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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 28

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1So Isaac called Jacob, and after blessing him, gave him these instructions: ‘You are not to marry a Canaanite woman. 2Go now to the home of Bethuel, your mother's father, in Paddan-aram, and there find a wife, one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. 3May God Almighty bless you; may he make you fruitful and increase your descendants until they become a community of nations. 4May he bestow on you and your offspring the blessing given to Abraham, that you may possess the land where you are now living, and which God assigned to Abraham!’ 5Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramaean and brother of Rebecca, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

6Esau learnt that Isaac had given Jacob his blessing and had sent him away to Paddan-aram to find a wife there, that when he blessed him he had forbidden him to marry a Canaanite woman, 7and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and gone to Paddan-aram. 8Seeing that his father disliked Canaanite women, 9Esau went to Ishmael, and, in addition to his other wives, married Mahalath sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham's son Ishmael.

10Jacob set out from Beersheba and journeyed towards Harran. 11He came to a certain shrine and, because the sun had gone down, he stopped for the night. He took one of the stones there and, using it as a pillow under his head, he lay down to sleep. 12In a dream he saw a ladder, which rested on the ground with its top reaching to heaven, and angels of God were going up and down on it. 13The LORD was standing beside him a 28:13 beside him: or above it. saying, ‘I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. This land on which you are lying I shall give to you and your descendants. 14They will be countless as the specks of dust on the ground, and you will spread far and wide, to west and east, to north and south. All the families of the earth will wish to be blessed as you and your descendants are blessed. 15I shall be with you to protect you wherever you go, and I shall bring you back to this land. I shall not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’

16When Jacob woke from his sleep he said, ‘Truly the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.’ 17He was awestruck and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; it is the gateway to heaven.’ 18Early in the morning, when Jacob awoke, he took the stone on which his head had rested, and set it up as a sacred pillar, pouring oil over it. 19He named that place Beth-el b 28:19 Beth-el: that is House of God. ; but the earlier name of the town was Luz.

20Jacob made this vow: ‘If God will be with me, if he will protect me on my journey and give me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21so that I come back safely to my father's house, then the LORD shall be my God, 22and this stone which I have set up as a sacred pillar shall be a house of God. And of all that you give me, I shall allot a tenth part to you.’

Notes:

a 28:13 beside him: or above it.

b 28:19 Beth-el: that is House of God.

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