same as “was in childbirth” in v16. See note XCVIII above.

17 CWhen she was in her hard labor, the midwifeCI said to her, “Do not be afraid;CII for now you will have another son.”CIII 

Notes on verse 17

C {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “been” in v3. See note XXVII above.
CI “midwife” = yalad. Same as “was in childbirth” in v16. See note XCVIII above.
CII “be afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
CIII “son” = ben. Same as {untranslated} in v5. See note XLIV above.

18 CIVAs her soulCV was departingCVI (for she died),

Notes on verse 18a

CIV {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “been” in v3. See note XXVII above.
CV “soul” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
CVI “departing” = yatsa. Same as “spring” in v11. See note LXXVIII above.

she namedCVII him Ben-oni;CVIII but his fatherCIX called him Benjamin.CX 

Notes on verse 18b

CVII “named” = qara + shem. Literally “called his name.” Same as “called” in v8. See note LXII above.
CVIII “Ben-oni” = Ben-oni. Related to “Bethel” in v1 & “household” in v2 & {untranslated} in v5 & “built” in v7. 1x in OT. From ben (see note XLIV above) + aven (root may mean panting as one does when expending a lot of energy, especially when it comes to nothing; nothingness, trouble, sorrow, distress, wickedness, evil, harm, sorrow, misfortune, and mischief.; used specifically to refer to idols). This is Ben-oni, meaning “son of my sorrow.”
CIX “father” = ab. Related to “Abraham” in v12. See note LXXX above.
CX “Benjamin” = Binyamin. Related to “Bethel” in v1 & “household” in v2 & {untranslated} in v5 & “built” in v7 & “Ben-oni” in v18. From ben (see note XLIV above) + from yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south); {perhaps yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm)}. This is Benjamin, meaning “son of the right hand.” It could refer to Benjamin himself, his offspring, their tribe, or their territory.

19 So Rachel died, and she was buried on the wayCXI to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem),CXII 20 and Jacob set up a pillarCXIII at her grave;CXIV it is the pillarCXV of Rachel’s tomb,CXVI which is there to this day. 

Notes on verses 19-20

CXI “way” = derek. Same as “wherever” in v3. See note XXVIII above.
CXII “Bethlehem” = Beth lechem. Related to “Bethel” in v1 & “household” in v2 & {untranslated} in v5 & “built” in v7 & “Ben-oni” in v18 & “Benjamin” in v18. From bayit (see note V above) + lechem (bread, food, loaf; food for people or for animals); {from lacham (to eat, feed on; figuratively, to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction)}. This is Bethlehem, meaning “house of bread.”
CXIII “pillar” = matstsebah. Same as “pillar” in v14. See note LXXXVI above.
CXIV “grave” = qeburah. Related to “buried” in v8. 14x in OT. From qebar (to bury). This is the place of burial or the act of burial.
CXV “pillar” = matstsebeth. Same as “pillar” in v14. See note LXXXVII above.
CXVI “tomb” = qeburah. Same as “grave” in v20. See note CXIV above.

21 Israel journeyed on, and pitchedCXVII his tentCXVIII beyond the tower of Eder.CXIX

Notes on verse 21

CXVII “pitched” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
CXVIII “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
CXIX “tower of Eder” = Migdal-eder. 1x in OT. From migdal (tower, podium, bed of flowers); {from gadal (to grow, grow up, be great, magnify, exalt)} + eder (arrangement – of animals, a flock or herd); {from adar (fail, missing) OR from adar (to dig, help, keep rank; properly, to muster troops as for battle; to miss or lack since you can see who is missing following muster; to arrange like a vineyard and so to hoe)}. This is Migdal-eder or Tower of Eder. It may mean “flock tower” or “tower of a flock.”

22 CXXWhile Israel livedCXXI in that land, ReubenCXXII went and lay withCXXIII BilhahCXXIV his father’s concubine; and Israel heardCXXV of it.

Notes on verse 22a

CXX {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “been” in v3 See note XXVII above.
CXXI “lived” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
CXXII “Reuben” = Reuben. Related to “appeared” in v1 &– rel to “Bethel” in v1 & “household” in v2 & {untranslated} in v5 & “built” in v7 & “Ben-oni” in v18 & “Benjamin” in v18 & “Bethlehem” in v19. From raah (see note X above) + ben (see note XLIV above). This is Reuben, meaning “behold a son.”
CXXIII “lay with” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
CXXIV “Bilhah” = Bilhah. 11x in OT. From balahh (to be afraid, to palpitate) OR from balah (to wear out). This is Bilhah, perhaps meaning “timid,” “trouble,” “foolish,” or “calamity.” It is also a place. See
CXXV “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve.CXXVI 23 The sons of Leah:CXXVII Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn),CXXVIII Simeon,CXXIX Levi,CXXX

Notes on verses 22b-23a

CXXVI “twelve” = shenayim + asar. Shenayim is from sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple. Asar is from the same as eser (ten). This is ten or -teen.
CXXVII “Leah” = Leah. From laah (to be weary or exhausted, parched, faint, or tired; to be impatient or have a hard time; figuratively, being grieved or disgusted). This is Leah, meaning “weary” or “wild cow.” See
CXXVIII “firstborn” = bekor. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is firstborn or chief.
CXXIX “Simeon” = Shimon. Related to “heard” in v22. From shama (see note CXXV above). This is Simeon, one of Jacob’s children, his descendants, and their tribe. It means “hearing.”
CXXX “Levi” = Levi. Perhaps from lavah (to join, twine, unite, remain, borrow, lend). This is Levi, perhaps meaning “attached.” It can refer to Jacob’s son, his tribe, and descendants.

