|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:16-20 Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children, she died! The death of the body is but the departure of the soul to the world of spirits. When shall we learn that it is God alone who really knows what is best for his people, and that in all worldly affairs the safest path for the Christian is to say from the heart, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. Here alone is our safety and our comfort, to know no will but his. Her dying lips called her newborn son Ben-oni, the son of my sorrow; and many a son proves to be the heaviness of her that bare him. Children are enough the sorrow of their mothers; they should, therefore, when they grow up, study to be their joy, and so, if possible, to make them some amends. But Jacob, because he would not renew the sorrowful remembrance of the mother's death every time he called his son, changed his name to Benjamin, the son of my right hand: that is, very dear to me; the support of my age, like the staff in my right hand.
Verse 19. - And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem - or House of Bread, about seven miles south of Jerusalem. It afterwards became the birthplace of David (1 Samuel 16:18) and of Christ (Matthew 2:1). The assertion that this clause is a later interpolation (Lunge) is unfounded (Kalisch, Kurtz).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. Hence called Bethlehem Ephratah, Micah 5:2; with great pertinency is Rachel represented as if risen from her grave, and weeping for her children, when the children of Bethlehem, and thereabout, were slain by Herod, she being buried so near that place, Matthew 2:16; at what age she died is not said. Polyhistor, out of Demetrius (d), reports, that she died after Jacob had lived with her twenty three years.
(d) Apnd Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 21. p. 424.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. Ephrath, which is Beth-lehem—The one, the old name; the other, the later name, signifying "house of bread."
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