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Book of Genesis Chapter 28 Summary

First Abraham, Then Isaac, Now Jacob

  • Isaac blesses Jacob, then prohibits him from marrying a foreign woman. This negative attitude toward marriage with foreigners is pretty typical in Genesis (see also 24:3-4; 26:34-35; 27:46). Instead, Jacob's supposed to marry a woman from Rebekah's family. 
  • Isaac says that the deity will help Jacob have lots of babies, and adds that Jacob is the heir to Abraham's promise.
  • How's that for continuity?
  • That means he will possess the land of Canaan just like God promised to Abraham.
  • One day, when Jacob is on his way to the house of his uncle Laban (Remember him? Check out 24:28-60), Esau overhears Isaac's order to Jacob not to marry a foreign wife.
  • So Esau up and marries Ishmael's daughter Mahalath and with some other wives.
  • On his way to his uncle Laban's place, Jacob stops for the night. He uses a stone for a pillow and falls asleep.
  • Now it's gets trippy.
  • He dreams about some kind of ladder, stairway, or ramp, which rises all the way to heaven. Yep, it's a stairway to heaven
  • Still in the dream, messengers of God are going up and down the stairway. 
  • Then it gets even better: the deity appears to Jacob and tells him that land of Canaan will be all his. Muahaha. 
  • Jacob re-names the place Bethel, which means "house of God." 
  • Unlike Abraham and Isaac, who are quiet after God makes big promises, Jacob presses the Lord for more. He more or less says, "I'll tell you what, big dog: if you do all you promised, plus throw in some food and clothes, then I'll worship you as my God right here in Bethel. I'll even throw in 10% of my earnings."

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