Genesis 31:45
And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
31:43-55 Laban could neither justify himself nor condemn Jacob, therefore desires to hear no more of that matter. He is not willing to own himself in fault, as he ought to have done. But he proposes a covenant of friendship between them, to which Jacob readily agrees. A heap of stones was raised, to keep up the memory of the event, writing being then not known or little used. A sacrifice of peace offerings was offered. Peace with God puts true comfort into our peace with our friends. They did eat bread together, partaking of the feast upon the sacrifice. In ancient times covenants of friendship were ratified by the parties eating and drinking together. God is judge between contending parties, and he will judge righteously; whoever do wrong, it is at their peril. They gave a new name to the place, The heap of witness. After this angry parley, they part friends. God is often better to us than our fears, and overrules the spirits of men in our favour, beyond what we could have expected; for it is not in vain to trust in him.Laban, now pacified, if not conscience-stricken, proposes a covenant between them. Jacob erects a memorial pillar, around which the clan gather a cairn of stones, which serves by its name for a witness of their compact. "Jegar-sahadutha." Here is the first decided specimen of Aramaic, as contradistinguished from Hebrew. Its incidental appearance indicates a fully formed dialect known to Jacob, and distinct from his own. Gilead or Galeed remains to this day in Jebel Jel'ad, though the original spot was further north.44. Come thou, let us make a covenant—The way in which this covenant was ratified was by a heap of stones being laid in a circular pile, to serve as seats, and in the center of this circle a large one was set up perpendicularly for an altar. It is probable that a sacrifice was first offered, and then that the feast of reconciliation was partaken of by both parties seated on the stones around it. To this day heaps of stones, which have been used as memorials, are found abundantly in the region where this transaction took place. In testimony of his compliance with Laban’s proposal, and his entering into this covenant. See Exodus 24:4. And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. To show his readiness to agree to the motion, he immediately took a large stone that lay upon the mount, and set it up on one end, to be a standing monument or memorial of the agreement now about to be made between them. And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
45. Jacob] The name “Jacob” is here almost certainly a gloss. We should read either “and he took a stone,” or “and Laban took a stone.” In Genesis 31:51 Laban says that he set up the pillar or maṣṣêbah. Laban erects the pillar; Jacob makes the heap of stones.

a pillar] Heb. maṣṣêbah. As Jacob had done at Bethel, Genesis 28:18.Verse 45. - And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar - or Matzebah, as a memorial or witness of the covenant about to be formed (ver. 52); a different transaction from the piling of the stone-heap next referred to (cf. Genesis 28:18; Joshua 24:27). As Laban found nothing, Jacob grew angry, and pointed out the injustice of his hot pursuit and his search among all his things, but more especially the harsh treatment he had received from him in return for the unselfish and self-denying services that he had rendered him for twenty years. Acute sensibility and elevated self-consciousness give to Jacob's words a rhythmical movement and a poetical form. Hence such expressions as אחרי דּלק "hotly pursued," which is only met with in 1 Samuel 17:53; אחטּנּה for אחטּאנּה "I had to atone for it," i.e., to bear the loss; "the Fear of Isaac," used as a name for God, פּחד, σέβας equals σέβασμα, the object of Isaac's fear or sacred awe.
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