And he called the name of that place Bethel
The house of God, which he took this place to be: but the name of that city [was called] Luz at the first;
which signifies an almond or hazel nut, ( Genesis 30:37 ) ; perhaps from the number of this sort of trees that grew there, under which Jacob might lay himself down, which was probably in the field of Luz; and being at night, he might not know there was a city so near, until the morning. Though Josephus F18 says he did it purposely, out of hatred to the Canaanites, and chose rather to lie under the open air. This was about twelve miles from Jerusalem, as Jerom F19 says.