ויאמר אלהים, נגלה לו מלאך שם בשכם ואמר לו שיעלה לבית אל וישלם נדרו אשר נדר, ומה שאמר ושב שם ר"ל שיתעכב עד שיבנה שם בית לבית אלהים כמו שנדר, ורמז לו בזה שנגלה לו בשכם, כי זה שקרה לו בדבר בתו מפני שאחר בדרך ובנה בסכת בית וקנה לו בשכם חלקת השדה כאלו היה רצה לשבת שם, והוא היה לו לבא דרך ישר לבית אל לשלם נדרו ומיד ילך אל אביו ולא יתעכב כל כך בדרך, לפיכך נענש בדרך בדבר הזה, ואע"פ שפרשנו כי העונש היה על פחדו אחר כמה וכמה הבטחות, זה היה גם כן.
ויאמר אלוקים, an angel appeared to him while he was at Shechem and told him to proceed to Bet El, and to redeem his vow there. Regarding the words of the angel: ושב שם, “and settle down there!,” this did not mean that Yaakov was to settle there permanently, but that he was to remain there long enough to build the house of G’d which he had undertaken to do as part of his original vow. The angel on this occasion hinted that Yaakov’s “dream” with the ladder had in fact been more than a dream, it had been the first vision of the Divine he had experienced. The incident with Dinah’s rape and the subsequent upheaval had delayed Yaakov’s progress in the direction of his father’s home. Yaakov’s having built himself a house in Sukkot and his purchase of real estate had given the impression that he intended to settle in that vicinity permanently. His duty at that time had been to proceed to Bet El and to pay his vow of 34 years ago. He was supposed to proceed directly in the direction of his father’s home without allowing himself to be distracted on the way. Having failed to do this, G’d punished him with the incident involving Dinah. Even though we explained that Yaakov’s punishment was due to his having experienced fear in spite of repeated assurances by G’d that He would be with him, this delay he had allowed himself was an additional reason for his being punished.
לאל הנראה אליך, זהו שאמר, והנה ה' נצב עליו, ואמר לו המלאך שיעשה מזבח לאל יתברך שנראה אליו בבית אל. בברחך, כלומר זכור שהיית יחידי בורח והוא נראה לך בבית אל והבטיחך להטיב לך ולשמרך בכל אשר תלך, וכן עשה, גם אתה שלם לו נדרך שנדרת:
לא-ל הנראה אליך, a reference to what he saw in his dream when G’d appeared to him to be standing on top of the ladder (28,13). At this juncture, the angel addressing him told him to build there an altar to the attribute of G’d Who had appeared to him at that location. The reason for the angel adding: בברחך, “when you were fleeing, etc.,” was a reminder to him that at that time he had been all alone and that G’d had given him His assurance that He would look after him and would bring him back to the land of Canaan. Seeing that G’d had kept His promise, it was now Yaakov’s turn to keep his vow.