Genesis 35:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 35:8, NIV: "Now Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth."

Genesis 35:8, ESV: "And Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth."

Genesis 35:8, KJV: "But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth."

Genesis 35:8, NASB: "Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the oak; and it was named Allon-bacuth."

Genesis 35:8, NLT: "Soon after this, Rebekah's old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means 'oak of weeping')."

Genesis 35:8, CSB: "Deborah, the one who had nursed and raised Rebekah, died and was buried under the oak south of Bethel. So Jacob named it Allon-bacuth."

What does Genesis 35:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Deborah was the nurse who travelled with Rebekah, Jacob's mother, when she met Isaac (Genesis 24:59). Rebekah is the one who urged Jacob to deceive his father Isaac to steal the family blessing (Genesis 27:14–17). When Rebekah's nurse died, she was buried beneath an oak tree in Bethel. This tree was given a name meaning "the oak of weeping." The inclusion of this detail, in this part of Scripture, raises some natural questions.

Taken as part of the natural flow of the story, this comment implies that Rebekah's nurse has been traveling with Jacob for some time. Rebekah has not been mentioned since shortly after Jacob left home (Genesis 27:46). She won't be brought up again until Joseph asks to be buried alongside her and other ancestors (Genesis 49:31). It's very likely Rebekah died while Jacob was in exile. Perhaps Deborah joined Jacob's family when he reunited with Esau (Genesis 33:4).

Another likely explanation is that this verse is a footnote. In other words, this fact is being included simply because Deborah was buried near the place now being discussed: Bethel. Scripture gives no other details, so we can't say for sure what happened. Her death might have occurred then, or earlier, or later.