Genesis Chapter 28

Esau and Jacob are the sons of Isaac. At this point in the book of Genesis, Esau is angry with Jacob and wants to kill him. In order to have safety, Jacob was sent by his father Isaac to be with family. Isaac is concerned for Jacob and does not want him to marry outside the covenant. (See chapter 27.) This chapter begins:

1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
2 Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother.
3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.

Isaac tells Jacob that he must not marry a canaanite woman, but instead he should go to family and marry in the covenant. Isaac blesses Jacob that he will have a great posterity, just as he and his father Abraham had been blessed. He also blesses him with the inheritance of the land promised to Abraham and his seed.

6 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;
7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padan-aram;
8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

Esau knew what Isaac wanted for Jacob, and knew that he had been given blessings. He decided to marry Ishmael’s daughter. According to the footnote of the word wife in verse 9, this marriage was not of the covenant. I may be wrong, but I get the impression that Esau wanted to rebel against the thing his father wanted, because he was not going to receive the blessings he had desired from his father.

10 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran.
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

Jacob had a vision in the night of a ladder reaching to heaven. I believe this vision is what is referred to as Jacob’s ladder. The ladder was that path of angels. The Lord promised Jacob the land he was in, and a great number of seed to spread across the earth. He was also promised the companionship of the Lord to lead him where he traveled and bring him back to this land he was in.

16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.
17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
19 And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
20 And Jacob 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 raiment to put on,
21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:
22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

After the vision, Jacob realized this was a holy place for him. It sounds to me like he took time to consecrate this place for the Lord. He made a covenant with God so that he would continue to have God with him to help him, guide him and provide for him. In return for all the blessings that God would given him, Jacob promised to give a tenth of all he had to the Lord. This was a promise from Jacob to pay tithing so that he could be worthy of the promises of the Lord.

I think that it is important to recognize that the great blessings which the Lord has given to the children of Israel and all his righteous servants, are blessings that have to do with multiplying of their seed and becoming parents of great nations. Having children and a large posterity is a blessing from God. Those who make and keep sacred covenants with God, can have the blessings of eternal posterity and children without number. I wish that more people today could understand how great and sacred the opportunity to have children is to God. I am so grateful for this blessing in my life and for the opportunity to raise God’s spirit children on this earth. I hope that I can be worthy of the promised blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for eternity.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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