Jacob Is Sent Away
1So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not marry one of the women of Canaan. 2 [a]Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take from there as a wife for yourself one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3 May [b]God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, so that you may become a [great] company of peoples. 4 May He also give the blessing of Abraham to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the [promised] land of your sojournings, which He gave to Abraham.” 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Now Esau noticed that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to take a wife for himself from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a prohibition, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” 7 and that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram. 8 So Esau realized that [his two wives] the daughters of Canaan displeased Isaac his father; 9 and [to appease his parents] Esau went to [the family of] Ishmael and took as his wife, in addition to the wives he [already] had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth [Ishmael’s firstborn son].
10 Now Jacob left Beersheba [never to see his mother again] and traveled toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed overnight there because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down there [to sleep]. 12 He dreamed that there was a ladder (stairway) placed on the earth, and the top of it reached [out of sight] toward heaven; and [he saw] the angels of God ascending and descending on it [going to and from heaven]. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above and around him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your [father’s] father and the God of Isaac; I will give to you and to your descendants the land [of promise] on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants shall be as [countless as] the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and the east and the north and the south; and all the families (nations) of the earth shall be blessed through you and your [c]descendants. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep [careful watch over you and guard] you wherever you may go, and I will bring you back to this [promised] land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and he said, “Without any doubt the Lord is in this place, and I did not realize it.” 17 So he was afraid and said, “How fearful and awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gateway to heaven.”
18 So Jacob got up early in the morning, and took the stone he had put under his head and he set it up as a pillar [that is, a monument to the vision in his dream], and he poured [olive] oil on the top of it [to [d]consecrate it]. 19 He named that place Bethel (the house of God); the previous name of that city was Luz (Almond Tree). 20 Then Jacob made a vow (promise), saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and if [He grants that] I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone which I have set up as a pillar (monument, memorial) will be God’s house [a sacred place to me], and of everything that You give me I will give the tenth to You [as an offering to signify my gratitude and dependence on You].”
- Genesis 28:2 The Hebrew verb “to stand” or “arise” is often used as an instruction to prepare to fulfill a command, somewhat similar to the military command “attention.”
- Genesis 28:3 Heb El Shaddai.
- Genesis 28:14 I.e. Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is a descendant of Jacob.
- Genesis 28:18 I.e. dedicate or declare something sacred for God’s purpose.