The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Genesis
In the meanwhile, too, God had said to Jacob, Bestir thyself, go up to Bethel, and make thy dwelling there; there build an altar to the God who revealed himself to thee when thou wast in flight from thy brother Esau.
Whereupon Jacob summoned all his household; Cast away, he told them, whatever images of alien gods you have among you, purify yourselves, and put on fresh garments.
We must leave this, and go up to Bethel; there we must build an altar to the God who listened to me in time of trouble, and escorted me on my journey.
So they gave him all the images of alien gods that were in their possession, the rings, too, which they wore on their ears, and he buried them under the mastic-tree, close to the town of Sichem.
Thus they set out on their journey, and God inspired terror into the hearts of all who dwelt around them, so that they durst not pursue them as they went.
Jacob, then, with all his clan, made their way to Luza, which is now called Bethel,
and built an altar there. It was he who called the place Bethel, the house of God, because it was there God appeared to him when he was in flight from his brother.
It was at this time that Debora, Rebecca’s nurse, died; she was buried under an oak, by the spur of the hills where Bethel is, and the place came to be called, The Oak of Mourning.
Once again God revealed himself to Jacob, after his return from Mesopotamia of the Syrians, blessing him,
and assuring him, Thou shalt not be called Jacob any longer; Israel is to be thy name.
So, calling to him by this name of Israel, he said to him, I am God all-powerful, and I bid thee increase and multiply; peoples shall descend from thee, whole families of nations, and kings shall be born of thy stock;
and that land, which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give to thee and to thy posterity after thee.
Then God went away out of his sight;
and he built a monument of stone at the place where God had spoken to him, offering libations there and pouring oil upon it.
Bethel was the name he gave to the place,
and when he left it, in the spring, he journeyed into the country that lies towards Ephrata.✻ Here Rachel was in travail,
and the difficult labour she had was endangering her life; but the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid; this time, too, thou wilt give birth to a son.
But her life was ebbing away in her pangs; she saw that she was close to death, and called her son Benoni, the child of my distress. His father’s name for him was Benjamin, the child of his right hand.
So Rachel died, and was buried on the way that leads to Ephrata (the same as Bethlehem).
Over her tomb, Jacob raised a monument; it is called, to this day, the Pillar of Rachel’s Tomb.
And he went on from there, and pitched his tent on the further side of the Sheep-tower.
It was while he was living there that Ruben betook himself to his own father’s concubine, the one who was called Bala, and slept with her; nor did he contrive to keep Jacob in ignorance of it. Jacob had twelve sons altogether:
by Lia, this first-born son, Ruben, as well as Simeon, Levi, Juda, Issachar, and Zabulon;
by Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin;
by Bala, Rachel’s serving-woman, Dan and Nephthali;
by Zelpha, Lia’s serving-woman, Gad and Aser. These were Jacob’s sons, and Mesopotamia of the Syrians was their birth-place.
He went, too, to visit his father Isaac at Mambre, the city of Arbee, also called Hebron; here, as strangers, Abraham and Isaac had dwelt.
And now Isaac finished his life, of a hundred and eighty years;
he died at last, worn out with age, his tale of years complete. He too became a part of his people; and his two sons, Esau and Jacob, gave him burial.
The Holy Bible