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Genesis 28

28
1So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, “You must not marry any of these Canaanite women. 2Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban’s daughters. 3May God Almighty#28:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai. bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations! 4May God pass on to you and your descendants#28:4 Hebrew seed; also in 28:13, 14. the blessings he promised to Abraham. May you own this land where you are now living as a foreigner, for God gave this land to Abraham.”
5So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to stay with his uncle Laban, his mother’s brother, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
6Esau knew that his father, Isaac, had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” 7He also knew that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan-aram. 8It was now very clear to Esau that his father did not like the local Canaanite women. 9So Esau visited his uncle Ishmael’s family and married one of Ishmael’s daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife’s name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
13At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
16Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”
18The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. 19He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although it was previously called Luz.
20Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. 22And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”
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Chapter 28
Jacob and Esau
1Isaac called Jacob to come to him. He blessed Jacob. He told him, ‘Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2Go now to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of your mother's father, Bethuel. Find a wife for yourself from there. Choose one of the daughters of your mother's brother, Laban. 3I pray that God Almighty will bless you. I pray that he will give you many children, so that your descendants become a large nation of people. 4May God bless you and your descendants with the good things that he promised to Abraham. The land that he promised to give to Abraham will then belong to you. That is the land where you now live as a foreign person.’
5Isaac sent Jacob away and Jacob went to Paddan Aram. He went to stay with Laban, who was the son of Bethuel, the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekah. Rebekah was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Esau heard that Isaac had blessed Jacob and then sent him away to Paddan Aram. Isaac had told Jacob to find a woman from Paddan Aram that he would marry. Isaac had said to Jacob, ‘Do not marry a Canaanite woman.’ 7Esau saw that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother, and that he had gone to Paddan Aram. 8So Esau then understood that his father, Isaac, did not like the Canaanite women. 9So Esau went to visit Abraham's son, Ishmael. He married Ishmael's daughter, Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth. When Esau married Mahalath, he kept his Canaanite wives as well.
Jacob's journey
10Jacob left Beersheba and he went towards Haran. 11He came to a place where he stayed for the night, because the sun had gone down. He took a stone and he put it under his head. Then he lay down and he went to sleep. 12He had a dream. In the dream, he saw some steps. The steps went up from the earth into heaven. God's angels were going up and down the steps.
13The Lord stood at the top of the steps. He said, ‘I am the Lord. I am the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of Isaac, your father. I will give the land that you are lying on to you and to your descendants. 14Your descendants will be as many as the dust of the earth. They will go to the west and to the east. They will go to the north and to the south. Through you and your descendants I will bless all the families of people on the earth. #28:14 This is the promise that God made to Abraham. See Genesis 12:2-3. 15I am with you. I will take care of you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised to do for you.’
16Jacob woke from his sleep. He thought, ‘The Lord is in this place and I did not know it.’ 17Jacob was afraid. He said, ‘How great this place is! This must be the house of God. This is the gate of heaven.’
18Early in the morning Jacob got up. He took the stone that he had put under his head. He made it stand up straight in the ground. He poured oil on top of it. #28:18 The oil was probably olive oil. Pouring oil on something showed that it belonged to God.
19Jacob called that place Bethel. #28:19 Bethel means house of God. Before that, the name of the place had been Luz.
20Then Jacob made a promise to God. He said, ‘While I am on this journey, I want God to be with me and to take care of me. I want him to give me food to eat and clothes to wear. 21Then I want to return to my father's house. If God keeps me safe, then the Lord will be my God. 22This special stone that I have put here will be God's house. And from everything that God gives me, I will give God one tenth.’