|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 20. - And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave (vide on ver. 14): that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day i.e. unto the times of Moses; but the site of Rachel's sepulcher was known so late as the age of Samuel (1 Samuel 10:2); and there seems no reason to question the tradition which from the fourth century has placed it within the Turkish chapel Kubbet Rachil, about half-an-hour's journey north of Bethlehem (Robinson, vol. L p. 322; Tristram, 'Land of Israel,' p. 404; Thomson, 'Land and Book,' p. 644; Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 149).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave,.... A sepulchral monument erected in memory of her; this according to Benjamin of Tudela (e) was made of twelve stones, according to the number of the sons of Jacob, and over it was a vault or roof, supported by four pillars:
that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day; it continued to the times of Moses, the writer of this history, and to the times of Samuel, as appears from 1 Samuel 10:2; and even travellers of late times affirm it to be seen still, to the north of Bethlehem, on the right hand of the way as you go from Bethlehem to Jerusalem; but the present sepulchral monument, as Mr. Maundrel says (f), can be none of that which Jacob erected, for it appears plainly to be a modern Turkish structure. Near the grave are found some little black stones, which strangers pick up, and are fancied to be helpful to women, to give them an easier birth, the same the above traveller says resemble peas. The Jews that pass by it were used to engrave their names on the stones, of the pillars (g).
(e) ltinerar. p. 47. (f) Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 87. (g) Benjamin. Itinerar. ib. Adrichom. Theatrum Terrae Sanct. p. 19. Bunting's Travels, p. 75.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. and Jacob set a pillar on her grave … unto this day—The spot still marked out as the grave of Rachel exactly agrees with the Scriptural record, being about a mile from Beth-lehem. Anciently it was surmounted by a pyramid of stones, but the present tomb is a Mohammedan erection.
Genesis 35:20 Parallel Commentaries
Genesis 35:20 NIV
Genesis 35:20 NLT
Genesis 35:20 ESV
Genesis 35:20 NASB
Genesis 35:20 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible