28 18Jacob rose early in the morning. He took the stone that he had put near his head, set it up as a stone marker, and poured oil over its top. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel/House of God, even though Luz was the city’s former name. 20 Jacob vowed a vow: “If God will be with me and guard me on the way I am going, give me bread to eat and clothes to wear, 21 and if I return in peace to my father’s house, then YHWH will be God to me. 22 Then this stone that I set as a marker will be a house of God, and of everything you give me I will give a tenth back to you.”
29 1Jacob lifted his feet and went to the land of the Easterners.
A previously anonymous, everyday place, now revealed as a place of blessing is named. The specific blessing is only part of a larger story, and so the name is a general one of “the House of God”—Bethel. Bethel is another name for the presence of G*D, even in kitchens, as noted by Brother Lawrence.
A way-marker is set-up, using the once lowly stone of protection. That protection is left behind now that a more portable assurance is received—“You’ll be cared for, protected, and your seed will continue to bless and protect this and every place as ‘Water Protectors’ have done in every generation.”
In response to the dream-promise, Jacob, wide-eyed, makes his vow.
As suspicious of this vision-plan as he was of Rebekah’s plan, Jacob holds his cards close. With a poker-face to not give away more than necessary, Jacob turns a direction blessing into a provisional response depending on the outcome of the next river card.
If it turns out his unlikely inside-straight is filled—he will then give a tip to the dealer of ten percent of his winnings. If it is a big enough pot, he’ll even build a memorial befitting the result.
Feeling elated at the way this unasked for journey/task is turning out, Jacob lifts his fee and clicks his heels—dancing on. He continues on to the proverbial East of Eden, back to his mother’s and grandfather’s ancestral home. Jacob comes as one person before returning as a multitude to claim a new Bethel and the surrounding land, starting with Luz, to the ends of Canaan.