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Genesis 35:16-26, The Birth of Benjamin and Death of Rachel

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel was in childbirth, and she had a difficult labour.
— Genesis 35:16

NL Daily Devotion for Thursday, September 20, 2018

 Woman in labor.

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


Guys are wimps compared to women. My wife, Carol, is a rockstar and superbly tough. I know this because she gave birth to our first son, Joshua, without any pain control at all in the hospital.

The death of Rachel (all too common, especially in pre-modern times) was met with the birth of a child. The promise continued, despite all that had happened.

It's reassuring to me that Israel chose to remember Rachel, for all that she was—the mother of a burgeoning new nation to bring about the Messiah . . . eventually.


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Genesis 35:16-26

Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel was in childbirth, and she had a difficult labour. When she was in her difficult labour, the midwife said to her, ‘Do not be afraid; for now you will have another son.’ As her soul was departing (for she died), she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), and Jacob set up a pillar at her grave; it is the pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day. Israel journeyed on, and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard of it.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid: Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maid: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

 

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