|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:16-19 God manifested himself and his favour, to Jacob, when he was asleep. The Spirit, like the wind, blows when and where it listeth, and God's grace, like the dew, tarrieth not for the sons of men. Jacob sought to improve the visit God had made him. Wherever we are, in the city or in the desert, in the house or in the field, in the shop or in the street, we may keep up our intercourse with Heaven, if it is not our own fault. But the more we see of God, the more cause we see for holy trembling before him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep,.... Which had been sweet unto him, and out of his dream, it being now over; and it having left such a weight upon his mind, and such an awe upon his spirits, it might tend the sooner to awaken him; what time it was is not said, perhaps it was in the middle of the night or towards morning, since after this it is said that he rose early in the morning:
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Jacob gave utterance to the impression made by this vision as soon as he awoke from sleep, in the words, "Surely Jehovah is in this place, and I knew it not." Not that the omnipresence of God was unknown to him; but that Jehovah in His condescending mercy should be near to him even here, far away from his father's house and from the places consecrated to His worship-it was this which he did not know or imagine. The revelation was intended not only to stamp the blessing, with which Isaac had dismissed him from his home, with the seal of divine approval, but also to impress upon Jacob's mind the fact, that although Jehovah would be near to protect and guide him even in a foreign land, the land of promise was the holy ground on which the God of his fathers would set up the covenant of His grace. On his departure from that land, he was to carry with him a sacred awe of the gracious presence of Jehovah there. To that end the Lord proved to him that He was near, in such a way that the place appeared "dreadful," inasmuch as the nearness of the holy God makes an alarming impression upon unholy man, and the consciousness of sin grows into the fear of death. But in spite of this alarm, the place was none other than "the house of God and the gate of heaven," i.e., a place where God dwelt, and a way that opened to Him in heaven.
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
Jacob awakes, and exclaims, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not." He knew his omnipresence; but he did not expect a special manifestation of the Lord in this place, far from the sanctuaries of his father. He is filled with solemn awe, when he finds himself in the house of God and at the gate of heaven. The pillar is the monument of the event. The pouring of oil upon it is an act of consecration to God who has there appeared to him Numbers 7:1. He calls the name of the place Bethel, "the house of God." This is not the first time it received the name. Abraham also worshipped God here, and met with the name already existing (see on Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3; Genesis 25:30.)
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
The Lord is in this place; and I knew it not - That is, God has made this place his peculiar residence; it is a place in which he meets with and reveals himself to his followers. Jacob might have supposed that this place had been consecrated to God. And it has already been supposed that, his mind having been brought into a humble frame, he was prepared to hold communion with his Maker.
Geneva Study Bible
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
28:16 Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not - God's manifestations of himself to his people carry their own evidence along with them. God can give undeniable demonstrations of his presence, such as give abundant satisfaction to the souls of the faithful, that God is with them of a truth; satisfaction not communicable to others, but convincing to themselves. We sometimes meet with God there, where we little thought of meeting with him. He is there where we did not think he had been, is found there where we asked not for him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. Jacob awaked out of his sleep-His language and his conduct were alike that of a man whose mind was pervaded by sentiments of solemn awe, of fervent piety, and lively gratitude (Jer 31:36).
Genesis 28:16 Parallel Commentaries
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