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Rebecca induces Isaac to send Jacob to Mesopotamia. Jacob's Dream and View at Bethel (xxvii. 1-27; cf. Gen. xxviii.).

XXVII. And the words of Esau, her elder son, were told to Rebecca in a dream, and Rebecca sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him: 2. "Behold Esau thy brother will take vengeance on thee so as to kill thee. 3. Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise and flee thou to Laban, my brother, to Haran, and tarry with him a few days until thy brother's anger turneth away, and he remove his anger from thee, and forget all that thou hast done; then I will send and fetch thee from thence." 4. And Jacob said: "I am not afraid; if he wisheth to kill me, I will kill him." 5. But she said unto him: "Let me not be bereft of both my sons on one day." 6. And Jacob said to Rebecca his mother: "Behold, thou knowest that my father hath become old, and doth not see because his eyes are dull, and if I leave him it will be evil in his eyes, because I leave him and go away from you, and my father will be angry, and will curse me. I will not go; 1 when he sendeth me, then only will I go." 7. And Rebecca said to Jacob: "I will go in and speak to him, and he will send thee away." 8. And Rebecca went in and said to Isaac: "I loathe my life because of the two daughters of Heth, whom Esau hath taken him as wives; and if Jacob take a wife from among the daughters of the land such as these, for what purpose

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do I further live; for the daughters of Canaan are evil." 1 9. And Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and admonished him and said unto him: 10. "Do not take thee a wife of any of the daughters of Canaan; arise and go to Mesopotamia, 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. 11. And God Almighty bless thee and increase and multiply thee that thou mayest become a company of nations, and give thee the blessings of my father Abraham, to thee and to thy seed after thee, that thou mayest inherit the land of thy sojournings and all the land which God gave to Abraham: go, my son, in peace." 12. And Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Mesopotamia, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebecca, Jacob's mother. 13. And it came to pass after Jacob had arisen to go to Mesopotamia that the spirit of Rebecca was grieved after her son, and she wept. 14. And Isaac said to Rebecca: "My sister, 2 weep not on account of Jacob, my son; for he goeth in peace, and in peace will he return. 15. The Most High God will preserve him from all evil, and will be with him; for He will not forsake him all his days; 16. For I know that his ways will be prospered in all things wherever he goeth, until he return in peace to us, and we see him in peace. 17. Fear not on his account my sister, for he is on the upright path and he is a perfect man: and he is faithful and will not perish. Weep not." 18. And Isaac comforted Rebecca on account of her son Jacob, and blessed him. 19. And Jacob went from the Well of the Oath to go to Haran on the first year of the second week in the forty-fourth Jubilee, and he came to Luz on the mountains, that is, Bethel, on the new moon of the first month of this
2115 A.M.

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week, and he came to the place at even and turned from the way to the west of the road that night: and he slept there; for the sun had set. 20. And he took one of the stones of that place and laid it (at his head) under the tree, 1 and he was journeying alone, and he slept. 21. And he dreamt that night, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold, the angels of the Lord ascended and descended on it: and behold, the Lord stood upon it. 22. And He spake to Jacob and said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham, thy father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou art sleeping, to thee shall I give it, and to thy-seed after thee. 23. And thy seed will be as the dust of the earth, and thou wilt increase to the west and to the east, to the north and the south, and in thee and in thy seed will all the families of the nations be blessed. 24. And behold, I shall be with thee, and shall keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and I shall bring thee again into this land in peace; for I shall not leave thee until I do everything that I told thee of." 25. And Jacob awoke from his sleep, and said, "Truly this place is the house of the Lord, and I knew it not." And he was afraid and said:" Dreadful is this place which is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." 26. And Jacob arose early in the morning, and took the stone which he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar for a sign, and he poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of the place was Luz at the first. 27. And Jacob vowed a vow unto the Lord, saying: "If the Lord will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God, and this stone which I have set up as a pillar for a sign in this place, shall be the Lord's house, and of all that thou givest me, I shall give the tenth to thee, my God."


144:1 The author desires to relieve Jacob of the reproach of leaving his father in his old age.

145:1 Cf. Gen. xxvii. 46.

145:2 The use of "sister" as a term of endearment (to a wife) may be illustrated from Tobit V. 20, vii. 16; Canticles iv. 9, etc., but appears to be unknown to Rabbinic literature. Its use here may be designed to justify Isaac's having called Rebecca his sister at Abimelech's court.

146:1 ? which marked a shrine.

Next: Jacob's Marriage to Leah and Rachel; his Children and Riches (xxviii. i-30)