And he built there an altar
As he was bid to do, and as he promised he would, ( Genesis 35:1 Genesis 35:3 ) ; and called the place Elbethel;
the God of Bethel; a title which God takes to himself, ( Genesis 31:13 ) ; or rather the sense is, that he called the place with respect God, or because of his appearance to him there, Bethel, confirming the name he had before given it, ( Genesis 36:19 ) ; see ( Genesis 35:15 ) ; as the following reason shows: because there God appeared;
or the divine Persons, for both words are plural that are used; the Targum of Jonathan has it, the angels of God, and so Aben Ezra interprets it; but here, no doubt, the divine Being is meant, who appeared unto him;
to Jacob in this place, as he went to Mesopotamia, and comforted and encouraged him with many promises; when he fled from the face of his brother;
his brother Esau, who was wroth with him, and sought to take away his life, and therefore was forced to flee for it.