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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