Genesis 28: Jacob’s Great Escape

What was Isaac’s attitude toward Jacob and his stealing Esau’s blessing?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 28:1–5 Isaac summoned Jacob and blessed him. “You must not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, in Mesopotamia. Marry one of your uncle Laban’s daughters there. May Almighty God bless you with many children who grow into a multitude of people. May Abraham’s promised blessings be passed on to you and your descendants, to possess the land in which you are a foreigner.”
So Isaac sent Jacob to the household of his uncle Laban, son of Rebekah’s brother Bethuel, in Mesopotamia.
King James
Genesis 28:1–5 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. Arise, go to Padanaram, 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. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 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. And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.

How much did Isaac know about Laban’s family? Why did he think Jacob would be allowed to marry one of Laban’s daughters?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 28:1–5 Isaac summoned Jacob and blessed him. “You must not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, in Mesopotamia. Marry one of your uncle Laban’s daughters there. May Almighty God bless you with many children who grow into a multitude of people. May Abraham’s promised blessings be passed on to you and your descendants, to possess the land in which you are a foreigner.”
So Isaac sent Jacob to the household of his uncle Laban, son of Rebekah’s brother Bethuel, in Mesopotamia.
King James
Genesis 28:1–5 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. Arise, go to Padanaram, 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. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 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. And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.

Why did Esau think his marrying a daughter of Ishmael would please his father?

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Genesis 28:6–9 Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Mesopotamia for a wife, commanding him not to marry a Canaanite woman. After Jacob obeyed his parents and went to Mesopotamia, Esau realized how much Isaac disliked Canaanite women, so he went to Ishmael, Abraham’s son. In addition to the wives he already had, he married Ishmael’s daughter Mahalath, who was Nebaioth’s sister.
King James
Genesis 28:6–9 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, 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; And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 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.

When Jacob left Beersheba, did he have any fear of Esau following after him to kill him? Why?

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Genesis 28:10 Jacob left Beersheba for Haran.
King James
Genesis 28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

When he camped for the night, why didn’t Jacob have something better than a large stone to use for a pillow?

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Genesis 28:11 At sunset, he camped for the night, found a large stone that worked as a pillow, and went to sleep.
King James
Genesis 28:11 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.

Do you think the stairway Jacob saw was real? Why?

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Genesis 28:12 As he dreamed, he saw a stairway from Earth to Heaven, and God’s angels were going up and down the stairs.
King James
Genesis 28:12 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.

If Jacob already knew about God’s appearances to his father and grandfather and the promise made to them, what made the message in his dream impactful?

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Genesis 28:13–15 The Lord was standing at the top of the stairway. “I am the Lord God of Abraham and Isaac,” he said. “I will give the land where you are to you and your descendants.
“Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth. They will spread to the north, south, east, and west. Through you and your descendants, all families on Earth will be blessed. Wherever you go, I will walk with you. I will bring you back to this land. I will stay with you until all I have promised is fulfilled.”
King James
Genesis 28:13–15 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; 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. 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.

After Jacob woke up, how could he know that God really had spoken to him, that this was more than just a vivid dream?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 28:16–17 When Jacob woke up, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I didn’t know.” Overwhelmed with deep reverence, he said, “This place is awesome. This is the gateway to Heaven, where God lives.”
King James
Genesis 28:16–17 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. 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.

Why did Jacob think he had found the portal to Heaven? Was he right? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 28:16–17 When Jacob woke up, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I didn’t know.” Overwhelmed with deep reverence, he said, “This place is awesome. This is the gateway to Heaven, where God lives.”
King James
Genesis 28:16–17 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. 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.

Why did Jacob pour oil upon the stone used for a pillow and set it up as a memorial? Who besides Jacob would have any knowledge of that stone?

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Genesis 28:18–19 First thing in the morning, Jacob took the stone he had used for a pillow, set it upright for a memorial, and poured oil upon it. He named the place Bethel, which became the name of the city instead of Luz.
King James
Genesis 28:18–19 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. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Was Jacob right in specifying conditions for accepting the Lord as his God? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 28:20–21 Jacob made a solemn promise, saying, “If God will walk with me and protect me, if he will give me food to eat and clothes to wear, and take me back to my father Isaac’s house in peace, then the Lord will be my God.”
King James
Genesis 28:20–21 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, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:

How would it make sense to approach a billionaire with this offer: “If you’ll give me a million dollars, I’ll give you a hundred thousand”? Why did Jacob think giving a tenth of God’s blessings was a good deal for anyone? To whom would he give the 10 percent?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 28:22 “This stone that I have set up for a memorial marks the place where God lives, and I will give a tenth of all I have been given.”
King James
Genesis 28:22 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.