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. 4#Gn 17.4-8. May he bless you with the land he promised Abraham, so that you will take over this land where we now live as foreigners.
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 learned 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 now realized 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 oldest son (see 25.13). and the granddaughter of Abraham.
Jacob's Dream at Bethel
10 # Ws 10.10. Jacob 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. 12#Jn 1.51. In a dream he saw a ladder that reached from earth to heaven, and God's angels were going up and down on it.
13 # Gn 13.14,15. The Lord was standing beside the ladder#28.13 the ladder: Or “Jacob” or “the stairway.” and said:
I am the Lord God who was worshiped by Abraham and Isaac. I will give to you and your family the land on which you are now sleeping. 14#Gn 12.3; 22.18. Your 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.” 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, “What a frightening place! It must be the house of God and the gateway 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 as 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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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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