Genesis 28

Jacob's journey

1 Isaac called for Jacob. Isaac blessed him. He told him ‘Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go now to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of Bethuel. He is your mother's father. Take a wife from there. Take a wife from the daughters of Laban. He is your mother's brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you. May he make you rich. And may he give you many descendants so that your descendants become a group of people. 4 May God give to you the blessing that he gave to Abraham. And may he give it to your descendants. Then you can take the land in which you live as a foreign person. This is the land that God gave to Abraham.’ 5 Isaac sent Jacob on his journey. Jacob went to Paddan Aram. He went to Laban, who was the son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekah. Rebekah was the mother of Jacob and Esau.

6 Esau heard that Isaac blessed Jacob. He knew that Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan Aram. And he knew that Isaac told Jacob to take a wife from Paddan Aram. Esau knew that Isaac told Jacob ‘Do not marry a Canaanite woman.’ 7 Esau knew that Jacob obeyed his father and mother. And that Jacob went to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau knew that Isaac did not like the Canaanite women. 9 So Esau went to Ishmael. He married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth. Mahalath is also the daughter of Ishmael. Ishmael is the son of Abraham. Esau married Mahalath. And he kept his other wives.

10 Jacob left Beersheba. He went towards Haran. 11 He came to a place. And he stayed there for the night. He stayed there because the sun had gone down. He took a stone. He put it under his head. And he lay down and went to sleep. 12 He had a dream. In the dream, he saw some steps. The steps went from the earth, into heaven. The angels of God went up and down the steps.

13 The Lord stood above the steps. He said, ‘I am the Lord. I am the God of your father Abraham. And I am the God of Isaac. I will give you the land that you lie on. I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as many as the dust of the earth. They will go to the west and to the east. They will go to the north and to the south. I will bless the people of the earth because of one of your descendants.

28:14This is the promise that God made to Abraham. See 13:16.

15 I am with you. And I will watch over you everywhere you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you. Not until I have done what I have promised you.’

28:15God tells Jacob that he will always be with him.

16 Jacob woke from his sleep. He thought ‘The Lord is in this place. And I did not know.’ 17 Jacob was afraid. He said, ‘How great this place is! This must be the house of God. This is the gate of heaven.’

18 In the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head. He made it stand up straight in the ground. He poured oil on top of it.

28:18The oil was probably olive oil. Olives grow on trees. Pouring oil on something showed that it belonged to God.

19 Jacob called that place Bethel. The name of the place was Luz. But Jacob called it Bethel.

28:19Bethel means house of God.

20 Then Jacob made a promise. He said, ‘I want God to be with me and to watch over me, while I am on this journey. I want him to give me food to eat and clothes to wear. 21 I want to return to my father's house. If God does all these things, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone that I have put here will be God's house. And from every thing that God gives me, I will give God one tenth.’