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Genesis 8:20


8:20 Noah built an altar to the Lord. He then took some of every kind of clean animal and clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 1 

Genesis 12:7

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.

Genesis 13:18


13:18 So Abram moved his tents and went to live 4  by the oaks 5  of Mamre in Hebron, and he built an altar to the Lord there.

Genesis 22:9


22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 6  and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 7  his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood.

Genesis 26:25

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 

Genesis 35:1

The Return to Bethel

35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up at once 10  to Bethel 11  and live there. Make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 12 

Genesis 35:3

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 

Genesis 35:7

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 Lord. After the flood Noah could see that God was not only a God of wrath, but a God of redemption and restoration. The one who escaped the catastrophe could best express his gratitude and submission through sacrificial worship, acknowledging God as the sovereign of the universe.

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.

8 tn Heb “called in the name of.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 21:33). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116.

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.

11 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

12 sn God is calling on Jacob to fulfill his vow he made when he fled from…Esau (see Gen 28:20-22).

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.

15 tn Heb “day of distress.” See Ps 20:1 which utilizes similar language.

16 tn Heb “in the way in which I went.” Jacob alludes here to God’s promise to be with him (see Gen 28:20).

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.

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