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 Jacob and blessed him. Then Isaac gave him a command and said, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman. 2So leave this place and go to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Laban, your mother’s brother, lives there. Marry one of his daughters. 3I pray that God All-Powerful#28:3 God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.” will bless you and give you many children. I pray that you will become the father of a great nation 4and that God will bless you and your children the same way he blessed Abraham. And I pray that you will own the land where you live. This is the land God gave to Abraham.”
5So Isaac sent Jacob to Rebekah’s brother in Paddan Aram. Jacob went to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Esau learned that his father Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. He also learned that Isaac commanded Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman. 7Esau learned that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother and went to Paddan Aram. 8Esau saw from this that his father did not want his sons to marry Canaanite women. 9Esau already had two wives, but he went to Abraham’s son Ishmael and married another woman, Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. Mahalath was Nebaioth’s sister.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. 11The sun had already set when he came to a good place to spend the night. He took a rock there and laid his head on it to sleep. 12Jacob had a dream. He dreamed there was a ladder that was on the ground and reached up into heaven. He saw the angels of God going up and down the ladder. 13And then Jacob saw the Lord standing by the ladder. He said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. I will give you the land that you are lying on now. I will give this land to you and to your children. 14You will have as many descendants as there are particles of dust on the earth. They will spread east and west, north and south. All the families on earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants.
15“I am with you, and I will protect you everywhere you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.”
16Then Jacob woke up and said, “I know that the Lord is in this place, but I did not know he was here until I slept.”
17Jacob was afraid and said, “This is a very great place. This is the house of God. This is the gate to heaven.”
18Jacob got up very early in the morning. He took the rock he had slept on and set it up on its edge. Then he poured oil on the rock. In this way he made it a memorial to God. 19The name of that place was Luz, but Jacob named it Bethel.#28:19 Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.”
20Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “If God will be with me, and if he will protect me on this trip, and if he gives me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21and if I return in peace to my father’s house—if he does all these things—then the Lord will be my God. 22I am setting this stone up as a memorial stone. It will show that this is a holy place for God, and I will give God one-tenth of all he gives me.”
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