Genesis Segment 19 (27:1-5-28:22)

Genesis 27:1-5 “And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. {2} And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: {3} Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; {4} And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.” {5} And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.”

There are several facts presented here. One, Isaac is old and feels that death may be near. Two, Isaac’s eyes are to the point that he cannot see clearly. Isaac was well past his fifties. Most people began to loose the ability to focus in their forties or fifties. Eyeglasses correct those problems, but in Isaac’s day there were no eyeglasses available to improve the vision of the elderly. At least they were not available to Isaac, though ancient Egypt produced lenses to magnify things. Three, Isaac wants to sample, perhaps for the last time, some of Esau’s game. Venison is rendered from a word meaning any type of game; it was not just deer meat. And four, Isaac wants to give Isaac his blessing, which provides for his inheritance. Five, Rebekah overheard what Isaac said to Esau. We leave this passage knowing that Esau is out hunting. He was probably expected to be gone the whole day if not longer.

Genesis 27:6-8 “And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, {7} Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. {8} Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.”

Perhaps Rebekah knew that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob. Or, perhaps she remembered what the LORD had told her about the older serving the younger (Gen 25:23). Mother did not help son much with integrity. With the knowledge that Jacob was to receive the birthright and that Esau was out in the woods hunting, she put a plan into action. She would secure not only the birthright for Jacob, but the blessing as well. The birthright gave a son the right to a double portion of the inheritance. The blessing would make him the leader of the family at Isaac’s passing. Jacob had purchased the right to be the firstborn, now he was to make sure of the blessing. Jacob was a willing participant in this subterfuge. We cannot say that the LORD approved of this ruse, for that would not be righteous or just and He is a righteous and just God; however, being omniscient, He already knew what would occur.

Genesis 27:9-12 “Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: {10} And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. {11} And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: {12} My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.”

If Jacob took from the flock, he would be able to make this into a fait accompli before Esau returned. Verses eleven and twelve prove that Jacob and Rebekah are collaborators in this deceit. Jacob was worried that his father might think him a deceiver. He was a deceiver! This was a stealthy act and Jacob was worrying about being caught.

Genesis 27:13 “And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.”

Rebekah was willing to take the blame for Joseph’s deceit.

Genesis 27:15-18 “And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: {16} And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: {17} And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. {18} And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?”

Esau must have been very hairy! He dressed up and took the food to Isaac. Esau’s clothes would have had his smell on them making it easier to pull off the ruse. Rebekah was probably the one who usually prepared Esau’s game for her husband so she knew how to make the mutton taste like the game Esau usually brought in. These animals were free-range types so they probably had a gamey taste anyway and Esau may have taken wild rams as prey as well as deer and other game on his hunts.

Genesis 27:19-27 “And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. {20} And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me. {21} And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. {22} And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. {23} And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him. {24} And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. {25} And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. {26} And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. {27} And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:”

The deceit was now complete. The word rendered venison is a generic word for wild game. It was not necessarily deer meat. Isaac was fooled into believing that Jacob was Esau. Isaac perhaps knew about the selling of the birthright. But he was planning to bless Esau anyway. As far as he knew, that is what he was doing. Isaac’s eyesight was very bad and he saw only blurred images at best. But his nose still worked as well as his ears. Certainly brothers can sound somewhat alike. It is evident that Isaac heard the voice of Jacob but was not convinced and that is why he wanted Jacob to come closer. The smell of Esau’s clothing, and the hairy hide convinced him it was Esau. Thus the voices must have been similar enough to convince Isaac that this was indeed Esau.

Genesis 27:28 “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:”

Let me quote the Holman Bible Dictionary:

Dew is used in the Bible as a symbol of refreshment (Deut. 32:2; Ps. 133:3); a symbol of the loving power of God which revives and invigorates (Prov. 19:12); a symbol of the sudden onset of an enemy (2 Sam. 17:12); a symbol of brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3); a symbol of God’s revelation (Judg. 6:36-40); and a symbol of God’s blessing (Gen. 27:28)1.

