Genesis 35:27
And Jacob came to Isaac his father to Mamre, to the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
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(27) The city of Arbah, which is Hebron.—Better rendered Kirjath-arba in Genesis 23:2, where see Note.

Genesis 35:27. Jacob came unto Isaac his father — Probably to dwell with or near him; bringing, it seems, his family with him. We can hardly suppose that this was the first visit he paid him since his return from Mesopotamia.

Without question he had often visited him, though the Scripture be silent as to this particular.35:21-29 What a sore affliction Reuben's sin was, is shown, and Israel heard it. No more is said, but that is enough. Reuben thought that his father would never hear of it; but those that promise themselves secrecy in sin, are generally disappointed. The age and death of Isaac are recorded, though he died not till after Joseph was sold into Egypt. Isaac lived about forty years after he had made his will, chap. 27:2. We shall not die an hour the sooner, but much the better, for timely setting our hearts and houses in order. Particular notice is taken of the agreement of Esau and Jacob at their father's funeral, to show how God had wonderfully changed Esau's mind. It is awful to behold relations, sometimes for a little of this world's goods, disputing over the graves of their friends, while they are near going to the grave themselves.Jacob's return and his father's death. The family of Jacob is now enumerated, because it has been completed by the birth of Benjamin. "In Padan-aram." This applies to all of them but Benjamin; an exception which the reader of the context can make for himself. Jacob at length arrives with his whole establishment at Hebron, the third notable station occupied by Abraham in the land Genesis 13:1. Here also his father sojourns. The life of Isaac is now closed. Joseph must have been, at the time of Jacob's return, in his thirteenth year, and therefore, his father in his hundred and fourth. Isaac was consequently in his hundred and sixty-third year. He survived the return of Jacob to Hebron about seventeen years, and the sale of Joseph his grandson about thirteen. "Esau and Jacob his sons buried him." Hence, we learn that Esau and Jacob continued to be on brotherly terms from the day of their meeting at the ford of Jabbok.

This chapter closes the ninth of the pieces or documents marked off by the phrase "these are the generations." Its opening event was the birth of Isaac Genesis 25:19, which took place in the hundreth year of Abraham, and therefore, seventy-five years before his death recorded in the seventh document. As the seventh purports to be the generations of Terah Genesis 11:27 and relates to Abraham who was his offspring, so the present document, containing the generations of Isaac, refers chiefly to the sons of Isaac, and especially to Jacob, as the heir of promise. Isaac as a son learned obedience to his father in that great typical event of his life, in which he was laid on the altar, and figuratively sacrificed in the ram which was his substitute. This was the great significant passage in his life, after which he retires into comparative tranquillity.

- Section XII - Jacob

- The History of Esau

2. <אהלבמה 'ohŏlı̂ybâmâh, Oholibamah, "tent of the high place." ענה ‛ǎnâh, 'Anah, "answering." צבעון tsı̂b‛ôn, Tsib'on, "dyer, colored."

4. אליפז 'ělı̂yphaz, Eliphaz, "God of strength." רעוּאל re‛û'êl Re'uel, "friend of God."

5. יעוּשׁ ye‛ûsh, Je'ush, "haste." יעלם ya‛lâm, Ja'lam, "hiding." קרח qôrach Qorach, "ice."

11. תימן têymân, Teman, "right-hand man." אומר 'ômār, Omar, "eloquent." צפו tsephô, Tsepho, "watch." געתם ga‛tâm Ga'tam, "touch." קנז qenaz Qenaz, "hunting."

12. תמנע tı̂mnâ( Timna', "restraint." עמלק ‛ǎmâlêq, 'Amaleq, "licking up, laboring."

13. נחת nachath, Nachath, "going down, rest." זרח zerach, Zerach, "rising" (of light). שׁמח shammâh, Shammah, "wasting." מזה mı̂zzâh, Mizzah, "fear, sprinkling."

