God spoke to Jacob: "Go back to Bethel. Stay there and build an altar to the God who revealed himself to you when you were running for your life from your brother Esau."
Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, "Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes,
we're going to Bethel. I'm going to build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere I've gone since."
They turned over to Jacob all the alien gods they'd been holding on to, along with their lucky-charm earrings. Jacob buried them under the oak tree in Shechem.
Then they set out. A paralyzing fear descended on all the surrounding villages so that they were unable to pursue the sons of Jacob.
Jacob and his company arrived at Luz, that is, Bethel, in the land of Canaan.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)