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12 He dreamed that there was a ladder (stairway) placed on the earth, and the top of it reached [out of sight] toward heaven; and [he saw] the angels of God ascending and descending on it [going to and from heaven].(A) 13 And behold, the Lord stood above and around him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your [father’s] father and the God of Isaac; I will give to you and to your descendants the land [of promise] on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants shall be as [countless as] the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and the east and the north and the south; and all the families (nations) of the earth shall be blessed through you and your [a]descendants.(B) 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep [careful watch over you and guard] you wherever you may go, and I will bring you back to this [promised] land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and he said, “Without any doubt the Lord is in this place, and I did not realize it.” 17 So he was afraid and said, “How fearful and awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gateway to heaven.”

18 So Jacob got up early in the morning, and took the stone he had put under his head and he set it up as a pillar [that is, a monument to the vision in his dream], and he poured [olive] oil on the top of it [to [b]consecrate it]. 19 He named that place Bethel (the house of God); the previous name of that city was Luz (Almond Tree).

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 28:14 I.e. Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is a descendant of Jacob.
  2. Genesis 28:18 I.e. dedicate or declare something sacred for God’s purpose.

28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but [a]Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”(A)

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 32:28 “He who strives with God,” or “God strives.”

Jacob Moves to Bethel

35 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you [in a distinct manifestation] when you fled [years ago] from Esau your brother.”(A) Then Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the [idols and images of] foreign gods that are among you, and ceremonially purify yourselves and change [into fresh] clothes; then let us get up and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the [idols and images of the] foreign gods they had and the rings which were in their ears [worn as charms against evil], and Jacob buried them under the [a]oak tree near Shechem.

As they journeyed, there was a great [supernatural] terror [sent from God] on the cities around them, and [for that reason] the Canaanites did not pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. There he built an altar [to worship the Lord], and called the place El-bethel (God of the House of God), because there God had revealed Himself to him when he escaped from his brother. Now Deborah, [who once was] Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried below Bethel under the oak; and the name of it was called Allon-bacuth (Oak of Weeping).

Jacob Is Named Israel

Then God [in a visible manifestation] appeared to Jacob again when he came out of Paddan-aram, and declared a blessing on him.(B) 10 Again God said to him,

“Your name is Jacob;
You shall no longer be called Jacob,
But Israel shall be your name.”

So he was called [b]Israel. 11 And God said to him,

“I am [c]God Almighty.
Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall come from you,
And kings shall be born of your [d]loins.
12 
“The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac
I will give to you,
and to your descendants after you I will give the land.”

13 Then God ascended from Jacob in the place where He had spoken with him. 14 Jacob set up a pillar (memorial, monument) in the place where he had talked with God, a pillar of stone, and he poured a drink offering [of wine] on it; he also poured oil on it [to declare it sacred for God’s purpose]. 15 So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel (the House of God).

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 35:4 This appears to have been a special tree of uncertain type, perhaps a terebinth tree that had significance for pagan worship.
  2. Genesis 35:10 “He who strives with God” or “God strives” or “Prince of God.”
  3. Genesis 35:11 Heb El Shaddai, the sufficient and powerful One.
  4. Genesis 35:11 The midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips. Often a euphemism for the human genitals.

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