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Genesis 35:1-3

Context
The Return to Bethel

35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up at once 1  to Bethel 2  and live there. Make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 3  35:2 So Jacob told his household and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have among you. 4  Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 5  35:3 Let us go up at once 6  to Bethel. Then I will make 7  an altar there to God, who responded to me in my time of distress 8  and has been with me wherever I went.” 9 

1 tn Heb “arise, go up.” The first imperative gives the command a sense of urgency.

2 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

3 sn God is calling on Jacob to fulfill his vow he made when he fled from…Esau (see Gen 28:20-22).

4 tn Heb “which are in your midst.”

5 sn The actions of removing false gods, becoming ritually clean, and changing garments would become necessary steps in Israel when approaching the Lord in worship.

6 tn Heb “let us arise and let us go up.” The first cohortative gives the statement a sense of urgency.

7 tn The cohortative with the prefixed conjunction here indicates purpose or consequence.

8 tn Heb “day of distress.” See Ps 20:1 which utilizes similar language.

9 tn Heb “in the way in which I went.” Jacob alludes here to God’s promise to be with him (see Gen 28:20).



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