Contemporary English Version
Isaac's Instructions to Jacob
1Isaac called in Jacob, then gave him a blessing, and said:
Don't marry any of those Canaanite women. 2Go at once to your mother's father Bethuel in northern Syria+ and choose a wife from one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. 3I pray that God All-Powerful will bless you with many descendants and let you become a great nation. 4 May he bless you with the land he promised Abraham, so that you will take over this land where we now live as foreigners.
5Isaac then sent Jacob to stay with Rebekah's brother Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
Esau Marries the Daughter of Ishmael
6Esau found out that his father Isaac had blessed Jacob and had warned him not to marry any of the Canaanite women. He also learned that Jacob had been sent to find a wife in northern Syria+ 7and that he had obeyed his father and mother. 8Esau already had several wives, but he now realized how much his father hated the Canaanite women. 9So he married Ishmael's daughter Mahalath, who was the sister of Nebaioth+ and the granddaughter of Abraham.
Jacob's Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left the town of Beersheba and started out for Haran. 11At sunset he stopped for the night and went to sleep, resting his head on a large rock. 12 In a dream he saw a ladder that reached from earth to heaven, and God's angels were going up and down on it.
13 The Lord was standing beside the ladder+ and said:
I am the Lord God who was worshiped by Abraham and Isaac. I will give to you and your family the land on which you are now sleeping. 14 Your descendants will spread over the earth in all directions and will become as numerous as the specks of dust. Your family will be a blessing to all people.+ 15Wherever you go, I will watch over you, then later I will bring you back to this land. I won't leave you—I will do all I have promised.
16Jacob woke up suddenly and thought, “The Lord is in this place, and I didn't even know it.” 17Then Jacob became frightened and said, “What a frightening place! It must be the house of God and the gateway to heaven.”
18When Jacob got up early the next morning, he took the rock that he had used for a pillow and stood it up as a place of worship. Then he poured olive oil on the rock to dedicate it to God, 19and he named the place Bethel.+ Before that it had been named Luz.
20Jacob solemnly promised God, “If you go with me and watch over me as I travel, and if you give me food and clothes 21and bring me safely home again, you will be my God. 22This rock will be your house, and I will give back to you a tenth of everything you give me.”
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
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