20. ליטן lôṭân, Lotan, "covering, veiled." שׁובל shôbâl, Shobal, "flowing, a shoot."

21. דשׁון dı̂yshôn, Dishon, "a kind of gazelle, fat." אצר 'etser, Etser, "store." דישׁן dı̂yshân, Dishan, "threshing."

22. חרי chôrı̂y, Chori, "troglodyte." הימם hēmām, Hemam, "noise, commotion."

23. עלון ‛alvân, 'Alvan, "lofty." מנחת mânachath, Manachath, "rest." עיבל ‛êybâl, 'Ebal, "stripped of leaves." שׁפו shephô, Shepho, "bare." אונם 'ônâm, Onam, "strong."


26. Sons of Jacob … born to him in Padan-aram—It is a common practice of the sacred historian to say of a company or body of men that which, though true of the majority, may not be applicable to every individual. (See Mt 19:28; Joh 20:24; Heb 11:13). Here is an example, for Benjamin was born in Canaan [Ge 35:16-18]. Jacob came; either with his wives, and children, and estate, to dwell with Isaac; or rather in person, to visit his sick and dying father; for otherwise Jacob having been ten years near his father, no doubt he had oft visited him, and carried his wives and children thither, though Scripture be silent in this particular: but they could not live together because of the greatness of their estates, as it happened with others. See Genesis 13:6 36:7. And Jacob came unto Isaac his father,.... No mention being made of his mother, it is very probable she was dead; and Isaac being alone, and very old, and the time of his death drawing nigh, he might send for Jacob to come with his family, and be with him; for it can hardly be thought that this was the first time of Jacob's visiting his father since he came into the land, of Canaan, which must be about ten years; but as yet he had not come with his family to him, and in order to abide with him:

unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron; Mamre was a plain, so called from the name of a man, a friend and confederate of Abraham, Genesis 13:18; where, or near to which, stood a city, called Kirjath Arbah, or the city of the four, Arbah and his three sons; so that it might be called Tetrapolls, and was later called Hebron:

where Abraham and Isaac sojourned; lived good part of their days, see Genesis 13:18; it was about twenty miles from Bethlehem, and the tower of Eder (k), where Jacob was last.

(k) Bunting's Travels, p. 72.

And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arba, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
27. Isaac] The mention of Isaac, after so long an interval, is surprising. But the P narrative carefully records the death and age of each patriarch. According to J, Isaac was living at Beer-sheba, when Jacob left his home (Genesis 28:10). According to P, Isaac died 80 years later at Mamre in close proximity to the burial-place of his father. Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah (Genesis 25:20); 60 years old at the birth of Esau and Jacob (Genesis 25:26); at least 100 years old when Jacob went to Haran (Genesis 27:46, cf. Genesis 26:34), and, therefore, over 120 when Jacob returned from Haran.

Mamre] Cf. Genesis 13:18, Genesis 23:19.

Kiriath-arba] Cf. Genesis 23:2.Verse 27. - And Jacob came unto Isaac his father, unto Mature (on the probability of Jacob s having previously visited his father, vide ver. 8), unto the city of Arbah (Genesis 13:18; Genesis 23:2, 19; Joshua 14:15; Joshua 15:13), which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. Genesis 35:21-22

Reuben's Incest. - As they travelled onward, Jacob pitched his tent on the other side of Migdal Eder, where Reuben committed incest with Bilhah, his father's concubine. It is merely alluded to her in the passing remark that Israel heard it, by way of preparation for Genesis 49:4. Migdal Eder (flock-tower) was a watch-tower built for the protection of flocks against robbers (cf. 2 Kings 18:8; 2 Chronicles 26:10; 2 Chronicles 27:4) on the other side of Bethlehem, but hardly within 1000 paces of the town, where it has been placed by tradition since the time of Jerome. The piska in the middle of Genesis 35:22 does not indicate a gap in the text, but the conclusion of a parashah, a division of the text of greater antiquity and greater correctness than the Masoretic division.

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