Daily Bible Reading
1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.
7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
8 But Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.
9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.
10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.
11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.
13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.
15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.
19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.
21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.
22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid: Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.
27 And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.
29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
3 And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
4 And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
5 And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
6 And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.
7 For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.
9 And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:
10 These are the names of Esau’s sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.
11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.
13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.
14 And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,
16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.
17 And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.
18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife.
19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.
20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,
21 And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.
22 And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna.
23 And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
24 And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.
25 And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
26 And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
27 The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.
28 The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.
29 These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,
30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.
31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.
32 And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
33 And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
34 And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.
35 And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
38 And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
39 And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,
41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
42 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
43 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.
1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
12 And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.
Altars in our Lives
Genesis 35: 1 Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.”
There are a number of references in the Old Testament books where we come across this word ‘altar’.
- The first time it is mentioned is in the book of Genesis was when Noah and his family came out of the ark. Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The altar acts as a place of sacrifice. (Genesis 8:20)
- There are multiple instances when Abraham built altars. The Lord asks Abraham to leave his country, his relatives and his father’s family to the land where He will bless Abraham and make him into a great nation. Abraham departed as the Lord had instructed him and headed for the land of Canaan. When he arrived at Canaan, the Lord appeared unto him promising to give this land to His descendants. The 1st altar was built after he leaves his country trusting in God’s promises. He built altars in multiple places as he travelled through his journey. Abraham built altars as a memorial, every time the Lord appeared to him and revealed more about His character or His name. They also acted as a place of remembrance for the promises Abraham received from the Lord. (Genesis 12:7, 12:8 13:4, 13:18)
- Following his father, we see Abraham’s son Isaac building the altar. The Lord appears to Issac, promises to be with him, bless him and increase the number of his descendants for the sake of his servant Abraham. Here again the altar acts as a memorial of God’s appearance and promise. (Genesis 26:25)
Jacob receives his father Isaac’s blessings by deceiving his brother Esau. Foreseeing Esau’s attempt to take revenge on Jacob, he is sent to the land of his mother’s relatives, to be with Rebecca’s brother Laban. (Gensis Chapter 27). On his way, when he stops by the night to rest, Jacob has a dream.
Genesis 28:12-15 “As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
There, Jacob sets up an upright memorial pillar, anoints it and names that place Bethel (“house of God”). He also makes his vows. Genesis 28:20 “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God.”
After many years of serving his uncle Labon, Jacob reaches a certain point when they aren’t on good terms anymore. The Lord asks Jacob to return to his father Isaac’s land. Realizing the threat and danger to his family from his brother Esau, he seeks the Lord again for His favor. This is a significant turning point in Jacob’s life. He wrestles with God for His blessings. God changes his name to Israel. Genesis 32:28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” After reconciling with his brother Esau, Jacob arrives at Canaan and builds an altar. Genesis 33:20 “And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel (the God of Israel).”
In today’s reading, (Genesis chapter 35), we see God asking Jacob to move back to Bethel and build an altar where He first appeared to him, when he fled from his brother Esau. After Jacob and his household arrive at Bethel in Canaan, Jacob builds an altar there and names the place El-bethel (“God of Bethel”). When Jacob returns back to the place of his encounter with God, God appears to him once again & blesses him, reconfirming the 2nd time his name change and covenant with him.
Genesis 35:10-15 “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.” So God renamed him Israel. Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob. Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil. And Jacob named the place Bethel (“house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.”
Here the altar acts as a memorial of the Lord’s appearance, His deliverance and protection, and fulfillment of His promises (Genesis 28:15). Wherever we are in our life’s journey, we need to constantly return back to the place of our encounter with God, bring to remembrance the promises from Him and our vows to Him. He is always faithful to order our steps towards fulfillment of His blessings and promises. Let’s keep in remembrance the altars we have built along the way, that act as a memorial, place of remembrance of His promises and revelation of God’s character and attributes.