Today's passage has another example of two stories where the editor couldn't decide which to keep. The ancient Biblical editor I mean. Genesis 35:9-10 has God coming to Jacob and renaming him Israel, but this already happened when Jacob wrestled with God, Gen. 32:22-31. These aren't major contradictions, but just evidence of the Scripture's formation.
We also get a similar motif with Esau returning to bury his father, Gen. 35:29, as when Ishmael did the same, Gen. 25:9. Like Ishmael, Esau is the father of a great nations. Reviewing the lineage, chiefs and kings of Edom--Esau's people--it is interesting that the kings are not the children of other kings. Gen. 36. So, for those keeping score, Esau hunted and was a man's man. But, he married took Hittite wives, and may have given rise to a meritocracy. Hmm.
We finish up with the story of Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. Curiously, Genesis 37:2 starts off listing the age of the son, not the father to put the story in context. Joseph's mother dies in childbirth a few verses before. His dad loves him better, and he is kind of a pill to his brothers. Seriously fascinating story telling beginning and I understand why it's a favorite.
Interesting note: Reuben. What to think of him. On the one hand, he slept with his father's concubine, Gen. 35:22. Not his mother, by the way. On the other hand, when the brothers decide to throw Joseph in a well and let him die, Reuben actually has a plan to go get him, Gen. 37:29. Complicated character I guess, but particularly when you figure he represents a tribe of Israelites.