Genesis 35:11
And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) God Almighty.—Heb., El-shaddai, the name by which God had entered into the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:1).

A company.—Heb., a congregation of nations. (See Genesis 28:3, where it is “a congregation,” or church, “of peoples.”)

35:6-15 The comfort the saints have in holy ordinances, is not so much from Beth-el, the house of God, as from El-beth-el, the God of the house. The ordinances are empty things, if we do not meet with God in them. There Jacob buried Deborah, Rebekah's nurse. She died much lamented. Old servants in a family, that have in their time been faithful and useful, ought to be respected. God appeared to Jacob. He renewed the covenant with him. I am God Almighty, God all-sufficient, able to make good the promise in due time, and to support thee and provide for thee in the mean time. Two things are promised; that he should be the father of a great nation, and that he should be the master of a good land. These two promises had a spiritual signification, which Jacob had some notion of, though not so clear and distinct as we now have. Christ is the promised Seed, and heaven is the promised land; the former is the foundation, and the latter the top-stone, of all God's favours.God appears to Jacob again at Bethel, and renews the promise made to him there Genesis 28:13-14. Again. The writer here refers to the former meeting of God with Jacob at Bethel, and thereby proves himself cognizant of the fact, and of the record already made of it. "When he went out of Padan-aram." This corroborates the explanation of the clause, Genesis 35:6, "which is in the land of Kenaan." Bethel was the last point in this land that was noticed in his flight from Esau. His arrival at the same point indicates that he has now returned from Padan-aram to the land of Kenaan. "He called his name Israel." At Bethel he renews the change of name, to indicate that the meetings here were of equal moment in Jacob's spiritual life with that at Penuel. It implies also that this life had been declining in the interval between Penuel and Bethel, and had now been revived by the call of God to go to Bethel, and by the interview.

The renewal of the naming aptly expresses this renewal of spiritual life. "I am God Almighty." So he proclaimed himself before to Abraham Genesis 17:1. "Be fruitful, and multiply." Abraham and Isaac had each only one son of promise. But now the time of increase is come. Jacob has been blessed with eleven sons, and at least one daughter. And now he receives the long-promised blessing, "be fruitful and multiply." From this time forth the multiplication of Israel is rapid. In twenty-six years after this time he goes down into Egypt with seventy souls, besides the wives of his married descendants, and two hundred and ten years after that Israel goes out of Egypt numbering about one million eight hundred thousand. "A nation and a congregation of nations," such as were then known in the world, had at the last date come of him, and "kings" were to follow in due time. The land, as well as the seed, is again promised.

Jacob now, according to his wont, perpetuates the scene of divine manifestation with a monumental stone. "God went up;" as he went up from Abraham Genesis 17:22 after a similar conferencc with him. He had now spoken to Jacob face to face, as he communed with Abraham. "A pillar" in the place where he talked with him, a consecrated monument of this second interview, not in a dream as before, but in a waking vision. On this he pours a drink-offering of wine, and then anoints it with oil. Here, for the first time, we meet with the libation. It is possible there was such an offering when Melkizedec brought forth bread and wine, though it is not recorded. The drink-offering is the complement of the meat-offering, and both are accompaniments of the sacrifice which is offered on the altar. They are in themselves expressive of gratitude and devotion. Wine and oil are used to denote the quickening and sanctifying power of the Spirit of God. "Bethel." We are now familiar with the repetition of the naming of persons and places. This place was already called Bethel by Jacob himself; it is most likely that Abraham applied this name to it: and for aught we know, some servant of the true God, under the Noachic covenant, may have originated the name.

8. Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died—This event seems to have taken place before the solemnities were commenced. Deborah (Hebrew, a "bee"), supposing her to have been fifty years on coming to Canaan, had attained the great age of a hundred eighty. When she was removed from Isaac's household to Jacob's, is unknown. But it probably was on his return from Mesopotamia; and she would have been of invaluable service to his young family. Old nurses, like her, were not only honored, but loved as mothers; and, accordingly, her death was the occasion of great lamentation. She was buried under the oak—hence called "the terebinth of tears" (compare 1Ki 13:14). God was pleased to make a new appearance to him after the solemn rites of devotion were over. By this manifestation of His presence, God testified His acceptance of Jacob's sacrifice and renewed the promise of the blessings guaranteed to Abraham and Isaac [Ge 35:11, 12]; and the patriarch observed the ceremony with which he had formerly consecrated the place, comprising a sacramental cup, along with the oil that he poured on the pillar, and reimposing the memorable name [Ge 35:14]. The whole scene was in accordance with the character of the patriarchal dispensation, in which the great truths of religion were exhibited to the senses, and "the world's grey fathers" taught in a manner suited to the weakness of an infantile condition. A company of nations, tribes, for number and power, equal to so many nations,

shall come out of thy loins, i.e. shall be begotten by thee, as this phrase is taken also in Genesis 46:26 1 Kings 8:19 Acts 2:30.

