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Genesis 35:4 So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which they had, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was near Shechem.

< Genesis 35:3
Genesis 35:5 >

      4. they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods . . . and earrings--Strange gods, the "seraphim" (compare Ge 31:30), as well, perhaps, as other idols acquired among the Shechemite spoil--earrings of various forms, sizes, and materials, which are universally worn in the East, and, then as now, connected with incantation and idolatry (compare Ho 2:13). The decided tone which Jacob now assumed was the probable cause of the alacrity with which those favorite objects of superstition were surrendered.
      Jacob hid them under the oak--or terebinth--a towering tree, which, like all others of the kind, was a striking object in the scenery of Palestine; and beneath which, at Shechem, the patriarch had pitched his tent. He hid the images and amulets, delivered to him by his Mesopotamian dependents, at the root of this tree. The oak being deemed a consecrated tree, to bury them at its root was to deposit them in a place where no bold hand would venture to disturb the ground; and hence it was called from this circumstance--"the plain of Meonenim"--that is, "the oak of enchantments" (Jud 9:37); and from the great stone which Joshua set up--"the oak of the pillar" (Jud 9:6).

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About And Builds An Altar At Bethel?

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Polytheism?

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Genesis 35 Images and Notes

Brief Summary: God sends Jacob to Bethel, Jacob builds an altar at Bethel, The Lord appears to Jacob at bethel, The Lord renews the promise that Jacob will be a great nation, Jacob's name shall be Israel, Jacob builds an altar and pours a drink offering, Rachel bears a last child- Benjamin and dies in childbirth, Rachel is buried near Bethlehem, Reuben lays with Bilhah, Isaac dies and is buried by Jacob and Esau.

Outline
1 God sends Jacob to Bethel
2 Jacob puts away the strange gods from his household
6 He builds an altar at Bethel
8 Deborah dies
9 God blesses Jacob at Bethel
16 Rachel travails with Benjamin, and dies in the way to Bethlehem
23 The sons of Jacob
27 Jacob comes to Isaac at Hebron
28 The age, death, and burial of Isaac.

Quick Reference Map
Quick Reference Map of the Jordan River
Map of the Jordan River (Click to Enlarge)

Ancient Customs
strange gods
altar
change your garments
earrings
hid them under the oak
nurse
buried under an oak
name change
set up a pillar of stone
poured a drink offering
poured oil thereon
hard labour
midwife
buried
set a pillar upon her grave
concubine
handmaid

Ancient Topics
The terror of God
God Almighty
Israel
Allonbachuth

Ancient People
Jacob, Deborah, Rebekah, Rachael, Benjamin, Reuben, Bilhah, Isaac, Esau
Jacob's 12 sons

Geography
Bethel
Shechem
Luz
land of Canaan
Elbethel
Padanaram
Ephrath
The tower of Edar
Mamre
Arbah

The Old Testament

The Old Testament

Genesis Resources

Creation
Adam and Eve
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham the First Hebrew
Isaac, Son of Promise
Jacob and the 12 Tribes
Joseph and Egypt