What does Genesis 35:26 mean?
ESV: The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
NIV: The sons of Leah's servant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
NASB: and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s female slave, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
CSB: The sons of Leah's slave Zilpah were Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
NLT: The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher. These are the names of the sons who were born to Jacob at Paddan-aram.
KJV: And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.
NKJV: and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.
Verse Commentary:
In this passage, all of Jacob's sons are recorded, grouped by their birth mother. Zilpah was Leah's personal servant, given to her by her father Laban (Genesis 29:24). Leah married Jacob only because her father, Laban, tricked Jacob, who wanted to marry Rachel (Genesis 29:25–28). Jacob's lack of affection for Leah led to a rivalry with Rachel (Genesis 29:30–31). This expressed itself, in part, in a competition about bearing his children. As Rachel did with her servant, Leah brought Zilpah into the marriage as a servant-wife to bear sons on her behalf. According to legal customs of the times, these would have been considered Leah's children.

In this way, Zilpah bore Gad (Genesis 30:11) and Asher (Genesis 30:13).

Aside from Benjamin, recently born to Rachel in the Promised Land of Canaan, Jacob's other 11 sons were all born when he lived and worked with his uncle and father-in-law, Laban, in Paddan-aram.

The list of sons is now complete; Jacob will have no others in this generation. These 12 will begin to fulfill God's promise to grow into multiple nations as they go on to have sons and grandsons of their own.
Verse Context:
Genesis 35:16–29 describes Jacob's painful losses following God's great blessing at Bethel. His beloved wife Rachel dies giving birth to his twelfth son, Benjamin. Jacob buries her and builds a stone pillar to mark her tomb. Next, his firstborn son, Reuben, defiles the family by sleeping with one of Jacob's servant-wives. Though Jacob seems to do nothing, at first, Reuben will lose his birthright as a result. Finally, Jacob's father Isaac dies at 180 years old. Jacob and Esau reunite to lay their father to rest at the family burial cave at Mamre. The rest of Genesis will explain how the people of Israel came to live in Egypt.
Chapter Summary:
God commands Jacob to build an altar to Him at Bethel. This will fulfill vows Jacob made after encountering the Lord for the first time, as he was fleeing for his life from Esau. Jacob rids his family of all their false idols and travels to Bethel. God appears to him again, reaffirming all the covenant promises. As they travel away, Rachel dies giving birth to Jacob's twelfth son. His first son, Reuben, sleeps with Jacob's servant-wife Bilhah, losing his birthright as a result. Finally, Jacob's father Isaac dies at 180 years old.
Chapter Context:
Recent events have left Jacob fearful of the people of the land. His sons slaughtered an entire town to avenge their sister's rape. However, God apparently uses this bloodshed to inspire fear. Nobody attacks Jacob's family as they travel to Bethel, setting up an altar and renewing their covenant with God. Rachel dies giving birth to Benjamin. Jacob's eldest son sleeps with one of his servant-wives, losing his birthright. Isaac dies, and Jacob and Esau bury him in the family burial cave in Mamre. The story then focuses on Jacob's sons, primarily Joseph, as the family finds themselves drawn into Egypt.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 5/21/2024 1:03:40 PM
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