Genesis 28:10-19a

Genesis 28:10-19a
Proper 11A


10 JacobA leftB Beer-shebaC

Notes on verse 10a

A “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
B “left” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
C “Beer-sheba” = Beerah shaba. From beer (a well or pit); {from baar (to make plain; to dig; can also mean to engrave or figuratively to explain)} + perhaps from shaba (to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant; properly, to be complete; this is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times) {perhaps from sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness)}. This is Beersheba – meaning either “well of seven” or “well of an oath.”

and wentD toward Haran.E 11 He cameF to a certain placeG

Notes on verses 10b-11a

D “went” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
E “Haran” = Charan. 12x in OT. From Assyrian arranu (road, crossroads, junction of trade routes) OR from charar (to be scorched, burn, glow, dry up; figuratively, to show passion). This is Haran, meaning crossroads. It is also a proper name meaning parched.
F “came” = paga. This is to meet or happen, whether unintentionally or of violence. It can also be plead, spare, reach, or intercede.
G “place” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.

and stayed there for the night,H because the sunI had set.J TakingK one of the stonesL of the place,

Notes on verse 11b

H “stayed…for the night” = lun. This is to stop – usually to lodge for the night. It can imply dwelling, enduring, or staying permanently. Figuratively, it can mean being obstinate, particularly with one’s words – to complain.
I “sun” = shemesh. This is sun or toward the east. Its root may mean being brilliant. Figuratively, this could be a ray or an arch.
J “set” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
K “taking” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
L “stones” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”

he putM it under his headN and lay downO in that place. 

Notes on verse 11c

M “put” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
N “head” = meraashoth. 8x in OT. From rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is a place for one’s place so it could be a pillow, head rest, or other head piece.
O “lay down” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.

12 And he dreamedP thatQ there was a stairwayR set upS on the earth,T

Notes on verse 12a

P “dreamed” = chalam. Properly, to bind solidly and so to be plump. This is to be healthy or strong, to recover; figuratively, to dream.
Q {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
R “stairway” = sullam. 1x in OT. From salal (to lift, build, exalt; hold back). This is a ladder or a staircase.
S “set up” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.
T “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

the topU of it reachingV to heaven,W andX

Notes on verse 12b

U “top” = rosh. Related to “head” in v11. See note N above.
V “reaching” = naga. This is to meet or happen, whether unintentionally or of violence. It can also be plead, spare, reach, or intercede.
W “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
X {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v12. See note Q above.

the angelsY of GodZ were ascendingAA and descendingBB on it. 

Notes on verse 12c

Y “angels” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
Z “God” = Elohim.
AA “ascending” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
BB “descending” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.

13 AndCC the LordDD stoodEE beside him 

Notes on verse 13a

CC {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v12. See note Q above.
DD “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
EE “stood” = natsab. Same as “set up” in v12. See note S above.

and said, “I am the Lord, the God of AbrahamFF your fatherGG and the God of Isaac;HH

Notes on verse 13b

FF “Abraham” = Abraham. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
GG “father” = ab. Related to “Abraham” in v13. See note FF above.
HH “Isaac” = Yitschaq. From tsachaq (to laugh, mock, play, make sport; this is laughing out loud whether in joy or in a scornful way). This is Isaac, meaning “he laughs.”

the landII on which you lieJJ I will giveKK to you and to your offspring,LL 

Notes on verse 13c

II “land” = erets. Same as “earth” in v12. See note T above.
JJ “lie” = shakab. Same as “lay down” in v11. See note O above.
KK “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
LL “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.

