Palm Sunday finds us on Sanday. Sanday is one of the larger inhabited outer islands of Orkney, which lie off the north coast of Scotland. The island has a population of around 550. There are two main centres of population; Lady Village and Kettletoft.
Sanday has many sandy bays and a fertile agricultural land surrounded by clear, clean sea. Rich in natural and man-made history, Sanday has a wealth of wildlife and archaeology to offer the interested visitor. The quality of life for its residents is second to none!
Jacob(Israel) was to return to Bethel, and it is at this point that we pick up our reading of the Book of Genesis.
Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid, for you have another son." As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb.
Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father's concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.
Jacob had twelve sons:
The sons of Leah:
Reuben the firstborn of Jacob,
Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
The sons of Rachel:
Joseph and Benjamin.
The sons of Rachel's maidservant Bilhah:
Dan and Naphtali.
The sons of Leah's maidservant Zilpah:
Gad and Asher.
These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. (Genesis 35.16-29)
This is a wonderful summary of much of the story so far.