Jacob's Dream
After Rebekah instructed Jacob to flee from the wrath of Esau, she came to Isaac and said - "I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like those who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?" (Gen. 27:46). No doubt Rebekah does not want Jacob to marry a Canaanite (as Esau had done), but her words here to Isaac are deceptive. She hides her real motivation (i.e., to get Jacob far away from Esau) behind this explanation to her husband.
"Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: 'You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may be an assembly of peoples; and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land in which you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham'" (Gen. 28:1-4).

I have to wonder: Why is Jacob waiting until his 70s to pursue marriage? No satisfactory explanation is offered. By modern standards, even Esau waited a long time to marry (cf. Gen. 26:34). Of course, their life spans were considerably longer than ours. Had Isaac given any marital advice previously or was this it? If not, Rebekah's request reminds him of his duty. Isaac commands him to take a wife from the daughters of Laban, not Canaan. Jacob is willing to comply. Here Isaac gives Jacob the real blessing he deserved--the Abrahamic promise! There is no record of Isaac rebuking Jacob for his deception. Probably because, as we noted, Isaac has come to realize his own error in trying to elevate Esau over Jacob against God's revealed will.

"Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had" (Gen. 28:8,9). Esau, who already had two wives, decided to marry another for the wrong reason. He wants desperately to please his father, so he marries a non-Canaanite woman this time, thinking that would help. There is no hint of what his parents thought about the matter.

As Jacob journeyed toward Haran, he stopped at Luz to sleep for the night. He used a stone as a pillow and fell asleep.

"Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: 'I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 28:12-14).

Although Jacob is asleep, this is no ordinary dream; it is communication from God! The LORD reiterates the three components of the Abrahamic promise, which will be fulfilled in Jacob's descendants: great land, great nation, and great blessings through his seed. How are we to understand the ladder and the angels going up and down it? The ladder was a symbol of the real and uninterrupted fellowship between God in heaven and people on Earth. Furthermore, some have suggested that the ladder was a hint the promises would culminate in something that would bridge heaven and Earth (namely, Jesus!). Angels are certainly involved in the activities of this life providentially in harmony with God's will (cf. Heb. 1:14). Some have conjectured that they go up the ladder, so to speak, to bear man's needs before God; they go down the ladder to bring God's assistance and protection to man (cf. Job 1:6,7).

"Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.' 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!' Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously" (Gen. 28:16-19).

The chapter closes with Jacob making a vow to God that when God provides for him and keeps him safe, Jacob will give a tenth of his blessings back to God (cf. 35:7).