Old Testament

The Pentateuch

What important events happened in Jacob’s family after his name was changed?

After Jacob and his family had a reunion with Esau, Jacob and Esau went their separate ways again. As Jacob and his family traveled, Rachel, who was pregnant, went into labor. “After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, ‘Don’t be afraid—you have another son!’ Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named him Ben-oni; the baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin.” (NLT, Genesis 35:17) So Jacob lost his beloved wife and gained a new son.

Also, it was during this time that Isaac died. “Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years.” (NIV, Genesis 35:29)

Something else happened. One verse sums it up: “While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard of it.” (NRSV, Genesis 35:22) Israel heard of it—and then what? That is it. That is all that is said about the incident—right then, anyway. The incident came back to haunt Reuben when Israel doled out blessings to his sons on his deathbed: “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the first fruits of my vigor, excelling in rank and excelling in power. Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel because you went up unto your father’s bed; then you defiled it—you went up onto my couch!” (NRSV, Genesis 49:3–4)


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Bible Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App