Genesis 28:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 28:14, NIV: "Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring."

Genesis 28:14, ESV: "Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 28:14, KJV: "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 28:14, NASB: "Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 28:14, NLT: "Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions--to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants."

Genesis 28:14, CSB: "Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out toward the west, the east, the north, and the south. All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring."

What does Genesis 28:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob has fled his homeland in Canaan, avoiding his enraged brother (Genesis 27:41) and seeking a wife in his family's ancestral territory (Genesis 28:1–2). While sleeping alone in the wilderness with a rock for a pillow, Jacob experiences a fantastic dream, showing him a ladder, or staircase, full of angels (Genesis 28:10–12). Through this dream, God speaks to Jacob and delivers promises much like those given to Abraham and Isaac.

One has to wonder if Jacob has heard these words before. Had Abraham or Isaac ever quoted to Jacob these promises from God? We don't know, though Isaac had said somewhat similar things to him in delivering the blessing of Abraham before sending Jacob off on this journey. In any case, the Lord does say to Jacob nearly the exact words He said to Abraham. Jacob's offspring will become as the dust of the earth (Genesis 13:16). They will spread in every direction across the land. However, they will not only conquer and occupy. Through Jacob's descendants, all the people of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3).

Many interpreters see this promise—to bless all the people of the earth through the descendants of Abraham and Jacob—as the Lord pointing forward to Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Savor and Messiah, will make it possible for people of every family and nation to become the people of God. Jesus will be one of the direct descendants of Abraham, Jacob, and their offspring.