Genesis 28:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 28:11, NIV: "When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep."

Genesis 28:11, ESV: "And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep."

Genesis 28:11, KJV: "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."

Genesis 28:11, NASB: "He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place."

Genesis 28:11, NLT: "At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep."

Genesis 28:11, CSB: "He reached a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set. He took one of the stones from the place, put it there at his head, and lay down in that place."

What does Genesis 28:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse raises several questions. Was Jacob not well prepared for this journey? Did he leave in a great hurry? Or was he far from any place where he could more safely spend the night than alone on the ground with a stone for his pillow? It seems somewhat odd that the son of a man as wealthy as Isaac is apparently traveling with no servants or larger company. At least, Scripture gives us no indication of others travelling with him. Previously, Jacob was encouraged to flee his homeland by his mother, to escape the murderous rage of his twin brother Esau (Genesis 27:41). This was then reinforced by his father telling him to return to the family's ancestral home to seek a wife (Genesis 28:1–2).

Whether through haste, poor planning, or some other circumstance, this passage presents Jacob as a man alone in the desert, vulnerable to what may come. When it gets dark, he is forced to stop for the night. He grabs a stone, lays his head on it, and goes to sleep. He did not yet know that the place he slept would become such a significant place in the story of God's relationship with Israel.