6 ¶ When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; 7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; 8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
Esau, like other men in this culture, gathered to himself several wives as the phrase took unto the wives he had indicates. Is Esau here, though, defying his parents or is he trying to please them by marrying a distant relative? Ishmael is his uncle (Isaac and Ishmael had the same father but not the same mother) so Mahalath is his cousin.
10 ¶ And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
God’s choosing of Jacob to continue His ministry of reconciliation, of reconciling man to Himself, is confirmed here in this dream. The dream has special significance as prophecy. For Jesus Himself refers to its meaning.
John 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
Christ is the ladder from earth to heaven. He is the bridge between man and God. This is an important fact of human history, perhaps the most important fact after God’s existence. There is no other way to go from here to there except through Him.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
All other founders of religion, messiahs, or masters were either deluded or frauds or both; Buddha, Mohammed, etc. etc. before Christ, and after.
John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Jehovah God reinforces the land grant given to Abraham and Isaac now to Jacob and to his posterity. All the families of the earth will be blessed through Jacob and his descendants. Indeed, the Saviour of the world will come through this line. The gospel will be preached around the entire earth. God’s reconciliation will circle the globe and the whole earth will hear about His forgiveness and His desire to have mankind restored to his relationship with God.
God promises protection, that He will stand by Jacob, and that His will, God’s will, will be accomplished.
Hebrews 13:5b …for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.