Genesis Chapter 28
1 Isaac called Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, "You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
2 Arise, go to Paddan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father. Take a wife from there from the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother.
3 May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a company of peoples,
4 and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you, that you may inherit the land where you travel, which God gave to Abraham."
5 Isaac sent Jacob away. He went to Paddan Aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
6 Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan Aram, to take him a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a command, saying, "You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;"
7 and that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan Aram.
8 Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan didn't please Isaac, his father.
9 Esau went to Ishmael, and took, in addition to the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife.
10 Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went towards Haran.
11 He came to a certain place, and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. He took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 He dreamt and saw a stairway set upon the earth, and its top reached to heaven. Behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 Behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. I will give the land you lie on to you and to your offspring.
14 Your offspring will be as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. In you and in your offspring, all the families of the earth will be blessed.
15 Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken of to you."
16 Jacob awakened out of his sleep, and he said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I didn't know it."
17 He was afraid, and said, "How awesome this place is! This is none other than God's house, and this is the gate of heaven."
18 Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on its top.
19 He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.
20 Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on,
21 so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and the LORD will be my God,
22 then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God's house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give a tenth to you."
Version: World English Bible
- About World English Bible (WEB)
- WEB Glossary
- WEB Web Site (source documents)
- Bible on one web page
- Download WEB (for MS Word)
To Listen to this Chapter
The mp3 Audio File should start to play in a new Tab. Then return to this Tab to follow the text whilst listening.
Genesis Chapter 28 Guide
Here Jacob is seen exiled from his home, flying from Beersheba. In this connection we have the account of the first of the direct divine communications to him. Tired and weary, he reached Luz and during a dream he had a vision which suggested communication between heaven and earth. What impressed Jacob, however, seems not to have been that part of the vision, but the fact that Jehovah was there in that distant place and that He spoke to him. On waking, Jacob declared his new consciousness of the presence of God. It is not to be wondered at that such a revelation filled him with a sense of awe as he cried, "How dreadful is this place."
On the following morning he showed the two sides of his nature. His deep religious conviction and faith were indicated by the erection of a stone and naming the place Beth-el, the House of God. His restless activity was manifested in the bargaining spirit in which he expressed himself. In the vision of the night God had promised to be with him and now he says that if that will be so, he will give a tenth of all he possesses to God.
That is faith but on a low level. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the memory of the midnight vision remained with him through all the coming days. It is evident that by this appearance he was arrested, and the spirit of his coming to the house of Laban was changed.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.
Genesis Chapter 28 Commentary
- Isaac sends Jacob to Padan-aram. -- (1-5)
- Esau marries the daughter of Ishmael. -- (6-9)
- Jacob's vision. -- (10-15)
- The stone of Beth-el. -- (16-19)
- Jacob's vow. -- (20-22)
Jacob had blessings promised both as to this world and that which is to come; yet goes out to a hard service. This corrected him for the fraud on his father. The blessing shall be conferred on him, yet he shall smart for the indirect course taken to obtain it. Jacob is dismissed by his father with a solemn charge. He must not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan: those who profess religion, should not marry with those that care not for religion. Also with a solemn blessing. Isaac had before blessed him unwittingly; now he does it designedly. This blessing is more full than the former; it is a gospel blessing. This promise looks as high as heaven, of which Canaan was a type. That was the better country which Jacob and the other patriarchs had in view.
Good examples impress even the profane and malicious. But Esau thought, by pleasing his parents in one thing, to atone for other wrong doings. Carnal hearts are apt to think themselves as good as they should be, because in some one matter they are not so bad as they have been.
Jacob's conduct hitherto, as recorded, was not that of one who simply feared and trusted in God. But now in trouble, obliged to flee, he looked only to God to make him to dwell in safety, and he could lie down and sleep in the open air with his head upon a stone. Any true believer would be willing to take up with Jacob's pillow, provided he might have Jacob's vision. God's time to visit his people with his comforts, is, when they are most destitute of other comforts, and other comforters. Jacob saw a ladder which reached from earth to heaven, the angels going up and coming down, and God himself at the head of it. This represents,
- The providence of God, by which there is a constant intercourse kept up between heaven and earth. This let Jacob know that he had both a good guide and a good guard.
- The mediation of Christ. He is this ladder; the foot on earth in his human nature, the top in heaven in his Divine nature. Christ is the Way; all God's favours come to us, and all our services go to him, by Christ, Joh 1:51. By this way, sinners draw near to the throne of grace with acceptance. By faith we perceive this way, and in prayer we approach by it. In answer to prayer we receive all needful blessings of providence and grace. We have no way of getting to heaven but by Christ. And when the soul, by faith, can see these things, then every place will become pleasant, and every prospect joyful. He will never leave us, until his last promise is accomplished in our everlasting happiness. God now spake comfortably to Jacob. He spake from the head of the ladder. All the glad tidings we receive from heaven come through Jesus Christ. The Messiah should come from Jacob. Christ is the great blessing of the world. All that are blessed, are blessed in him, and none of any family are shut out from blessedness in him, but those that shut out themselves. Jacob had to fear danger from his brother Esau; but God promises to keep him. He had a long journey before him; to an unknown country; but, Behold, I am with thee, and God promises to bring him back again to this land. He seemed to be forsaken of all his friends; but God gives him this assurance, I will not leave thee. Whom God loves, he never leaves.
God manifested himself and his favour, to Jacob, when he was asleep. The Spirit, like the wind, blows when and where it listeth, and God's grace, like the dew, tarrieth not for the sons of men. Jacob sought to improve the visit God had made him. Wherever we are, in the city or in the desert, in the house or in the field, in the shop or in the street, we may keep up our intercourse with Heaven, if it is not our own fault. But the more we see of God, the more cause we see for holy trembling before him.
Jacob made a solemn vow on this occasion. In this observe,
- Jacob's faith. He trusts that God will be with him, and will keep him; he depends upon it.
- Jacob's moderation in his desires. He asks not for soft clothing and dainty meat. If God give us much, we are bound to be thankful, and to use it for him; if he gives us but little, we are bound to be content, and cheerfully to enjoy him in it.
- Jacob's piety, and his regard to God, appear in what he desired, that God would be with him, and keep him. We need desire no more to make us easy and happy. Also his resolution is, to cleave to the Lord, as his God in covenant. When we receive more than common mercy from God, we should abound in gratitude to him. The tenth is a fit proportion to be devoted to God, and employed for him; though it may be more or less, as God prospers us, 1Co 16:2. Let us then remember our Bethels, how we stand engaged by solemn vows to yield ourselves to the Lord, to take him for our God, and to devote all we have and are to his glory!
From the "Concise Commentary on the Bible" by Matthew Henry.