And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
And he built there an altar,.... As he was bid to do, and as he promised he would, Genesis 35:1;
and called the place Elbethel; the God of Bethel; a title which God takes to himself, Genesis 31:13; or rather the sense is, that he called the place with respect God, or because of his appearance to him there, Bethel, confirming the name he had before given it, Genesis 36:19; see
Genesis 35:15; as the following reason shows:
because there God appeared; or the divine Persons, for both words are plural that are used; the Targum of Jonathan has it, the angels of God, and so Aben Ezra interprets it; but here, no doubt, the divine Being is meant, who appeared
unto him; to Jacob in this place, as he went to Mesopotamia, and comforted and encouraged him with many promises;
when he fled from the face of his brother; his brother Esau, who was wroth with him, and sought to take away his life, and therefore was forced to flee for it.