Isaac prophesied correctly that the blessings, power, and revelations of God would be Jacob’s. Jacob would be a rich man. This proved true. Jacob would have plenty to eat and drink. God would take care of all his needs. Jacob became a rich man in his own right with God’s blessing. He became much enriched during his stay with his uncle Laban. This was prior to inheriting his share of Isaac’s estate.

Genesis 27:29 “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”

Thy mother’s sons – This may simply be a formula generically used in blessings. Or, it is possible that Rebekah could have more children. Even though that had not happened at the time, it may have been included in the blessing in case it occurred. It more likely refers to the generations following Rebekah. For example, Esau had  many grandchildren that were subdued by Jacob’s descendants.

Jacob’s progeny would be national leaders. Joseph led Egypt, David and Solomon ruled over many. David subdued the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau, the Edomites, and they became his servants (2 Sam 8:14). Isaac repeated the blessing that his father gave him. Any who cursed Jacob would be cursed; any who blessed him would be blessed (Gen 12:3). That still applies. Jacob (Israel) would be a leader among nations.

Genesis 27:30-33 “And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. {31} And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me. {32} And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. {33} And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.”

Jacob completed his mission just in the nick of time. Then the deception is discovered. Though physically disturbed, Isaac stated the blessing still stood and Jacob received both the birthright and the blessing. Esau lost out. Jacob received the blessing and birthright by trickery. Yet, we know that Isaac blessed Jacob by faith and therefore would not take the blessing back and give it to Esau. Therefore Isaac must have sensed that he was doing God’s will when he blessed Jacob. That is why he said, “yea, and he shall be blessed.” We know this because we read in Hebrews, “By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau” (Heb 11:20).

Genesis 27:34 “And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.”

Esau was distraught. He had been promised this blessing. He had been hunting and looking forward to the blessing. It was a shock to him that he had been duped by his brother. He still wanted a blessing. Isaac did bless him but not with his inheritance.

Genesis 27:35-36 “And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing. {36} And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?”

The Hebrew word for subtlety means, deception or craftiness. Now, here I must defend Jacob. He did not supplant Esau’s birthright. Esau willingly gave it up to Jacob. But the blessing was definitely supplanted. Isaac still had something to bless Esau with.

Again, the birthright of a son was his inheritance. The firstborn would receive a double portion of the inheritance and the remainder of the estate was divided among the remaining sons. In modern times, the inheritance is for both sons and daughters. In Jacob’s time only sons received an inheritance; daughters were married off. Thus Jacob would receive the double portion and Esau would get a smaller inheritance. However, both men earned their wealth before Isaac died (Gen 33:9, 11). The blessing, on the other hand, determined which son would become the patriarch of the family and of the extended family. Jacob received both the birthright and the blessing.

Genesis 27:39 “And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;”

Esau would have the same comforts and substance as Jacob, but his life would be much different. He became very prosperous (Gen 33:9) and he became a great nation, Edom (Gen 36:9).

Genesis 27:40 “You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.””

Esau would be a warrior, but would serve Jacob. When he grew restless of serving Jacob, he would get out from under Jacob’s thumb. When Jacob returned from Laban’s service, he was very afraid of his brother Esau because Esau was a warrior and Jacob was not. But Esau welcomed him. Then Esau departed company with Jacob, returning to Seir while Jacob went on the Succoth and latter to Shechem. Thus the two remained separate; neither serving the other.

Genesis 27:41-42 “And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. {42} And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.”

This did not happen. While Jacob was in Haran Esau cooled off. See Genesis chapter 36 for the entire story.

Genesis 27:43-45 “Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; {44} And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; {45} Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?”

This was also God’s plan. While in the company of Laban, Jacob learned humility. Those few days turned into years; twenty to be exact (Gen 31:38, 41).

