Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

Jacob’s one of my favorite characters in the Bible. He, in connivance with his Mom, Rebekkah, stole the blessing that Isaac’s promised to his elder son (by a matter of minutes, as Esau and Jacob are twins) when Isaac, being blind and feeling that he was soon passing away, asked for a favor from Esau to bring him his favorite game dish. Moving on with other stories about Jacob, he also had wrestling event against a man who turned out to be an angel, one time, that lasted a whole night or so, which led to the dislocation of one of his legs that caused him to walk with a limp the rest of his life.

Genesis 28:10-22a

Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran. 11 When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set, he stopped there for the night. Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep at that spot. 12 Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s messengers were going up and down on it. 13 And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: “I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. 14 These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. 15 Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.” 16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed, “Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!” 17 In solemn wonder he cried out: “How awesome is this shrine! This is nothing else but an abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven!” 18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head, set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that site Bethel, whereas the former name of the town had been Luz. 20 Jacob then made this vow: “If God remains with me, to protect me on this journey I am making and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and I come back safe to my father’s house, the LORD shall be my God. 22 This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God’s abode.”

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