Genesis Chapter 34 brought us the story of Dinah being raped and Jacob’s sons seeking revenge. In Chapter 35, Jacob returns to Bethel.
“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.” – Genesis 35:3
It amazes me how easily society followed people who “heard” from God. What evidence do they have? No one would believe Jacob in today’s world. Well, a few will, but Jacob would come across as a Jim Jones or a David Koresh. No serious person would give Jacob’s words any weight. In Biblical times, however, it is simply taken as truth by everyone.
“God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.’” – Genesis 35:10
God appears forgetful here as he already told this to Jacob in Genesis 32.
“The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” – Genesis 35:12
Again, this is a land pre-occupied before Abraham arrived. This is a land that God gives to Jacob, completely ignoring the people already living there. Surely there is a land with no occupants, but God chooses war over peace.
“So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” – Genesis 35:19
Although we don’t know how old Rachel was at death, we do know she died giving birth, something that likely happened much more often in a world without modern medicine.
“Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years.” – Genesis 35:28
Scientifically impossible given today’s technology and even more so in a time without modern medicine. In addition, this breaks the covenant God made with Noah in Genesis 6.
To sum up, Jacob is traveling, Rachel dies during childbirth, and Isaac dies of old age, older than what the All-Mighty God commanded in Genesis 6.
Genesis – Chapter 36: Esau’s Descendants