Genesis 37:35 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 37:35, NIV: "All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. 'No,' he said, 'I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.' So his father wept for him."

Genesis 37:35, ESV: "All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him."

Genesis 37:35, KJV: "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."

Genesis 37:35, NASB: "Then all his sons and all his daughters got up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, 'Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.' So his father wept for him."

Genesis 37:35, NLT: "His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. 'I will go to my grave mourning for my son,' he would say, and then he would weep."

Genesis 37:35, CSB: "All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said. "I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning." And his father wept for him."

What does Genesis 37:35 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Convinced by his sons (Genesis 37:31–34) that his favorite son (Genesis 37:3–4) is dead, Jacob has entered a period of customary mourning. This included wearing rough clothes, tearing them, and openly expressing sorrow. He continues in this heartbroken state of mourning long past the customary week or month. He refuses all efforts to comfort him, even when his children apparently try to talk him into moving on. Instead, Jacob insists that he will continue in this state of intense anguish until he dies.

Jacob reveals his expectation that when he dies, he will go to a place known as sheol, where he expects to be reunited with Joseph. Ancient Israelites held only a vague set of beliefs about this part of the afterlife. Sheol wasn't pictured as a happy place, necessarily, but neither was it a place of torment. Rather, it was something of a shadowy underworld. Psalm 16:10 includes the confident statement that God would not abandon the writer's soul to sheol, looking forward to an existence with the Lord apart from that place.

The verse ends with a simple statement that Jacob wept for Joseph, indicating that his mourning was not a show. He was utterly devastated. This created discomfort for his older 10 sons, as well, as they watched their father suffer on and on because of their secret crime. This would even influence Judah, many years later, to offer his own freedom in exchange for sparing Jacob from another such experience (Genesis 44:18, 30–34).