death not a gateway

041714

Genesis 35:16-29

16 Then they traveled 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, because you have another son.”

18 And her soul was giving out (for she was dying), so she called his name Ben-oni;[1] but his father called him Benjamin.[2]

19 So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (also known as Bethlehem),

20 and Jacob set up a monument over her tomb. It is the monument of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day.

21 Israel traveled on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

22 While Israel was still living in that land, Reuben went and had sexual relations 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 traveled.

28 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years.

29 And Isaac stopped breathing and died and, was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And those who buried him were Esau and Jacob, his sons.

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death not a gateway

The deaths of Rachel and Isaac are described in this passage. Rachel’s soul gives out from the strain of her last childbirth. Isaac just stops breathing from old age. There is not the slightest hint in these passages that their real person survived the ordeal. They really died. Their deaths was not the gateway to other lives. Their deaths were the end of their lives. Any promise of a future life would depend not on some immortal soul within them. In fact, it describes Rachel’s soul as giving out. It could no longer live. No, any promise of new life that these saints had would depend on the resurrection power of God. He does not rescue us through death, he will rescue us from it.

LORD, thank you for the resurrection and the life, who is Jesus Christ. On him we place our hope. He is our destiny.


[1] Ben-oni = son of my sorrow, or son of my (last) strength.

[2] Benjamin = son of my right hand (full strength).

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary and a candidate for pastoral ministry. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
This entry was posted in Isaac, Jacob, mortality, resurrection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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