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Genesis 35:16 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was still some distance to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labor.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And they journeyed from Bethel. And there was yet a certain distance to come to Ephrath, when Rachel travailed in childbirth; and it went hard with her in her childbearing.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then brake they up from Bethel, and it came to pass, when there was yet a stretch of country, to enter into Ephrath, that Rachel was in childbirth, and had hard-labour in her child-birth.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And they journey from Bethel, and there is yet a kibrath of land before entering Ephratha, and Rachel beareth, and is sharply pained in her bearing;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And going forth from thence, he came in the spring time to the land which leadeth to Ephrata: wherein when Rachel was in travail,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And they iourneyed from Bethel: and there was but a litle way to come to Ephrath; and Rachel traueiled, and she had hard labour.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [And Jacob removed from Bethel{gr.Baethel}, and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Gader], and it came to pass when he drew nigh to Chabratha, to enter into Ephrath{gr.Ephratha}, Rachel travailed; and in her travail she was in hard labour.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And they journeyed from Beth El; and there was but a little way to come to Efrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And they journeyed 5265
{5265} Prime
A primitive root; properly to pull up, especially the tent pins, that is, start on a journey.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
from B l בֵּית־אֵל; 1008
{1008} Prime
From H1004 and H0410; house of God; Beth-El, a place in Palestine.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
and there was x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
but 5750
{5750} Prime
From H5749; properly iteration or continuance; used only adverbially (with or without preposition), again, repeatedly, still, more.
a little y3530
[3530] Standard
Feminine of H3528; properly length, that is, a measure (of uncertain dimension).
way 776
{0776} Prime
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
(3530) Complement
Feminine of H3528; properly length, that is, a measure (of uncertain dimension).
to come 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
to Efr אֶפרָת: 672
{0672} Prime
From H6509; fruitfulness; Ephrath, another name for Bethlehem; once used in Psalms 132:6 perhaps for Ephraim; also of an Israelitish woman.
and Rl רָחֵל 7354
{7354} Prime
The same as H7353; Rachel, a wife of Jacob.
travailed, 3205
{3205} Prime
A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and she had hard 7185
{7185} Prime
A primitive root; properly to be dense, that is, tough or severe (in various applications).
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
labour. 3205
{3205} Prime
A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 35:16

_ _ Genesis 35:16-27. Birth of Benjamin — Death of Rachel, etc.

_ _ And they journeyed from Beth-el — There can be no doubt that much enjoyment was experienced at Beth-el, and that in the religious observances solemnized, as well as in the vivid recollections of the glorious vision seen there, the affections of the patriarch were powerfully animated and that he left the place a better and more devoted servant of God. When the solemnities were over, Jacob, with his family, pursued a route directly southward, and they reached Ephrath, when they were plunged into mourning by the death of Rachel, who sank in childbirth, leaving a posthumous son [Genesis 35:18]. A very affecting death, considering how ardently the mind of Rachel had been set on offspring (compare Genesis 30:1).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 35:16-20

_ _ We have here the story of the death of Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob. 1. She fell in travail by the way, not able to reach to Bethlehem, the next town, though they were near it; so suddenly does pain sometimes come upon a woman in travail, which she cannot escape, or put off. We may suppose Jacob had soon a tent up, convenient enough for her reception. 2. Her pains were violent. She had hard labour, harder than usual: this was the effect of sin, Genesis 3:16. Note, Human life begins with sorrow, and the roses of its joy are surrounded with thorns. 3. The midwife encouraged her, Genesis 35:17. No doubt she had her midwife with her, ready at hand, yet that would not secure her. Rachel had said, when she bore Joseph, God shall add another son, which now the midwife remembers, and tells her her words were made good. Yet this did not avail to keep up her spirits; unless God command away fear, no one else can. He only says as one having authority, Fear not. We are apt, in extreme perils, to comfort ourselves and our friends with the hopes of a temporal deliverance, in which we may be disappointed; we had better found our comforts on that which cannot fail us, the hope of eternal life. 4. Her travail was to the life of the child, but to her own death. Note, Though the pains and perils of childbearing were introduced by sin, yet they have sometimes been fatal to very holy women, who, though not saved in childbearing, are saved through it with an everlasting salvation. Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children (for this was her second) she died. Her dying is here called the departing of her soul. Note, The death of the body is but the departure of the soul to the world of spirits. 5. Her dying lips called her new-born son Ben-oni, The son of my sorrow. And many a son, not born in such hard labour, yet proves the son of his parent's sorrow, and the heaviness of her that bore him. Children are enough the sorrow of their poor mothers in the breeding, bearing, and nursing of them; they should therefore, when they grow up, study to be their joy, and so, if possible, to make them some amends. But Jacob, because he would not renew the sorrowful remembrance of the mother's death every time he called his son by his name, changed his name, and called him Benjamin, The son of my right hand; that is, “very dear to me, set on my right hand for a blessing, the support of my age, like the staff in my right hand.” 6. Jacob buried her near the place where she died. As she died in child-bed, it was convenient to bury her quickly; and therefore he did not bring her to the burying-place of his family. If the soul be at rest after death, it matters little where the body lies. In the place where the tree falls, there let it be. No mention is made of the mourning that was at her death, because that might easily be taken for granted. Jacob, no doubt, was a true mourner. Note, Great afflictions sometimes befal us immediately after great comforts. Lest Jacob should be lifted up with the visions of the Almighty with which he was honoured, this was sent as a thorn in the flesh to humble him. Those that enjoy the favours peculiar to the children of God must yet expect the troubles that are common to the children of men. Deborah, who, had she lived, would have been a comfort to Rachel in her extremity, died but a little before. Note, When death comes into a family, it often strikes double. God by it speaks once, yea, twice. The Jewish writers say, “The death of Deborah and Rachel was to expiate the murder of the Shechemites, occasioned by Dinah, a daughter of the family.” 7. Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave, so that it was known, long after, to be Rachel's sepulchre (1 Samuel 10:2), and Providence so ordered it that this place afterwards fell in the lot of Benjamin. Jacob set up a pillar in remembrance of his joys (Genesis 35:14), and here he sets up one in remembrance of his sorrows; for, as it may be of use to ourselves to keep both in mind, so it may be of use to others to transmit the memorials of both: the church, long afterwards, owned that what God said to Jacob at Bethel, both by his word and by his rod, he intended for their instruction (Hosea 12:4), There he spoke with us.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 35:16

She had hard labour — Harder than usual.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 35:16

And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a (f) little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.

(f) The Hebrew word signifies as much ground as one can cover from resting point to resting point, which is taken for half a days journey.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
a little way to come:
Heb. a little piece of ground,
2 Kings 5:19 And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.


Genesis 48:7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet [there was] but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same [is] Bethlehem.
Ruth 1:2 And the name of the man [was] Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
1 Chronicles 2:19 And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur.
Psalms 132:6 Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.
Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
Matthew 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

hard labour:

Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
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Gn 3:16; 48:7. Ru 1:2. 2K 5:19. 1Ch 2:19. Ps 132:6. Mi 5:2. Mt 2:1, 16, 18. 1Ti 2:15.

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