The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac
16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17 And when
her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” 18 And as her soul was departing (for she was dying),
she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20 and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day. 21 Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
22 While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and
lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine. And Israel heard of it.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23 The
sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons
of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27 And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where
Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Sorrows surround Jacob. He learns of his son’s incest with his concubine and also the death of his wife and of his father. God-fearing people such as Jacob sometimes have children who fall into great sin and shame. And even those who receive
God’s promises, such as Rachel and Isaac, are still subject to death. Mourning is a part of life in a sin-broken world. When sorrows surround you, call on the Lord in prayer. Remember and celebrate His promises, which are guaranteed to you in Jesus’
death and resurrection. Because Jesus conquered death and sin, we have comfort in the midst of all troubles.
I pray: O Lord, forgive our sins, and
bring us to eternal life for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 71). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.