World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
28. Jacob Flees to Laban
1And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2Arise, go to Paddan-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. 3And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a company of peoples. 4And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee. That thou mayest inherit the land of thy sojournings, which God gave unto Abraham. 5And Isaac sent away Jacob. And he went to Paddan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, 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 thence. And that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 7And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan-aram. 8And Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father. 9And Esau went unto 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.
10And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. 11And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set. And he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12And 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. 13And, behold, Jehovah stood above it, and said, I am Jehovah, the 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. 14And 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. 15And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee, whithersoever 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. 16And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Jehovah is in this place. And I knew it not. 17And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18And Jacob 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 upon the top of it. 19And he called the name of that place Beth-el. But the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20And 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, 21so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Jehovah will be my God, 22then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. And of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
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.
This passage concerning Esau comes in in the midst of Jacob's story, either, 1. To show the influence of a good example. Esau, though the greater man, now begins to think Jacob the better man, and disdains not to take him for his pattern in this particular instance of marrying with a daughter of Abraham. The elder children should give to the younger an example of tractableness and obedience; it is bad if they do not: but it is some alleviation if they take the example of it from them, as Esau here did from Jacob. Or, 2. To show the folly of an after-wit. Esau did well, but he did it when it was too late, He saw that the daughters of Canaan pleased not his father, and he might have seen that long ago if he had consulted his father's judgment as much as he did his palate. And how did he now mend the matter? Why, truly, so as to make bad worse. (1.) He married a daughter of Ishmael, the son of the bond-woman, who was cast out, and was not to inherit with Isaac and his seed, thus joining with a family which God had rejected, and seeking to strengthen his own pretensions by the aid of another pretender. (2.) He took a third wife, while, for aught that appears, his other two were neither dead nor divorced. (3.) He did it only to please his father, not to please God. Now that Jacob was sent into a far country Esau would be all in all at home, and he hoped so to humour his father as to prevail with him to make a new will, and entail the promise upon him, revoking the settlement lately made upon Jacob. And thus, [1.] He was wise when it was too late, like Israel that would venture when the decree had gone forth against them (Num. xiv. 40), and the foolish virgins, Matt. xxv. 11. [2.] He rested in a partial reformation, and thought, by pleasing his parents in one thing, to atone for all his other miscarriages. It is not said that when he saw how obedient Jacob was, and how willing to please his parents, he repented of his malicious design against him: no, it appeared afterwards that he persisted in that, and 171 retained his malice. Note, Carnal hearts are apt to think themselves as good as they should be, because perhaps, in some one particular instance, they are not so bad as they have been. Thus Micah retains his idols, but thinks himself happy in having a Levite to be his priest, Judg. xvii. 13.