1 Isaac called Jacob and blessed him. Then Isaac gave him a command and said, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 So leave this place and go to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Laban, your mother’s brother, lives there. Marry one of his daughters. 3 I pray that God All-Powerful* God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.” will bless you and give you many children. I pray that you will become the father of a great nation 4 and that God will bless you and your children the same way he blessed Abraham. And I pray that you will own the land where you live. This is the land God gave to Abraham.”
5 So Isaac sent Jacob to Rebekah’s brother in Paddan Aram. Jacob went to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Esau learned that his father Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. He also learned that Isaac commanded Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman. 7 Esau learned that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother and went to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau saw from this that his father did not want his sons to marry Canaanite women. 9 Esau already had two wives, but he went to Abraham’s son Ishmael and married another woman, Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. Mahalath was Nebaioth’s sister.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. 11 The sun had already set when he came to a good place to spend the night. He took a rock there and laid his head on it to sleep. 12 Jacob had a dream. He dreamed there was a ladder that was on the ground and reached up into heaven. He saw the angels of God going up and down the ladder. 13 And then Jacob saw the LORD standing by the ladder. He said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. I will give you the land that you are lying on now. I will give this land to you and to your children. 14 You will have as many descendants as there are particles of dust on the earth. They will spread east and west, north and south. All the families on earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants.
15 “I am with you, and I will protect you everywhere you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.”
16 Then Jacob woke up and said, “I know that the LORD is in this place, but I did not know he was here until I slept.”
17 Jacob was afraid and said, “This is a very great place. This is the house of God. This is the gate to heaven.”
18 Jacob got up very early in the morning. He took the rock he had slept on and set it up on its edge. Then he poured oil on the rock. In this way he made it a memorial to God. 19 The name of that place was Luz, but Jacob named it Bethel.† Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.”
20 Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “If God will be with me, and if he will protect me on this trip, and if he gives me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21 and if I return in peace to my father’s house—if he does all these things—then the LORD will be my God. 22 I am setting this stone up as a memorial stone. It will show that this is a holy place for God, and I will give God one-tenth of all he gives me.”
*28:3 God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.”
†28:19 Bethel A town in Israel. This name means “God’s house.”