Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jacob Says Goodbye to His Beloved Rachel

By Mary Vee
Genesis 35: 8-20

Shortly after Jacob's family arrived in Bethel he heard the news that His mother's nurse died. Jacob sighed and bowed his head. He turned to Leah and Rachel. "My mother loved Deborah. She helped her throughout her life. She was like a grandmother to Esau and me."

Rachel tried to comfort him. She rested on a nearby rock and felt the baby move in her belly. "This child is wearing me out!"

Jacob noticed her pale skin. This childbirth will be difficult for her. I better hurry everyone along to get us to my father's home before the baby is born.

He helped Rachel on a camel then signaled his whole household to continue the journey. Rachel groaned as the animal stood. The sun rose and fell in the sky as they moved closer and closer to Bethlehem.

A short distance before they reached the city, Rachel called out to Jacob. "We must stop. The baby is coming."

Jacob ordered servants to set up a tent for her at once. He helped her to the freshly made bed then went outside to wait while the nurse took care of her. He leaned closer to the tent to hear what was happening.

"Don't be afraid, Rachel." the nurse said. "Your baby is going to be fine."

"I want to name him. Tell Jacob his name is Ben-Oni."

"I will. Now breathe."

Moments later a baby cried. Jacob smiled. "I have another son."

One of the servants peeked her head out of the tent. "Master Jacob, you have a son. He is to be called Ben-Oni."

Jacob shook his head. "Ben-Oni? No that won't do. We will call him Benjamin."

Jacob listened again carefully. I hear the baby, but I can't hear Rachel. She must be sleeping.

Soon the nurse pulled the tent flap back. She held the new baby in her arms. "I'm sorry, Master Jacob. Rachel did not live."

"She, what? My Rachel, what?"

The nurse sighed. "I'm sorry, master, She did not live. Your son, though, is healthy."

Jacob covered his eyes. He forced air to seep into his lungs. "My Rachel. My beautiful Rachel." His thoughts flew back to the day he met her. How lovely she was. He helped her with the sheep then she ran to her father's home, forgetting everything. Jacob smiled then wept.

Jacob buried his wife, Rachel nearby. He set a pillar on her grave to let everyone know where she rested. As he patted the last stone into place, Baby Benjamin cried.

Today's story is a sad one. On the day this story was written, an earthquake struck Chili. Tragedies like that happen every day. They remind us that earth is not our real home. We are here only for a visit. Someday each of us will either go to live with Jesus or go to live in a terrible place call Hell. Heaven is the real home for everyone who asks Jesus into their heart. Heaven can be your real home, too, if you believe Jesus died for your sins and ask Him to be your Savior. If you have questions or would like to talk more about asking Jesus into your heart email me at


  1. I think it was sad that Rachel didn't survive having a baby. Jacob did seem very sad and I feel bad for him.

    It's sad that Rachel died. Why did Rachel die? I think I know why. I think it is because they were living a very hard life back when they didn't have medical things and sometimes they had to let someone die. It must have been very sad for Jacob when Rachel died because I know Jacob loved her a very lot.

    1. So do I, Ella.
      Back then medical people did have the medicines or hospitals to help women when they had babies. Overtime, though, God has taught doctors a lot about medicine.

      You're absolutely right. Jacob did love her a lot. She was the first woman he loved, and she remained his favorite to the day he died.
      Good to see you both, Ella and Tommy!


We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!