The Meaning of Genesis 35:3 Explained

Genesis 35:3

KJV: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

YLT: and we rise, and go up to Bethel, and I make there an altar to God, who is answering me in the day of my distress, and is with me in the way that I have gone.'

Darby: and we will arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar to the God that answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way that I went.

ASV: and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

What does Genesis 35:3 Mean?

Context Summary

Genesis 35:1-15 - Jacob Blessed At Bethel
Thirty years before Jacob was at Bethel. Life was young then. He had only his staff. The future was unshaped and unknown. It was on the occasion of his first night from home; and he made many vows. How much had happened since then! Marriage, prosperity, children! But he had drifted down the stream, and had traveled into the far country from God. It was well that he should get back to Bethel, and consider the whole story of his life, as you may trace a river from source to mouth from an overlooking hill. The divine summons is always bidding us be clean and change our garments, and be rid of idols. There God gave him the great new name of Israel; and took to himself the reassuring name of El-Shaddai. It was as though, as the Almighty, he pledged himself to realize the highest and best. Let us take heart! God will make us fruitful, will give us the land, and will ward off the results of our misdeeds, Genesis 35:5.
For Review Questions on Genesis see the e-Sword Book Comments for Genesis.
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Chapter Summary: Genesis 35

1  God commands Jacob to go to Bethel
2  He purges his house of idols
6  He builds an altar at Bethel
8  Deborah dies at Allon Bacuth
9  God blesses Jacob at Bethel
10  Jacob Named Israel
16  Rachel travails of Benjamin, and dies in the way to Edar
22  Reuben lies with Bilhah
23  The sons of Jacob
27  Jacob comes to Isaac at Hebron
28  The age, death, and burial of Isaac

What do the individual words in Genesis 35:3 mean?

Then let us arise and go up to - Bethel and I will make there an altar to God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone
וְנָק֥וּמָה וְנַעֲלֶ֖ה בֵּֽית־ אֵ֑ל וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂה־ שָּׁ֣ם מִזְבֵּ֗חַ לָאֵ֞ל הָעֹנֶ֤ה אֹתִי֙ בְּי֣וֹם צָֽרָתִ֔י וַיְהִי֙ עִמָּדִ֔י בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָלָֽכְתִּי

וְנָק֥וּמָה  Then  let  us  arise 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative, first person common plural
Root: קוּם 
Sense: to rise, arise, stand, rise up, stand up.
וְנַעֲלֶ֖ה  and  go  up  to 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative if contextual, first person common plural
Root: סָלַק 
Sense: to go up, ascend, climb.
בֵּֽית־  - 
Parse: Preposition
אֵ֑ל  Bethel 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: בֵּית־אֵל  
Sense: ancient place and seat of worship in Ephraim on border of Benjamin, identified with Luz (former name).
וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂה־  and  I  will  make 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive imperfect, first person common singular
Root: עָשָׂה 
Sense: to do, fashion, accomplish, make.
מִזְבֵּ֗חַ  an  altar 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מִזְבֵּחַ  
Sense: altar.
לָאֵ֞ל  to  God 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֵל 
Sense: god, god-like one, mighty one.
הָעֹנֶ֤ה  who  answered 
Parse: Article, Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: לְעַנּׄות 
Sense: to answer, respond, testify, speak, shout.
אֹתִי֙  me 
Parse: Direct object marker, first person common singular
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
בְּי֣וֹם  in  the  day 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: יׄום 
Sense: day, time, year.
צָֽרָתִ֔י  of  my  distress 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: צָרָה 
Sense: straits, distress, trouble.
וַיְהִי֙  and  has  been 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
עִמָּדִ֔י  with  me 
Parse: Preposition, first person common singular
Root: עִמָּד  
Sense: with.
בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ  in  the  way 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, common singular
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
הָלָֽכְתִּי  I  have  gone 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, first person common singular
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.