Genesis 27:46 “And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?”

Though Rebekah really did want a wife for Jacob from her own people, she was using that as an excuse yet again to deceive Isaac. She actually wanted Jacob to flee for his life but she told her husband this partial truth. She kept quiet about the fleeing for his life part. She knew Esau was Isaac’s favorite so she kept quiet about his threats. Nevertheless, it was important to keep the line of Abraham and of Christ in the family, so getting a wife from the Hebrew family was a very valid reason. But that was only half of the truth. This is indeed just how Satan works. He will tell a partial truth with the remainder being a deception.

Genesis 28:1 “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.”

Isaac was in complete agreement with Rebekah that Jacob needed a wife from his own people, so he sent him away. Doubtless Isaac remembered how his father had sent Eliezer to Padan Arma to find Rebekah. He could have bid Jacob stay and sent one of his trusted servants as well, but he allowed Jacob to go by himself. This was the will of God and that is why it happened that way.

Genesis 28:2 “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.”

Today, in the United States, most states, but not all, prohibit marriage between first cousins. In Jacob’s time, that was acceptable. Laban was Rebekah’s brother and would provide a wife for Jacob just as his father, Bethuel, provided a wife for Isaac. Thus Leah and Rachel were Jacob’s first cousins. This would keep the racial purity of the Hebrews in the line of Christ.

Genesis 28:3-4 “And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; {4} 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.”

Isaac wished for Jacob the same blessings of God that Abraham had wished on him. He basically repeated God’s promise that he, Isaac, and his son Jacob, would be fruitful and would become many nations. Isaac invoked the blessing of Abraham upon his son Jacob. Jacob would receive the covenant God had made with his father and grandfather later at Bethel when he wrestled with God.

Genesis 28:5 “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.”

Remember that this long journey was one of about 350 miles. At 25 miles per day such a journey takes at least two weeks. It is possible to make forty miles in ten hours if one keeps up a gait of four miles per hour without any stopping. But that is keeping up a brisk pace without stops for eating, drinking, relieving, or resting. Of course in the winter there are only about 11-12 hours of daylight at that latitude. In the summer there is plenty of light for about fourteen hours. It is a fair estimate to say that during 11 hours of daylight, one can only travel for about eight hours and keeping a pace of three miles per hour is an average walking speed. Remember there were others with him–a complete entourage of servants and beasts of burden. All of them must be fed and watered. Twenty-five miles is about all one can make in a day. Some days might see 35 miles in the summer time and only 20 miles in winter, but 25 is a good average.

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; {7} And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; {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.”

It was a fact that Isaac and Rebekah did not like Esau’s Canaanite wives. But it seems probable on the surface of it that they never expressed their displeasure to Esau. Rebekah probably had little to do with Esau because he was always with his father and Isaac seems to have spoiled him a bit. Isaac doted on him and probably did not express his displeasure with Esau in order not to hurt his feelings. But it appears that Esau got the message when they sent Jacob off to Padan Aram. Then, to make amends, Esau went and married one of Ishmael’s daughters. Apparently Esau thought that would have been pleasing to Isaac and Rebekah. After all, Ishmael was Isaac’s own brother.

Genesis 28:10-11 “And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. {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.”

Most translations I have looked at say that Jacob took of the stones there and selected one for his pillow. These stones would be naturally occurring stones and not dressed stones. Rabbi Rashi, a Torah commentator in the eleventh century AD, says that he took stones and set them up in a way that would help to protect him from wild animals.

