New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter

Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 28 Jan. 16 
Jacob Sent to Laban 
Isaac called Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2Arise, go to Paddan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father. Take a wife from there from the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a company of peoples, 4and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you, and to your seed with you, that you may inherit the land where you travel, which God gave to Abraham. 5Isaac sent Jacob away. He went to Paddan Aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, Rebekah’s brother, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother. 6Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan Aram, to take him a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a command, saying, You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan, 7and that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan Aram. 8Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan didn’t please Isaac, his father. 9Esau went to Ishmael, and took, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife.
Jacob’s Vision of the Ladder 
10Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11He came to a certain place, and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. He took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12He dreamed. Behold, a stairway set upon the earth, and its top reached to heaven. Behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13Behold, Yahweh stood above it, and said, I am Yahweh, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed. 14Your seed will be as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. In you and in your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed. 15Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken of to you. 16Jacob awakened out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Yahweh is in this place, and I didn’t know it. 17He was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other than God’s house, and this is the gate of heaven. 18Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on its top. 19He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on, 21so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God, 22then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God’s house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you.


28:1 Here and in :7 we see the repeated emphasis on the need to marry within the household of faith.
28:4 Isaac perhaps now realized that the fatherly blessing over which there had been so much grief was irrelevant compared to God's blessing.
28:12 Jacob's dreaming of a pagan ziggurat could indicate that subconsciously his mind was in pagan things rather than those of Yahweh. But God worked through that, and transformed the dream into a message from the true God. God with amazing patience works through our weaknesses, lack of faith and misunderstandings to bring us to Him as the one true God.
28:13 God made these unconditional promises to Jacob even though at that time Jacob had not accepted Yahweh as his God (:21), thus showing His grace. God in Christ has forgiven every person their sins and promised them salvation- all they have to do is accept Him in faith. God takes the initiative in grace- He doesn't give us His promises as a 'Well done' for our showing faith in Him. He has taken the initiative and it is for us to respond. Jacob there in his unbelief, or agnosticism, with Angels ascending and descending upon him, was in fact a type of Christ (Jn. 1:51).
28:21,22 Jacob seems sceptical of God's promise- he says that if indeed God does what He promises, then Jacob will accept Yahweh as his God and give him a tithe. The offer of a tithe seems very mean- the God who has promised us so very much deserves our all, not just a tenth.