Genesis 33:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 33:20, NIV: "There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel."

Genesis 33:20, ESV: "There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel."

Genesis 33:20, KJV: "And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael."

Genesis 33:20, NASB: "Then he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel."

Genesis 33:20, NLT: "And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel."

Genesis 33:20, CSB: "And he set up an altar there and called it God, the God of Israel."

What does Genesis 33:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob has arrived at Sechem after leaving his brother, Esau (Genesis 33:4). Despite telling Esau he would follow him to Seir (Genesis 33:14), Jacob and his caravan travelled in the opposite direction, eventually buying land outside of the city (Genesis 33:19). As his grandfather Abraham had done (Genesis 12:7–8), Jacob now builds an altar to the Lord at Shechem. The difference now is that Jacob builds it on land he owns. Jacob names the altar El-Elohe-Israel, or "El, the God of Israel," using the name given to him by God.

In other words, Jacob is openly declaring that God is his God and, by implication, the God of his descendants after him.