1So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, “You must not marry any of these Canaanite women. 2Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban’s daughters. 3May God Almighty#28:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai. bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations! 4May God pass on to you and your descendants#28:4 Hebrew seed; also in 28:13, 14. the blessings he promised to Abraham. May you own this land where you are now living as a foreigner, for God gave this land to Abraham.”
5So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to stay with his uncle Laban, his mother’s brother, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
6Esau knew that his father, Isaac, had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” 7He also knew that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan-aram. 8It was now very clear to Esau that his father did not like the local Canaanite women. 9So Esau visited his uncle Ishmael’s family and married one of Ishmael’s daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife’s name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
13At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
16Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”
18The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. 19He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although it was previously called Luz.
20Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. 22And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”
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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.”
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