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Back to the Bible Authors: Strength for the Journey
A Marriage Partner Dies by Theodore Epp
Genesis 35:16-20

Rachel named the child "Ben-oni," which means "son of my sorrow." However, Jacob named the child "Benjamin," which means "son of the right hand."

Rachel's death was one of Jacob's deepest sorrows. She died sorrowing, but he triumphed in faith and called the child "son of the right hand."

Jacob took a victorious stand for God in spite of the fact that the most precious person in his life had been taken.

Rachel's death and burial broke Jacob's main link with his past carnal life at Haran. He had gone there to get a wife and had been guilty of many carnal actions.

"And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day" (Gen. 35:20). Jacob established a pillar in remembrance of the one who had been so very precious to him.

Because Jacob had returned to Bethel and had been fully restored to fellowship with God, he was now able to fulfill the second part of God's command: "Return . . . to thy kindred" (31:3).

Thus, Jacob was on his way to his father, Isaac, who lived in Mamre. That is where Jacob was going when Rachel died in childbirth along the way.

"Blessed be God . . ., who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Cor. 1:3,4).

This devotional is used with permission by the author. It may be used solely for personal, noncommercial, and informational purposes. Republication or redistribution of this devotional is prohibited.

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