Genesis 28:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 28:2, NIV: "Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother."

Genesis 28:2, ESV: "Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother."

Genesis 28:2, KJV: "Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother."

Genesis 28:2, NASB: "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother."

Genesis 28:2, NLT: "Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban's daughters."

Genesis 28:2, CSB: "Go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother's father. Marry one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother."

What does Genesis 28:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As Abraham did for him, Isaac now insists that Jacob not marry a local, Canaanite woman. His first motivation seems to be that Jacob's brother Esau had married very poorly, bringing grief to Isaac and Rebekah. However, he may also have in mind Abraham's motivation that the line of God's people not be assimilated into the local population. This motivation is spiritual, not racial, and later on God's people will be explicitly forbidden to marry among the wicked Canaanites (Deuteronomy 7:1–4).

Abraham, old and possibly near death himself, had once sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac in Mesopotamia (Genesis 24:2–4). Isaac, also old and near death, is sending Jacob to find a wife for himself. However, Isaac's command is much more specific: Jacob is to marry a daughter of Laban, Rebekah's brother. Though Jacob will do exactly this—twice, in fact—it doesn't seem to leave much room for him to maneuver. Perhaps Isaac knew of Rachel and Leah already and thought one of them would be a good wife for Jacob.