Summary of Genesis 35:
After Levi and Simeon pillage Shechem, God tells Jacob to go to Bethel and build an altar there to worship Him.
Jacob instructs his household and his followers to get rid of their foreign gods, purify themselves and change their clothes.
Jacob buries all the foreign gods and earrings under an oak tree near Shechem.
God protects Jacob and his people from the attacks of the surrounding towns as they travel to Bethel.
Jacob arrives at Bethel (also called Luz) and builds an altar there, naming the place El Bethel (meaning “God of Bethel”).
Deborah, the nurse of Jacob’s mother Rebekah, dies and is buried under an oak tree near Bethel.
God appears to Jacob again and blesses him, confirming his new name Israel (meaning “he struggles with God”) and promising him a nation and kings from his descendants.
God also reaffirms His covenant to give the land of Canaan to Jacob and his descendants, as He did to Abraham and Isaac.
Jacob leaves Bethel and travels toward Ephrath (also called Bethlehem).
On the way, Rachel goes into labor and has a difficult delivery of her second son. As she is dying, she names her son Ben-Oni (meaning “son of my sorrow”), but Jacob renames him Benjamin (meaning “son of my right hand”).
Rachel dies and is buried on the way to Ephrath, and Jacob sets up a pillar over her grave.
Reuben, Jacob’s eldest son, sleeps with Bilhah, his father’s concubine and Rachel’s maid. This is rebellion against his father.
Summary of Genesis 36:
Genesis 36 records the genealogy of Esau, who is also called Edom. He is the brother of Jacob and the son of Isaac and Rebekah.
Esau marries three women from Canaan: Adah. He has five sons and one daughter by them.
Esau moves away from Jacob to the hill country of Seir, because their possessions are too great for them to live together in Canaan. He becomes the founder of the nation of Edom.
The chapter lists the names of Esau's grandsons and great-grandsons, who become the chiefs or rulers of Edom. Some of them are born to concubines or servants of Esau's sons.
The chapter also lists the names of the original inhabitants of Seir, who are called the Horites. They are also related to Esau by marriage or intermarriage. They have their own chiefs or rulers as well.
The chapter ends with a list of the kings who reigned in Edom before any king reigned over Israel. They are not related to Esau by blood, but by succession. They have different cities as their capitals.
Summary of Genesis 37-50:
God saves his family as a foreshadowing of how he will save the world. Forgiveness solves the problem of sin and allows for re-creation.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming royalty?
Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. These are the family records of Jacob. At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought a bad report about them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a long-sleeved robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him.
Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” “Are you really going to reign over us?” his brothers asked him. “Are you really going to rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.
Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” He told his father and brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Am I and your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
His brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers, you know, are pasturing the flocks at Shechem. Get ready. I’m sending you to them.” “I’m ready,” Joseph replied. Then Israel said to him, “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron Valley, and he went to Shechem.
“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph said. “Can you tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?” “They’ve moved on from here,” the man said. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert! So now, come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them. He said, “Let’s not take his life.” Reuben also said to them, “Don’t shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him”—intending to rescue him from them and return him to his father.
When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s robe, the long-sleeved robe that he had on. Then they took him and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty, without water. They sat down to eat a meal, and when they looked up, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balsam, and resin, going down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and his brothers agreed. When Midianite traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt.
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?” So they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. They sent the long-sleeved robe to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it. Is it your son’s robe or not?” His father recognized it. “It is my son’s robe,” he said. “A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces!” Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 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. Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guards.