1 And so Isaac called for Jacob, and he blessed him, and he instructed him, saying: "Do not be willing to accept a mate from the family of Canaan.
2 But go, and journey to Mesopotamia of Syria, to the house of Bethuel, your mother's father, and there accept for yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban, your maternal uncle.
3 And may God almighty bless you, and may he cause you to increase and also to multiply, so that you may be influential among the people.
4 And may he give the blessings of Abraham to you, and to your offspring after you, so that you may possess the land of your sojourning, which he promised to your grandfather."
5 And when Isaac had dismissed him, setting out, he went to Mesopotamia of Syria, to Laban, the son of Bethuel, the Syrian, the brother to Rebekah, his mother.
6 But Esau, seeing that his father had blessed Jacob and had sent him into Mesopotamia of Syria, to take a wife from there, and that, after the blessing, he had instructed him, saying: 'You shall not accept a wife from the daughters of Canaan,'
7 and that Jacob, obeying his parents, had gone into Syria,
8 having evidence also that his father did not look with favor upon the daughters of Canaan,
9 he went to Ishmael, and he took as a wife, beside those he had before, Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth.
10 Meanwhile Jacob, having departed from Beersheba, continued on to Haran.
11 And when he had arrived at a certain place, where he would rest after the setting of the sun, he took some of the stones that lay there, and placing them under his head, he slept in the same place.
12 And he saw in his sleep: a ladder standing upon the earth, with its top touching heaven, also, the Angels of God ascending and descending by it,
13 and the Lord, leaning upon the ladder, saying to him: "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The land, in which you sleep, I will give to you and to your offspring.
14 And your offspring will be like the dust of the earth. You will spread abroad to the West, and to the East, and to the North, and to the Meridian. And in you and in your offspring, all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed.
15 And I will be your guardian wherever you will journey, and I will bring you back into this land. Neither will I dismiss you, until I have accomplished all that I have said."
16 And when Jacob had awakened from sleep, he said, "Truly, the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."
17 And being terrified, he said: "How terrible this place is! This is nothing other than the house of God and the gateway of heaven."
18 Therefore, Jacob, arising in the morning, took the stone which he had placed under his head, and he set it up as monument, pouring oil over it.
19 And he called the name of the city, 'Bethel,' which before was called Luz.
20 And then he made a vow, saying: "If God will be with me, and will guard me along the way by which I walk, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear,
21 and if I will return prosperously to my father's house, then the Lord will be my God,
22 and this stone, which I have set up as a monument, will be called 'the House of God.' And from all the things that you will give to me, I will offer tithes to you."
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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© British and Foreign Bible Society 2012