Judah,CXXXI Issachar,CXXXII and Zebulun.CXXXIII 24 The sons of Rachel: JosephCXXXIV and Benjamin. 

Notes on verses 23b-24

CXXXI “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
CXXXII “Issachar” = Yissaskar. Perhaps from nasa (to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively; to carry, take, or arise; to bring forth, advance, accept) + sakar (wages, payment, service, salary, worth, reward, or benefit); {from sakar (to hire, reward, earn)} OR ish (man); {perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail} + sakar (see above). This is Issachar, one of Jacob’s children and his tribe. It may mean “there is recompense,” “man of hire,” “he is wages,” or “he will bring a reward.” See
CXXXIII “Zebulun” = Zebulun. From zabal (to dwell, inclose, reside). This is Zebulun, that tribe, or their territory. It means “habitation.”
CXXXIV “Joseph” = Yoseph. From yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases” or “let him add.”

25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid:CXXXV DanCXXXVI and Naphtali.CXXXVII 

Notes on verse 25

CXXXV “maid” = shiphchah. Root means spreading out. The same root is used in mishpachah, which means family (spread out in offspring). This is maid, maidservant, or female slave.
CXXXVI “Dan” = Dan. From din (to judge, defend, dispute, govern, quarrel, plead). This is Dan or a Danite. It means “judge” and can refer to Dan, his tribe, or the lands of the tribe.
CXXXVII “Naphtali” = Naphtali. From pathal (to twist, twine, wrestle, struggle, behave in an unsavory way). This is Naphtali, meaning “my wrestling.” It can refer to Naphtali, his tribe, or the lands of the tribe.

26 The sons of Zilpah,CXXXVIII Leah’s maid: GadCXXXIX and Asher.CXL These were the sons of Jacob who were bornCXLI to him in Paddan-aram.

Notes on verse 26

CXXXVIII “Zilpah” = Zilpah. 7x in OT. Perhaps from zalaph (drip, sprinkle, pour – as fragrance or myrrh does). This is Zilpah, meaning “drop” or “sprinkle.” See
CXXXIX “Gad” = Gad. Perhaps from gad (fortune, troop; Gad, the name of a god of Babylon); from gad (fortunate, a troop); from gud (to invade, overcome, attack). This is Gad, one of Jacob’s children, his tribe and the land they settled. It means “fortune” or ”fortunate.”
CXL “Asher” = Asher. From ashar (to go straight, lead, guide; to be level and so to be right, blessed, honest, happy). This is Asher, one of Jacob’s children and his tribe. It means “happy one.”
CXLI “were born” = yalad. Same as “was in childbirth” in v16. See note XCVIII above.

27 Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre,CXLII or Kiriath-arbaCXLIII (that is, Hebron),CXLIV where Abraham and Isaac had resided as aliens.CXLV 

Notes on verse 27

CXLII “Mamre” = Mamre. 10x in OT. Perhaps from mara (to rebel, flap wings, whip, be filthy). This is Mamre a personal name and a place name. It may mean vigor or lusty.
CXLIII “Kiriath-arba” = Qiryath Arba. 9x in OT. From qiryah (city, building); from qarah (to happen, meet, bring about)} + arba (four); {from raba (to make square or be four-sided); perhaps from raba (to lie down flat; can be to lie for mating)}. This is Kiriath-arba, meaning “city of the four” or “four-fold city.” See
CLXIV “Hebron” = Chebron. From cheber (company, society, enchantment, wide); from chabar (to unite, ally, attach, touch; to join in a literal or figurative sense; also, specially, using magic knots or spells to fascinate or connect). This is Hebron, meaning “seat of association” or “league.”
CXLV “resided as aliens” = gur. Properly, this is the act of turning off the road for any reason. So, it means sojourning, becoming a guest. It can mean being fearful since one is outside of home territory. It can also mean dwelling, living, or inhabiting if one has turned off the root to encamp for a longer duration. This word is where the Hebrew “ger” comes from, which is the word translated “stranger” or “resident alien.”

28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred eightyCXLVI years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last;CXLVII he died and was gatheredCXLVIII to his people, oldCXLIX and fullCL of days; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Notes on verses 28-29

CXLVI “eighty” = shemonim. Related to “oil” in v14. From shemoneh (eight; can be figurative for surplus); perhaps from shamen (see note XCII above). This is eighty.
CXLVII “breathed his last” = gava. This is to breathe out, which implies expire or die.
CXLVIII “gathered” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
CXLIX “old” = zaqen. From the same as zaqan (beard or chin – the beard represents old age). This is old, aged, or elder.
CL “full” = sabea. 8x in OT. From saba (to be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense; to have plenty of). This is satisfied, full, ripe. It can be sated in a good or unpleasant way. Frequently used to say someone (Abraham, Isaac, Job) is “full of years” when they die.

Image credit: “Rachel’s Death after the Birth of Benjamin” by Gustav Ferdinand Metz, circa 1847.

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