And God said unto him, I am God Almighty,.... And so able to protect and defend him, and to fulfil all promises made to him, and to supply him with everything he wanted; being, as some choose to render the word, "God all sufficient", having a sufficiency of all good things in him to communicate to his people:

be fruitful and multiply; which carries in it a promise or prophecy that he should increase and multiply, though not he himself personally, he having but one son born after this, yet in his posterity:

a nation, and a company of nations, shall be of thee; the nation of Israel, called so after his name, and the twelve tribes, which were as so many nations, of which the above nation consisted:

and kings shall come out of thy loins; as Saul, David, Solomon, and, many others, who were kings of Israel and of Judah, and especially the King Messiah; yea, all his posterity were kings and priests, or a kingdom of priests, Exodus 19:6.

And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. God Almighty] Heb. El Shaddai. See note on Genesis 17:1. The phrases in this verse, “God Almighty,” “be fruitful and multiply,” “company of nations,” are characteristic of P’s style.

a nation, &c.] Cf. the promises in Genesis 17:5-6; Genesis 17:16. Here the mention of “kings” renews the promise to Sarah in Genesis 17:16 (P).

Verses 11, 12. - And God said unto him (repeating substantially the promises made to Abraham), I am God Almighty: - El Shaddai (cf. Genesis 17:1) - be fruitful and multiply; - "Abraham and Isaac had each only one son of promise; but now the time of increase was come" (Murphy; cf. Genesis 1:28) - a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee (cf. Genesis 17:5; Genesis 28:3), and kings shall come out of thy loins (cf. Genesis 17:6, 16); and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac (vide Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15; Genesis 26:3, 4), to thee I will give it (cf. Genesis 28:13), and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. The time of their entering on possession was specified to Abraham (Genesis 15:16). Genesis 35:11The Fresh Revelation at Bethel. - After Jacob had performed his vow by erecting the altar at Bethel, God appeared to him again there ("again," referring to Genesis 28), "on his coming out of Padan-Aram," as He had appeared to him 30 years before on his journey thither, - though it was then in a dream, now by daylight in a visible form (cf. Genesis 35:13, "God went up from him"). The gloom of that day of fear had now brightened into the clear daylight of salvation. This appearance was the answer, which God gave to Jacob on his acknowledgement of Him; and its reality is thereby established, in opposition to the conjecture that it is merely a legendary repetition of the previous vision.

(Note: This conjecture derives no support from the fact that the manifestations of God are ascribed to Elohim in Genesis 35:1 and Genesis 35:9., although the whole chapter treats of the display of mercy by the covenant God, i.e., Jehovah. For the occurrence of Elohim instead of Jehovah in Genesis 35:1 may be explained, partly from the antithesis of God and man (because Jacob, the man, had neglected to redeem his vow, it was necessary that he should be reminded of it by God), and partly from the fact that there is no allusion to any appearance of God, but the words "God said" are to be understood, no doubt, as relating to an inward communication. The use of Elohim in Genesis 35:9. follows naturally from the injunction of Elohim in Genesis 35:1; and there was the less necessity for an express designation of the God appearing as Jehovah, because, on the one hand, the object of this appearance was simply to renew and confirm the former appearance of Jehovah (Genesis 28:12.), and on the other hand, the title assumed in Genesis 35:11, El Shaddai, refers to Genesis 27:1, where Jehovah announces Himself to Abram as El Shaddai.)

The former theophany had promised to Jacob divine protection in a foreign land and restoration to his home, on the ground of his call to be the bearer of the blessings of salvation. This promise God had fulfilled, and Jacob therefore performed his vow. On the strength of this, God now confirmed to him the name of Israel, which He had already given him in Genesis 32:28, and with it the promised of a numerous seed and the possession of Canaan, which, so far as the form and substance are concerned, points back rather to Genesis 17:6 and Genesis 17:8 than to Genesis 28:13-14, and for the fulfilment of which, commencing with the birth of his sons and his return to Canaan, and stretching forward to the most remote future, the name of Israel was to furnish him with a pledge. - Jacob alluded to this second manifestation of God at Bethel towards the close of his life (Genesis 48:3-4); and Hosea (Hosea 12:4) represents it as the result of his wrestling with God. The remembrance of this appearance Jacob transmitted to his descendants by erecting a memorial stone, which he not only anointed with oil like the former one in Genesis 28:17, but consecrated by a drink-offering and by the renewal of the name Bethel.

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