Jacob Searches for a Wife
1Isaac called Jacob and blessed him. Then Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman. 2Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, in Northwest Mesopotamia. Laban, your mother’s brother, lives there. Marry one of his daughters. 3May God All-Powerful bless you and give you many children. May you become the father of many peoples. 4May the Lord give you and your descendants the blessing of Abraham. Then you may own the land where you are now living as a stranger. This is the land God gave to Abraham.” 5So Isaac sent Jacob to Northwest Mesopotamia. Jacob went to Laban, the brother of Rebekah. Bethuel, the Aramean, was the father of Laban and Rebekah. And Rebekah was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Northwest Mesopotamia. Jacob went to find a wife there. Esau also learned that Isaac had commanded Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman. 7And Esau learned that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother. He had gone to Northwest Mesopotamia. 8So Esau saw that his father Isaac did not want his sons to marry Canaanite women. 9Now Esau already had wives. But he went to Ishmael son of Abraham. And he married Mahalath, Ishmael’s daughter. Mahalath was the sister of Nebaioth.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. 11He came to a place and spent the night there because the sun had set. He found a stone there and laid his head on it to go to sleep. 12Jacob dreamed that there was a ladder resting on the earth and reaching up into heaven. And he saw angels of God going up and coming down the ladder. 13And then Jacob saw the Lord standing above the ladder. The Lord said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham, your grandfather. And I am the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are now sleeping. 14Your descendants will be as many as the dust of the earth. They will spread west and east, north and south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15I am with you, and I will protect you everywhere you go. And I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16Then Jacob woke from his sleep. He said, “Surely the Lord is in this place. But I did not know it.” 17Jacob was afraid. He said, “This place frightens me! It is surely the house of God and the gate of heaven.”
18Jacob rose early in the morning. He took the stone he had slept on and set it up on its end. Then he poured olive oil on the top of it. 19At first, the name of that city was Luz. But Jacob named it Bethel.# This name means “house of God.”
20Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “I want God to be with me and protect me on this journey. I want God to give me food to eat and clothes to wear. 21Then I will be able to return in peace to my father’s house. If the Lord does these things, he will be my God. 22This stone which I have set up on its end will be the house of God. And I will give God one-tenth of all he gives me.”