It seems unusual that Jacob would need more than one pillow. A stone makes a very hard pillow. The word rendered pillow, mera’, more nearly means “(1) place at the head, dominion, head place (noun feminine), and (2) at head place (adverb). (Brown-Driver-Briggs). So to rephrase the verse: “So Jacob took stones and placed them at the place for his head.” This shows that he did not necessarily lay his head directly upon all of the stones, or any of them, but that they were set at the head of his camp bed. The modern translations say he took a stone instead of several stones. The Septuagint is more explicit: “he took one of the stones of the place and put it at his head.” It does not say that he used it as a pillow, so it was apparently for protection. “The literal word-for-word translation is thus: and he took of stones from the place and put [plural—put them] at his head and he lay down in place that” (Green’s interlinear). Green’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible rearranges it into a better English syntax: “And he took stones of the place and placed them at his head; and he lay down in that place.” It is obvious to this commentator that Jacob did not lay his head upon any stone, but that he placed them at his head for protection. The use of the word pillow is not indicated, for the word rendered pillow does not mean a cushion for the head, but a place at the head. While a pillow could go at the place of the head, it is not specified here.

Does it make any difference? Yes, because he did not have any relationship with God at this point, he felt the need to protect himself with stones, instead of calling on God to protect him. Perhaps Rashi is correct. Perhaps he was planning to use these stones as a weapon of defense. A large stone would equal the odds with a predator somewhat. This interpretation surely fits the context of the stairway to Heaven.

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.”

The ladder could also be called a staircase. The Hebrew allows for either. More translations call it a ladder than staircase. In another context the ladder could be said to extend just into the sky since the word for heaven also means sky, much as it does in English. But the fact that there were angels using it, and the fact that God stood above and his voice was heard above, it places it in Heaven, the place God resides.

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; {14} 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. {15} 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.”

This is the same promise God made to Abraham and Isaac, now passed down to Jacob, The Patriarch of the nation of Israel. The nation itself has Jacob’s God-given name.

Genesis 28:16 “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.”

It is the dream that awakens you that is the most vivid. But Jacob knew that this was a real message from God. Perhaps we today should be more discerning towards our dreams. If God is the same always, then why would He stop using dreams to give messages? I had a very vivid dream and I believe it was a message from God. It was not a Word of Knowledge or a Word of Prophecy. It just reiterates what scripture says. God wanted to reinforce this in my mind. In fact, it was so vivid that I wrote it down the next morning. Jacob had just such a dream. It was so vivid that he set up an altar, worshipped God, and recorded it for history.

Genesis 28:17 “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.”

A vivid dream, especially an awe-inspiring dream, leaves a vivid impression. He called it dreadful, or fearful. It brings to mind Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” The fear here was that of the LORD. That fear is a positive thing. It is giving God his due respect.

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. {19} And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.”

Here the translators used the singular “stone.” Of course, when we see a pile of stones it could also be called a pile of stone. Either is correct. He could have used several stones for this altar or he could have used one. The context does seem to indicate it was one stone. (See my comments on Genesis 28:11, above). He poured an offering of olive oil upon it. This type of offering, in the Law, is one of voluntary worship. Jacob did this to worship God. Luz, meaning almond tree, became Bethel, House (beth) of God (el).

Many claim this stone is the Stone of Scone, which is the stone that the ancient kings of Scotland were crowned upon, as well as modern kings and queens of England (like Elizabeth II and George VI and Edward VII). Edward I took the stone from Robert the Bruce of Scotland in 1296. It was returned to Scotland in 1996.

The account goes like this.

After anointing the stone and naming it Bethel, Jacob went on to Laban’s house. Twenty-two years later he returned to Beersheeba, stopping along the way at Bethel to wrestle with God and be renamed Israel. He then took the stone with him. It remained with his family, and was taken with them into Egypt. They kept it with them until the Exodus and carried it with them into the Promised Land. It remained there forgotten in the tabernacle until Solomon’s Temple was built. When the Tabernacle was dismantled, the stone was discovered and was venerated. It became the coronation stone upon which the kings of the House of David (in Judah) were anointed.