14 and your offspring shall beMM like the dustNN of the earth, and you shall spread abroadOO to the westPP

Notes on verse 14a

MM “be” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v13. See note DD above.
NN “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.
OO “spread abroad” = parats. This is to make a breach, burst out, compel, disperse. It is to break out literally or figuratively.
PP “west” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.

and to the eastQQ and to the northRR and to the south,SS

Notes on verse 14b

QQ “east” = qedem. Perhaps from qadam (to come in front or be in front; to meet, anticipate, confront, receive, or rise; sometimes to meet for help). This is front, formerly, before, east, eternal, everlasting, antiquity.
RR “north” = tsaphon. From tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
SS “south” = negeb. Root may mean to be parched. The Negeb is the south country – sometimes used to refer to Egypt. This is a land that suffers from a lot of drought.

and allTT the familiesUU of the earthVV shall be blessedWW in you and in your offspring. 

Notes on verse 14c

TT “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
UU “families” = mishpachah. From the same as shiphcah (maid, maidservant); root means to spread out. This is one’s circle of relatives – clan, family, kindred.
VV “earth” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.
WW “be blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.

15 KnowXX that I am with you and will keepYY you wherever you go and will bring you backZZ to this land,AAA

Notes on verse 15a

XX “know” = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v12. See note Q above.
YY “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
ZZ “bring…back” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
AAA “land” = adamah. Same as “earth” in v14. See note VV above.

for I will not leaveBBB you until I have doneCCC what I have promisedDDD you.” 

16 Then Jacob wokeEEE from his sleepFFF and said,

Notes on verses 15b-16a

BBB “leave” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
CCC “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
DDD “promised” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
EEE “woke” = yaqats. 10x in OT. This is to awake.
FFF “sleep” = shenah. From yashen (to be languid or go slack; it can mean to sleep, become old or stale, or die). This is asleep.

“SurelyGGG the Lord isHHH in this place—and I did not knowIII it!” 

Notes on verse 16b

GGG “surely” = aken. 18x in OT. From kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is surely, truly, nevertheless.
HHH “is” = yesh. This is being, existence, or substance.
III “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.

17 And he was afraidJJJ and said, “How awesomeKKK is this place! This is none other than the houseLLL of God, and this is the gateMMM of heaven.”

Notes on verse 17

JJJ “was afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
KKK “awesome” = yare. Same as “was afraid” in v17. See note JJJ above.
LLL “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
MMM “gate” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.

18 So Jacob rose earlyNNN in the morning,OOO and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it upPPP for a pillarQQQ

Notes on verse 18a

NNN “rose early” = shakam. This is leaning one’s shoulder into a burden or load, whether a person or an animal. Thus, it meant starting or rising early.
OOO “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
PPP “set…up” = sim. Same as “put” in v11. See note M above.
QQQ “pillar” = matstsebah. Related to “set up” in v12. From natsab (see note S above). This is literally something that is stationed. So, it could refer to a column, a stump, some kind of image or idol, or a garrison.

and pouredRRR oilSSS on the top of it. 19 He calledTTT that place Bethel,UUU 

Notes on verses 18b-19a

RRR “poured” = yatsaq. This is to pour out, flow, wash away, or overflow. It can imply melting as one does to cast metal. By extension, it can refer to something being steadfast, stiffened, firmly in place.
SSS “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
TTT “called” = qara + et + shem. Literally, “called the name.” Qara is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth. Shem is related to “put” in v11. May be from sim (see note M above). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
UUU “Bethel” = Bethel. Related to “house” in v17 & to “God” in v12. From bayit (see note LLL above) + El (see note Z above). This is Bethel, literally meaning “house of God.”

but the nameVVV of the cityWWW was LuzXXX at the first.YYY 

Notes on verse 19b

VVV “name” = shem. Same as “called” in v19. See note TTT above.
WWW “city” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.
XXX “Luz” = Luz. 8x in OT. Probably from the same as luz (almond tree or almond wood; may also be hazel) OR from luz (to turn aside). The is Luz, meaning “almond tree” or “twisted.” See
YYY “first” = rishon. Related to “head” in v11 & “top” in v12. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (see note N above). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.

Image credit: “The Prism” at the Else Alfeldt Museum by Carl-Henning Pedersen. Photo by Jens Cederskjold, 2009.

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