1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”
Jacob had settled at Shechem without any direction from God, and disaster followed–from which God preserved him. Now God gives him specific directions to go to Bethel where he had had his first experience of God.
He fulfils the promise he had earlier made to God at Bethel, and acknowledges that God has been faithful to him.
An act of consecration. They get rid of their idols and reconsecrated themselves. And God protects Jacob and his family on their way to Bethel, despite the execrable actions of his sons.
The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac
16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” 18 As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
Rachel in sadness and bitterness calls Benjamin son of my trouble. Jacob however changes his name to son of my right hand.
Reuben the firstborn of Jacob,
Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
Joseph and Benjamin.
Dan and Naphtali.
Gad and Asher.