Genesis 28: Jacob heads off for Paddan Aram

June 28, 2023 ·

Isaac tells Jacob to find a wife from Rebekah’s family in Paddan Aram, instead of marrying a Canaanite woman. Esau becomes aware of Isaac’s disapproval of his Canaanite wife and decides to marry a descendant of Ishmael.

During Jacob’s journey to Paddan Aram, he has a dream of a stairway to heaven with angels descending and ascending. At the top of the stairway, God Himself stands and reaffirms the covenant promises to Jacob. Upon awakening, Jacob designates the place as the house of God, erects a pillar, and resolves to give a tenth of his possessions to God.

Key verses: 

17. And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

22. and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

My thoughts:
Ultimately, Esau was unable to receive the promises of the covenant because he chose to marry a Canaanite wife, which prevented him and his descendants from being set apart for God. From God’s perspective, I believe this is why Jacob becomes the inheritor of the promises, rather than solely due to his deception.

Similar to Abraham and Isaac before him, Jacob has an intimate encounter with God where God reaffirms His covenant with the lineage of Abraham. It is in this moment that Jacob truly becomes the rightful heir of God’s chosen people. Jacob becomes the final patriarch, and from him emerges a nation rather than just an individual heir.

Furthermore, it is Jacob who introduces the concept of giving a tithe, or a tenth, to God. Interestingly, he acknowledges that everything he possesses is a gift from God, emphasizing that nothing should be taken for granted or considered truly ‘owned’.

In category:Genesis
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