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Genesis 28

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1Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. “Don't marry a Canaanite woman,” he ordered him. 2“Leave right away and go to Paddan-aram, to the home of Bethuel, your mother's father. Find yourself a wife there—a daughter of Laban, your mother's brother. 3God Almighty bless you and may your descendants be so numerous that you become the ancestor of many nations. 4May he grant you and your descendants the same blessing he gave to Abraham, so that you may take over the land where you now live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
5So Isaac sent Jacob on his way. He traveled to Paddan-aram, to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Esau found out that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife there, and that when he blessed him he ordered him, “Don't marry a Canaanite woman.” 7He also discovered that Jacob had done what his father and mother told him and had left for Paddan-aram. 8This made Esau realize how much his father disliked Canaanite women. 9So he went to Ishmael's family and married an additional wife—Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth.
10In the meantime Jacob had set off from Beersheba on his way to Haran. 11He arrived after sunset at a particular place and stopped there for the night. He picked up a stone, put it under his head, lay down and went to sleep.
12He dreamed he saw a stairway that started on earth, and the top reached all the way into heaven. He saw God's angels going up and down on it. 13Then he saw the Lord standing over him,#28:13. “Over him”: or, “over it.” who said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham, and the God of Isaac. I'm giving you and your descendants the land you're lying on. 14Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth, and will spread out west and east, and north and south. Everyone on earth will be blessed by your descendants. 15Listen! I am with you and will take care of you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this country. I won't leave you because I'm going to do what I've promised you.”
16When Jacob woke up he said to himself, “The Lord is right here, in this place, and I didn't realize it!”#28:16. Jacob seems to be surprised that the Lord is present in some random location and not in some regular “sacred place.” 17He became frightened and said, “This is a scary place! It must be the house of God and the entrance to heaven.”
18When Jacob got up in the morning he took the stone he'd put under his head and set it upright as a stone pillar and poured some olive oil on it. 19He named the place “Bethel,”#28:19. “Bethel” means “house of God.” (previously it was called Luz). 20Jacob also made a solemn promise, saying, “God, if you will be with me, and take care of me on my journey, and give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21so I can return safely to my father's home, then you Lord will be my God. 22This stone pillar that I've set up will be the house of God,#28:22. In other words, a place of worship. and I will give you one tenth of all you give 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.’