Genesis 48:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 48:7, NIV: As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath' (that is, Bethlehem).

Genesis 48:7, ESV: As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

Genesis 48:7, KJV: And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.

Genesis 48:7, NASB: Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath. I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).'

Genesis 48:7, NLT: 'Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan-aram, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, some distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.'

Genesis 48:7, CSB: When I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, some distance from Ephrath in the land of Canaan. I buried her there along the way to Ephrath" (that is, Bethlehem).

What does Genesis 48:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob, on his deathbed, is meeting with Joseph and Joseph's two oldest sons Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 41:50–52). Jacob has just made what may have been a startling announcement: He is claiming Joseph's two oldest sons as his own sons and elevating them to the rank of his oldest sons. As a result, Joseph's sons will receive the birthright and a double portion of the family inheritance (Genesis 48:1–6).

There are several reasons why Jacob would do something so drastic. In part, he is holding his oldest two sons Reuben and Simeon accountable for their sins (Genesis 49:3–7). But now Jacob reveals another motive: his love and heartbreak over his late wife, Rachel (Genesis 29:18; 35:19; 37:3).

Jacob began this conversation with Joseph by remembering the promises God made to him at Bethel, also called Luz (Genesis 48:3–4). Immediately following that appearance from God, Jacob's beloved wife died in childbirth along the road while the family was traveling toward Bethlehem (Genesis 35:16–20). Jacob buried her body there and built a pillar over her grave.

Now Jacob, while blessing Joseph's sons, remembers that moment. Perhaps he is thinking of his own approaching death. Perhaps he is explaining how he wishes to honor her in elevating Joseph's sons to the level of his own sons. In a sense, this would increase the count of Rachel's "sons" from two to four. In any case, the loss of Rachel appears to be always near to Jacob's mind.