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Genesis 28:18-22

Context

28:18 Early 1  in the morning Jacob 2  took the stone he had placed near his head 3  and set it up as a sacred stone. 4  Then he poured oil on top of it. 28:19 He called that place Bethel, 5  although the former name of the town was Luz. 28:20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God is with me and protects me on this journey I am taking and gives me food 6  to eat and clothing to wear, 28:21 and I return safely to my father’s home, 7  then the Lord will become my God. 28:22 Then this stone 8  that I have set up as a sacred stone will be the house of God, and I will surely 9  give you back a tenth of everything you give me.” 10 

1 tn Heb “and he got up early…and he took.”

2 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn See the note on this phrase in v. 11.

4 tn Heb “standing stone.”

sn Sacred stone. Such a stone could be used as a boundary marker, a burial stone, or as a shrine. Here the stone is intended to be a reminder of the stairway that was “erected” and on which the Lord “stood.” (In Hebrew the word translated “sacred stone” is derived from the verb translated “erected” in v. 12 and “stood” in v. 13. Since the top of the stairway reached the heavens where the Lord stood, Jacob poured oil on the top of the stone. See C. F. Graesser, “Standing Stones in Ancient Palestine,” BA 35 (1972): 34-63; and E. Stockton, “Sacred Pillars in the Bible,” ABR 20 (1972): 16-32.

5 tn The name Bethel means “house of God” in Hebrew (see v. 17).

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

6 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.

7 tn Heb “and I return in peace to the house of my father.”

8 tn The disjunctive clause structure (conjunction + noun/subject) is used to highlight the statement.

9 tn The infinitive absolute is used before the finite verb for emphasis.

10 tn Heb “and all which you give to me I will surely give a tenth of it to you.” The disjunctive clause structure (conjunction + noun/object) highlights this statement as well.



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