Isaac Sends Jacob Away
1Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You are not to marry any of the Canaanite women. 2Quick! Go to Paddan Aram. Go to the home of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and get yourself a wife from there from the daughters of your uncle Laban. 3May God Almighty bless you, make you fertile, and increase the number of your descendants so that you will become a community of people. 4May he give to you and your descendants the blessing of Abraham so that you may take possession of the land where you are now living, the land that God gave to Abraham.”
5Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan Aram. Jacob went to live with Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean and brother of Rebekah. She was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him away to Paddan Aram to get a wife from there. He learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had commanded him not to marry any of the Canaanite women. 7He also learned that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had left for Paddan Aram. 8Esau realized that his father Isaac disapproved of Canaanite women. 9So he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth, in addition to the wives he had.
Jacob’s First Encounter with God
10Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11When he came to a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had gone down. He took one of the stones from that place, put it under his head, and lay down there. 12He had a dream in which he saw a stairway set up on the earth with its top reaching up to heaven. He saw the angels of God going up and coming down on it. 13The Lord was standing above it, saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give the land on which you are lying to you and your descendants. 14Your descendants will be like the dust on the earth. You will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. Through you and through your descendant every family on earth will be blessed. 15Remember, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will also bring you back to this land because I will not leave you until I do what I’ve promised you.”
16Then Jacob woke up from his sleep and exclaimed, “Certainly, the Lord is in this place, and I didn’t know it!” 17Filled with awe, he said, “How awe-inspiring this place is! Certainly, this is the house of God and the gateway to heaven!”
18Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had put under his head. He set it up as a marker and poured olive oil on top of it. 19He named that place Bethel [House of God]. Previously, the name of the city was Luz.
20Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and will watch over me on my trip and give me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will be my God. 22This stone that I have set up as a marker will be the house of God, and I will surely give you a tenth of everything you give me.”
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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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