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
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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.