Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.”
2 So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. 3 We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4 So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem.
As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.
Eventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan.
Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.
Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means “oak of weeping”).
9 Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, 10 saying, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.” 1 So God renamed him Israel. 11 Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai - ‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! 12 And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob. 14 Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil. 15 And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.New Living Translation (NLT) Copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc.