Rachel's Tomb
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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Rachel's Tomb


(matstsebheth qebhurath rachel): In Genesis 35:20 we read: "Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave: the same is the Pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day," i.e. the time of the writer. Though the pillar, i.e sepulchral monument, has long disappeared, the spot is marked until this day, and Christians, Jews and Mohammedans unite in honoring it. The present tomb, which, apparently, is not older than the 15th century, is built in the style of the small-domed buildings raised by Moslems in honor of their saints. It is a rough structure of four square walls, each about 23 ft. long and 20 ft. high; the dome rising 10 ft. higher is used by Mohammedans for prayer, while on Fridays the Jews make supplication before the empty tomb within. It is doubtful, but probable, that it marks the exact spot where Rachel was buried. There are, apparently, two traditions as to the location of the place. The oldest tradition, based upon Genesis 35:16-20; Genesis 48:7, points to a place one mile North of Bethlehem and 4 miles from Jerusalem. Matthew 2:18 speaks for this place, since the evangelist, reporting the slaughter of the innocents of Bethlehem, represents Rachel as weeping for her children from her neighboring grave. But according to 1 Samuel 10:2;, which apparently represents another tradition, the place of Rachel's grave was on the "border of Benjamin," near Beth-el, about 10 miles North of Jerusalem, at another unknown Ephrath. This location, some believe, is corroborated by Jeremiah 31:15, where the prophet, in relating the leading away of the people of Ramah, which was in Benjamin, into captivity, introduces Rachel the mother of that tribe as bewailing the fate of her descendants. Those that believe this northern location to be the place of Rachel's grave take the words, "the same is Beth-lehem," in Genesis 35:19; Genesis 48:7, to be an incorrect gloss; but that is a mere assumption lacking sufficient proof.o, following J. P. Peters, rearranges the text by transferring the clause "and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council" to the end of the preceding verse (Encyclopaedia Biblica, IV, cols. 4001). There certainly does not seem to be trustworthy external evidence to prove that the terms "the judgment," "the council," "the Gehenna of fire" stand to each other in a relation of gradation, as lower and higher legal courts, or would be so understood by Christ's hearers. What is beyond dispute is that Christ condemns the use of disparaging and insulting epithets as a supreme offense against the law of humanity, which belongs to the same category as murder itself. It should be added, however, that it is the underlying feeling and not the verbal expression as such that constitutes the sin. Hence, our Lord can, without any real inconsistency, address two of His followers as "foolish men" (Luke 24:25, anoetoi, practically equivalent to Raca, as is also James's expression, "O vain man," James 2:20).

Mr. Nathan Strauss, of New York City, has purchased the land surrounding Rachel's grave for the purpose of erecting a Jewish university in the Holy Land.

S. D. Press


Chapter xxxv
... The only discrepancy would then be the traditional site of Rachel's tomb,
the Kubbet Rachel about two miles north of Bethlehem. ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter xxxv.htm

How Samuel Found a Leader
... This is the sign that Jehovah has anointed you to be a prince over his own people:
when you go from me to-day you shall find two men at Rachel's tomb; and they ...
/.../sherman/the childrens bible/how samuel found a leader.htm

Chapter xxxiv
... The only discrepancy would then be the traditional site of Rachel's tomb,
the Kubbet Rachel about two miles north of Bethlehem. ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter xxxiv.htm

Rachel's Refuge
... Then they laid her in a new tomb cut in the rock face of the Libyan hills and wrote
on her sarcophagus: ... Thus was Rachel left, but for Masanath, entirely alone. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xxxii rachels refuge.htm

The Tomb of the Pharaoh
... One wondrous chamber after another he traversed, for the tomb penetrated the very
core of the mountain. ... He thought of the distress of Rachel and dared. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xxiii the tomb of.htm

The Treasure Cave
... Keep the amphorae filled with water, fresh every day, and preserve a stock of food
within the tomb always to stand you in good stead if Rachel's enemy discover ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xx the treasure cave.htm

Letter cviii. To Eustochium.
... to the poor and her fellow-servants so far as her means allowed, she proceeded to
Bethlehem stopping only on the right side of the road to visit Rachel's tomb. ...
/.../jerome/the principal works of st jerome/letter cviii to eustochium.htm

Light after Darkness
... "Ah, I might have known," he said impatiently. "Rachel put the writing there for
me when she left the tomb for the shelter Masanath offered her in Memphis.". ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xxxv light after darkness.htm

... "Nay, let him come," Rachel said at last. "Thou canst set him on the shore opposite
the tomb. He will leave us willingly there.". So they pushed away. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xxxiv night.htm

God, the All-Seeing One
... and gone to-morrow; born yesterday"the next hour shall see our tomb prepared, and ...
No partial search like that of Laban, when he went into Rachel's tent to ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/spurgeon/sermons on proverbs/god the all-seeing one.htm

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