Genesis 35:16-20 Rachel’s Death

Posted by on Apr 13, 2003 in Genesis, Text | Comments Off

 

We will discuss three things in this passage:

 

  • The word used to describe Rachel’s condition before childbirth;
  • The custom of erecting a pillar to mark her grave; and
  • The departure of her soul at death.

 

 

Labour

 

Before Benjamin was born, the Bible says that Rachel was in “hard labour.”  Today, we still call this condition before childbirth “labor.”  In the ­­­­3735 years that have passed since Benjamin’s birth, medical science, with all of its medical terminology, has not found a “better” word to describe what a woman’s body experiences before delivery.  And they say that the KJV is archaic!!

 

There are other medical terms in the Bible that we still use today, like:

 

  • Stanched – (Luke 8:44) … and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

 

Pillar

Jacob set a pillar to mark Rachel’s grave.  This was not a temporary marker.  Approximately 700 years later, Samuel knew the exact location of her grave (1 Sam. 10:2).

 

We still “mark” graves today with pillars that we call “headstones.”  So, this custom, which began at least 3700 years ago, continues 37 centuries later.  It is interesting to locate the Biblical basis for customs that we practice today.

 

Death

It is very important to note the sequence of events in Rachel’s death.

 

  1. Her soul departed.
  2. She died.
  3. She was buried.

 

From this description of her death, we can clearly see a separation of the soul from the body at death.  In the case of the widow’s son who died in 1 Ki. 17:17, notice that, when he was restored to life, his soul “came into him again,” (1 Ki. 17:21-22).

 

So, obviously the soul departs from the body at death.

 

With this understanding, we can diagram what happened to people in the Old Testament and what happens to people in the New Testament, when they die.

 

  Old Testament Old

Testament

New

Testament

New

Testament

 

Body

Soul

Body

Soul

 

SAVED

In the Grave

Acts 2:29

Abraham’s

Bosom

Lk. 16:22

In the Grave

1 Cor. 15:51-55

Acts 8:2

With the Lord

2 Cor. 5:8

Eph. 2:6

 

LOST

In the Grave

Lk. 16:22

In Hell

Lk. 16:23

In the Grave

Lk. 9:60

In Hell

Matt. 23:33

Acts 12:23

 

Abraham’s Bosom was the temporary holding place for the souls of the saved Old Testament saints.  Jesus took these souls with him when he ascended into heaven on the day of his resurrection (Eph. 4:8-10; Jn. 20:17; Matt. 28:9).  The bodies of the Old Testament saints will rise at the Second Coming of Jesus.

 

The souls of New Testament saints go directly to Jesus at death, since he has already risen from the dead and since we are already seated with him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).  The bodies of New Testament saints will rise at the rapture of the church (1 Cor. 15:50-55; 1 Th. 4:13-18).

 

The bodies of all the lost in Hell will depart when the earth and heaven fly away from the face of the Lord at the White Throne Judgment (Rev. 21:10).  Their souls will be delivered up by Hell to stand before God and be judged.  Then they will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:13-15).

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses, who say that Hell is the grave and that the souls and bodies of the dead are in the grave together, are not to be taken seriously.  The Bible clearly reveals that they are wrong.

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