12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants 2 I will give this land.” So Abram 3 built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
26:25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped 8 the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well. 9
35:3 Let us go up at once 13 to Bethel. Then I will make 14 an altar there to God, who responded to me in my time of distress 15 and has been with me wherever I went.” 16
35:7 He built an altar there and named the place El Bethel 17 because there God had revealed himself 18 to him when he was fleeing from his brother.
1 sn Offered burnt offerings on the altar. F. D. Maurice includes a chapter on the sacrifice of Noah in The Doctrine of Sacrifice. The whole burnt offering, according to Leviticus 1, represented the worshiper’s complete surrender and dedication to the
2 tn The same Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.
3 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abram) has been supplied in the translation for clarification.
4 tn Heb “he came and lived.”
5 tn Or “terebinths.”
6 sn Abraham built an altar there. The theme of Abraham’s altar building culminates here. He has been a faithful worshiper. Will he continue to worship when called upon to make such a radical sacrifice?
7 sn Then he tied up. This text has given rise to an important theme in Judaism known as the Aqedah, from the Hebrew word for “binding.” When sacrifices were made in the sanctuary, God remembered the binding of Isaac, for which a substitute was offered. See D. Polish, “The Binding of Isaac,” Jud 6 (1957): 17-21.
9 tn Heb “and they dug there, the servants of Isaac, a well.”
10 tn Heb “arise, go up.” The first imperative gives the command a sense of urgency.
13 tn Heb “let us arise and let us go up.” The first cohortative gives the statement a sense of urgency.
14 tn The cohortative with the prefixed conjunction here indicates purpose or consequence.
17 sn The name El-Bethel means “God of Bethel.”
18 tn Heb “revealed themselves.” The verb נִגְלוּ (niglu), translated “revealed himself,” is plural, even though one expects the singular form with the plural of majesty. Perhaps אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is here a numerical plural, referring both to God and the angelic beings that appeared to Jacob. See the note on the word “know” in Gen 3:5.