unfoldingWord® Translation Notes https://www.unfoldingword.org/utn/
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go up to Bethel

The phrase "go up" is used because Bethel is higher in elevation than Shechem.

Build an altar there to God

God speaks about himself in the third person. AT: "Build an altar there to me, your God" (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person)

said to his household

"said to his family"

Put away the foreign gods that are among you

"Throw away your idols" or "Get rid of your false gods"

purify yourselves, and change your clothes

This was the custom of cleansing oneself morally and physically before going to worship God.

change your clothes

Putting on a new clothes was a sign that they had made themselves clean before approaching God. (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-symaction)

in the day of my distress

"in the time of my distress" or "when I was in trouble"


  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/god
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/names/jacob
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/names/bethel
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/altar
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/names/esau
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/other/household
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/falsegod
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/purify