Genesis 28:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 28:19, NIV: He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

Genesis 28:19, ESV: He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.

Genesis 28:19, KJV: And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Genesis 28:19, NASB: Then he named that place Bethel; but previously the name of the city had been Luz.

Genesis 28:19, NLT: He named that place Bethel (which means 'house of God'), although it was previously called Luz.

Genesis 28:19, CSB: and named the place Bethel, though previously the city was named Luz.

What does Genesis 28:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

While travelling from his homeland in Canaan to Mesopotamia (Genesis 28:1–2), Jacob spends the night sleeping with his head resting on a rock (Genesis 28:10–11). As he sleeps, God appears in a vision of a heavenly staircase, or ladder, filled with angels. In this vision, God passes along to Jacob all of the promises given to Abraham, along with reassurances that God will be with Jacob wherever he goes (Genesis 28:12–18).

Jacob is so convinced of the holiness of the place where the Lord visited him that he decides to rename it. Previously called Luz, the place will now be known as Bethel. The word Bethel means "house of God." Jacob also sets up the rock on which he slept as a marker, anointing it with oil in some kind of ceremony. This spot will continue to be meaningful well into Israel's future, as a place where God meets His people.