Genesis 28:10-22

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran.
11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 There above it[a] stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[b]
15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
19 He called that place Bethel,[c] though the city used to be called Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD[d] will be my God
22 and[e] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Genesis 28:10-22 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 28

In this chapter an account is given of the charge Isaac gave to Jacob not to marry a Canaanitess, but to go to Padanaram, and take a wife from his mother's family, and of his blessing him before he sent him away, Ge 28:1-5; of the notice that Esau took of this blessing and charge, which led him to take a wife of the family of Ishmael, Ge 28:6-9; of the dream of the ladder, which Jacob had in his way to Haran, Ge 28:10-12; of the blessing which God conferred upon him there, Ge 28:13-15; of the awfulness of the place upon his awaking, and of his erecting a pillar in it, and giving a name to it, Ge 28:16-19; and of the vow he made to God, should he be supplied with the necessaries of life, and be kept in safety by him, Ge 28:20-22.

Genesis 28:10-22 In-Context

8 Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac;
9 so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran.
11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.
15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD will be my God
22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Cross References 38

  • 1. S Genesis 21:14
  • 2. S Genesis 11:31
  • 3. S Genesis 12:8
  • 4. ver 18
  • 5. S Genesis 20:3; Genesis 37:19
  • 6. John 1:51
  • 7. S Genesis 12:7; Genesis 35:7,9; Genesis 48:3
  • 8. S Genesis 24:12; Genesis 48:16; Genesis 49:25; Genesis 50:17; Genesis 26:24
  • 9. S Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15; Genesis 35:12
  • 10. Genesis 46:4; Genesis 48:21
  • 11. Genesis 26:4
  • 12. S Genesis 12:2; S Genesis 13:14; S Genesis 26:24
  • 13. S Genesis 12:3; Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:18; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8
  • 14. S Genesis 21:20; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 48:21
  • 15. Numbers 6:24; Ps 121:5,7-8
  • 16. ver 20
  • 17. ver 22; Genesis 35:3
  • 18. ver 21; S Genesis 15:16; Genesis 30:25; Genesis 31:30
  • 19. Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Joshua 1:5; Nehemiah 4:14; Psalms 9:10
  • 20. Leviticus 26:42
  • 21. Psalms 105:10; Numbers 23:19
  • 22. 1 Kings 3:15; Jeremiah 31:26
  • 23. Exodus 3:5; Exodus 19:21; Joshua 5:15; Psalms 68:24,35
  • 24. ver 22; Genesis 32:2; 1 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1
  • 25. ver 11
  • 26. ver 22; Ge 31:13,45,51; Genesis 35:14; Exodus 24:4; Joshua 24:26,27; Isaiah 19:19
  • 27. Leviticus 8:11; Joshua 4:9
  • 28. S Genesis 12:8
  • 29. Genesis 35:6; Genesis 48:3; Joshua 16:2; Joshua 18:13; Judges 1:23,26
  • 30. Genesis 31:13; Leviticus 7:16; Leviticus 22:18; Leviticus 23:38; Leviticus 27:2,9; Numbers 6:2; Numbers 15:3; Deuteronomy 12:6; Judges 11:30; 1 Samuel 1:21; 2 Samuel 15:8
  • 31. S ver 15
  • 32. 1 Timothy 6:8
  • 33. Judges 11:31
  • 34. S ver 15
  • 35. Exodus 15:2; Deuteronomy 26:17; Joshua 24:18; Psalms 48:14; Psalms 118:28
  • 36. S ver 18; 1 Samuel 7:12
  • 37. S ver 17; Genesis 35:7,14
  • 38. S Genesis 14:20; S Numbers 18:21; Luke 18:12; Leviticus 27:30

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Or "There beside him"
  • [b]. Or "will use your name and the name of your offspring in blessings" (see 48:20)
  • [c]. "Bethel" means "house of God."
  • [d]. Or "Since God … father’s household, the " Lord
  • [e]. Or "household, and the " Lord"will be my God, " 22"then"
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