When the Babylonians came, destroyed Jerusalem, and took the Judahites captive, Jeremiah was allowed to go into Egypt. He took with him a remnant that included the daughters of Judah’s last king, Zedekiah. Jeremiah and his entourage took the stone with them. Eventually they made their way to Spain, establishing the Iberian town of Zaragosa, or “the stronghold of Zarah”, who was the son of Judah. Then they made their way to Ireland. They called the island Iberne after Iberia from whence they came. The island nation of Ireland is still known by its ancient name of Hibernia. The Hibernians are the Irish. Jeremiah is known in the “Chronicles of Scotland” as Ollam Fodhla. Ollam Fodhla brought Gathelus and Scoti (supposedly Zedekiah’s daughter) his queen from Spain to Hibernia. He became king of Ireland.

The stone was used there until around 500 AD as a coronation stone for the Irish kings. The Scots are descended from the Irish. When the Irish king Fregus Mor McErc invaded Scotland and defeated the Picts, he took the stone to Scone in Scotland where it remained until 1296 AD, and was used as a coronation stone for the Scots. Edward I defeated the Scots under Robert the Bruce and took the stone to England. There it was used as a coronation stone for the English royals. Elizabeth II is descended from the Scots, namely James I of England, who was previously James VI of Scotland. There are variations on this story, but all are essentially like it. Another variation says that an Israelite who was an acquaintance of Moses brought the stone to Ireland.

The stone was placed in the Coronation Chair, also know as St. Edward’s Chair, and used to crown the monarchs of England including the present queen, Elizabeth II. It was kept at Westminster Abbey from the Thirteenth Century until 1996, when it was returned to Scotland. It was returned by British Prime Minister John Major to help shore up support for the Conservative Party in Scotland. (It failed as Tony Blair unseated John Major). It is presently on display in Edinburgh Castle. Here is a picture of it in Westminster Abbey (note the stone under the seat):

Image of Coronation Chair UK

© Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Many credible people today believe that this Stone of Scone, A.K.A. the Stone of Destiny, A.K.A. Lia Fail (the Fatal Stone), A.K.A. Jacob’s Stone, is the actual stone that was erected and anointed by Jacob at Bethel. The stone is real but the story of its origin is mostly legend and though possible, it is not necessarily true.

Genesis 28:20-22 “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, {21} So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: {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.”

It seems like Jacob made a bargain with God (if God will . . . then I will . . .). But the word translated “if” in the first phrase is the Hebrew word ‘im (Strong’s 518), which can mean if, since, seeing that, hence, when, whereas, while, and many other similar conditional words. I submit that it should have been translated “since,” or “because.” That would make more sense and would fit better with the idea that God does not need to bargain with men. God doesn’t bargain with men for He is Sovereign. Instead of Jacob telling God, “If you will be with me then I will follow you,” it is far better if Jacob said, “Since God will be with me . . . then shall the LORD be my God.”

In fact, Young’s Literal Translation puts it this way: “Seeing God is with me, and hath kept me in this way which I am going, and hath given to me bread to eat, and a garment to put on–when I have turned back in peace unto the house of my father, and Jehovah hath become my God, then this stone which I have made a standing pillar is a house of God, and all that Thou dost give to me–tithing I tithe to Thee.

Note that Jacob did not say, “The stone shall remain at Bethel.” Rather he said, “[the stone] shall be God’s House.” He was saying the stone was not to be located at God’s house, but the stone is God’s house. It seems as if Jacob named the stone Bethel, and it is known by some as the Bethel Stone because of this verse.

Jesus Christ is the stone upon which God’s House built. That House consists of believers in Christ (Eph 2:19). He is the chief cornerstone of God’s House. He is the stone that the builders rejected but now has become the head of the corner or the cornerstone. Therefore, I propose that in naming the stone Bethel or the House of God, Jacob has set a type of Christ before us which was fulfilled in Christ Himself the antitype. See Ephesians 2:20-22.

  1. Holman Bible Dictionary ,Trent C Butler, Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, TN, ©1991
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