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Genesis 28

28
Isaac Sends Jacob Away
1Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You are not to marry any of the Canaanite women. 2Quick! Go to Paddan Aram. Go to the home of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and get yourself a wife from there from the daughters of your uncle Laban. 3May God Almighty bless you, make you fertile, and increase the number of your descendants so that you will become a community of people. 4May he give to you and your descendants the blessing of Abraham so that you may take possession of the land where you are now living, the land that God gave to Abraham.”
5Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan Aram. Jacob went to live with Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean and brother of Rebekah. She was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him away to Paddan Aram to get a wife from there. He learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had commanded him not to marry any of the Canaanite women. 7He also learned that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had left for Paddan Aram. 8Esau realized that his father Isaac disapproved of Canaanite women. 9So he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth, in addition to the wives he had.
Jacob’s First Encounter with God
10Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11When he came to a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had gone down. He took one of the stones from that place, put it under his head, and lay down there. 12He had a dream in which he saw a stairway set up on the earth with its top reaching up to heaven. He saw the angels of God going up and coming down on it. 13The Lord was standing above it, saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give the land on which you are lying to you and your descendants. 14Your descendants will be like the dust on the earth. You will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. Through you and through your descendant every family on earth will be blessed. 15Remember, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will also bring you back to this land because I will not leave you until I do what I’ve promised you.”
16Then Jacob woke up from his sleep and exclaimed, “Certainly, the Lord is in this place, and I didn’t know it!” 17Filled with awe, he said, “How awe-inspiring this place is! Certainly, this is the house of God and the gateway to heaven!”
18Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had put under his head. He set it up as a marker and poured olive oil on top of it. 19He named that place Bethel [House of God]. Previously, the name of the city was Luz.
20Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and will watch over me on my trip and give me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will be my God. 22This stone that I have set up as a marker will be the house of God, and I will surely give you a tenth of everything 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.’