Jacob Returns to Bethel
1And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Just as I predicted yesterday, God who has Jacob’s interests at heart, speaks to him again, reminding him of the time and place where he spoke to him as he fled from Esau. God requests Jacob to build an altar to Him there.
I am pleased to learn that Jacob remembers the God who did so much for him and is willing to do this for Him. Moreover, he asks those in his household to rid themselves of the foreign “gods” in their possession and to purify themselves and dress in clean clothes. They buried these gods and set out; (I believe to go to the place where they would build the altar.) Once they were gone, the men of all the towns around him felt the fear of God and did not pursue Jacob’s people.
It was surely because Jacob was obedient to God’s instruction that he build the altar that God kept the people of the nearby towns from chasing down Jacob’s people, destroying them and taking their wealth as the spoils of war.
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