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Genesis 28

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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. 4May he bless you with the land he gave Abraham, so that you will take over this land where we now live as foreigners.#Gn 17.4-8.
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 learnt 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 realized at last 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 eldest son (see 25.13). and the granddaughter of Abraham.
Jacob and his family
Jacob's dream at Bethel
10Jacob 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. 12In a dream he saw a ladder#28.12 ladder: Or “stairway”. that reached from earth to heaven, and God's angels were going up and down on it.#Jn 1.51.
13The LORD was standing beside the ladder#28.13 the ladder: Or “Jacob” or “the stairway” (see the note at 28.12). and said:#Gn 13.14,15.
I am the LORD God who was worshipped by Abraham and Isaac. I will give to you and your family the land on which you are now sleeping. 14Your 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.”#Gn 12.3; 22.18. 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, “This is a fearsome place! It must be the house of God and the ladder#28.17 ladder: See the note at 28.12. 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 for 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.”
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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.”