And Jacob said to his brothers, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there on the heap.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Genesis 31:54, though it be here mentioned by anticipation.
They did eat there upon the heap, or rather by or beside the heap, as the Hebrew particle al is oft understood, as Psalm 23:2 81:7. Genesis 29:4; and whom he could command to such service, and were most proper to be made use of in it; unless it can be thought the men Laban brought with him, whom Jacob before calls his brethren, Genesis 31:37, are meant; and then the words must be understood as spoken, not in an authoritative way, but as a request or direction, which was complied with:
and they took stones, and made an heap; they fetched stones that lay about here and there, and laid them in order one upon another, and so made an heap of them:
and they did eat there upon the heap; they made it like a table, and set their food on it, and ate off of it; or they "ate by" it (o), it being usual in making covenants to make a feast, at least to eat and drink together, in token of friendship and good will. The Chinese (p) call friendship that is most firm and stable, and not to be rescinded, "stony friendship": whether from a like custom with this does not appear.And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)46. his brethren] i.e. his followers and companions; see Genesis 31:23; Genesis 31:32.
an heap] Heb. gal. What we should now call a “cairn,” on the top of a mountain. Lat. tumulus.Verse 46. - And Jacob said unto his brethren, - Laban's kinsmen and his own (vide ver. 37) - Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: - Gal, from Galal, to roll, to move in a circle, probably signified a circular cairn, to be used not as a seat (Gerlach), but as an altar (ver. 54), a witness (ver. 48), and a table (ver. 54), since it is added - and they did eat there - not immediately (Lange), but afterwards, on the conclusion of the covenant (ver. 54) - upon the heap.
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