Genesis 28:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 28:1, NIV: "So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: 'Do not marry a Canaanite woman."

Genesis 28:1, ESV: "Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women."

Genesis 28:1, KJV: "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan."

Genesis 28:1, NASB: "So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and commanded him, saying to him, 'You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan."

Genesis 28:1, NLT: "So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, 'You must not marry any of these Canaanite women."

Genesis 28:1, CSB: "So Isaac summoned Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, "Do not marry a Canaanite girl."

What does Genesis 28:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse begins by stating that Isaac called Jacob and blessed him. This comes after Jacob's deception, an act of treachery which caused Isaac to literally tremble in a panic (Genesis 27:33). Apparently, Isaac has made peace with those events on some level. He repeats a blessing to Jacob here and in the coming verses, this time knowing exactly who he is talking to.

At the end of the previous chapter, Rebekah became aware of Esau's vengeful intent to murder Jacob (Genesis 27:41). She first urged Jacob to run away and stay with her brother in Mesopotamia until Esau's fury passed (Genesis 27:43). Next she seemingly manipulates Isaac to send Jacob away himself by convincing him that it would be a terrible thing for Jacob to marry a local Canaanite woman (Genesis 27:46). They had both been made miserable by Esau's Hittite wives. Instead, Jacob should find a wife among her brother's people.

Now we find Isaac acting on Rebekah's suggestion, probably still unaware of Esau's plan to kill Jacob. Instead, he has agreed with his wife and also with his own father. Abraham had insisted that Isaac not marry a local Canaanite woman (Genesis 24:3). He did not want Isaac to assimilate into the local population. Now Isaac places a similar requirement on Jacob. It was too late for Esau to not marry locally, but Jacob could still marry from among the women of his mother's people.