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Genesis 28

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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.’
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Isaac's Instructions to Jacob
1Isaac called in Jacob, then gave him a blessing, and said:
Don't marry any of those Canaanite women. 2Go at once to your mother's father Bethuel in northern Syria#28.2 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10. and choose a wife from one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. 3I pray that God All-Powerful will bless you with many descendants and let you become a great nation. 4#Gn 17.4-8. May he bless you with the land he promised Abraham, so that you will take over this land where we now live as foreigners.
5Isaac then sent Jacob to stay with Rebekah's brother Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
Esau Marries the Daughter of Ishmael
6Esau found out that his father Isaac had blessed Jacob and had warned him not to marry any of the Canaanite women. He also learned that Jacob had been sent to find a wife in northern Syria#28.6 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10. 7and that he had obeyed his father and mother. 8Esau already had several wives, but he now realized how much his father hated the Canaanite women. 9So he married Ishmael's daughter Mahalath, who was the sister of Nebaioth#28.9 Nebaioth: Ishmael's oldest son (see 25.13). and the granddaughter of Abraham.
Jacob's Dream at Bethel
10 # Ws 10.10. Jacob left the town of Beersheba and started out for Haran. 11At sunset he stopped for the night and went to sleep, resting his head on a large rock. 12#Jn 1.51. In a dream he saw a ladder that reached from earth to heaven, and God's angels were going up and down on it.
13 # Gn 13.14,15. The Lord was standing beside the ladder#28.13 the ladder: Or “Jacob” or “the stairway.” and said:
I am the Lord God who was worshiped by Abraham and Isaac. I will give to you and your family the land on which you are now sleeping. 14#Gn 12.3; 22.18. Your descendants will spread over the earth in all directions and will become as numerous as the specks of dust. Your family will be a blessing to all people.#28.14 Your family … people: Or “All people will ask me to bless them as I have blessed your family.” 15Wherever you go, I will watch over you, then later I will bring you back to this land. I won't leave you—I will do all I have promised.
16Jacob woke up suddenly and thought, “The Lord is in this place, and I didn't even know it.” 17Then Jacob became frightened and said, “What a frightening place! It must be the house of God and the gateway to heaven.”
18When Jacob got up early the next morning, he took the rock that he had used for a pillow and stood it up as a place of worship. Then he poured olive oil on the rock to dedicate it to God, 19and he named the place Bethel.#28.19 Bethel: In Hebrew “Bethel” means “House of God.” Before that it had been named Luz.
20Jacob solemnly promised God, “If you go with me and watch over me as I travel, and if you give me food and clothes 21and bring me safely home again, you will be my God. 22This rock will be your house, and I will give back to you a tenth of everything you give me.”