JACOB SECRETLY FLEES FROM HARAN – THE MIZPAH CONTRACT (G-31-HBS)

JACOB’s FLOCK OUTGROWS UNCLE LABAN’s

We are in a section of the Word of God which God has given to minister to our needs. It deals with a man who is a very sinful man in many ways and a man whom God would not give up. You and I can take courage from this.

The Lord will never give us up as long as we keep coming back to Him. He will always receive us. If He will take a fellow like Jacob and a fellow like I am, He will take you, my friend.

You will recall that Jacob has had a pretty sad ordeal of twenty years with Uncle Laban. Uncle Laban has really given him a course in the college of hard knocks, and poor Jacob is beginning to wince because of all the pressure he has been under.

However, since the new deal which he had made with Laban regarding cattle breeding, Jacob is now getting more than Uncle Laban is getting. Uncle Laban doesn’t like it, nor do his sons like it.

Genesis 31:1-16 KJV

[1] And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s hath he gotten all this glory.

[2] And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.

[3] And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.

[4] And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,

[5] And said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.

[6] And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.

[7] And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.

[8] If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.

[9] Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.

[10] And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.

[11] And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.

[12] And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.

[13] I am the God of Beth–el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

[14] And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?

[15] Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.

[16] For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.

Genesis 31:1 KJV

And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s hath he gotten all this glory.


  • It must have been from rumor that Jacob got knowledge of the invidious reflections cast upon him by his cousins; for they were separated at the distance of three days‘ journey.

Genesis 31:2 KJV

And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.


  • literally, “was not the same as yesterday, and the day before,” a common Oriental form of speech.
  • The insinuations against Jacob‘s fidelity by Laban‘s sons, and the sullen reserve, the churlish conduct, of Laban himself, had made Jacob‘s situation, in his uncle‘s establishment, most trying and painful.
  • It is always one of the vexations attendant on worldly prosperity, that it excites the envy of others (Ecclesiastes 4:4); and that, however careful a man is to maintain a good conscience, he cannot always reckon on maintaining a good name, in a censorious world.
  • This, Jacob experienced; and it is probable that, like a good man, he had asked direction and relief in prayer.

Genesis 31:3 KJV

And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.


  • Notwithstanding the ill usage he had received, Jacob might not have deemed himself at liberty to quit his present sphere, under the impulse of passionate fretfulness and discontent.
  • Having been conducted to Haran by God (Genesis 28:15) and having got a promise that the same heavenly Guardian would bring him again into the land of Canaan, he might have thought he ought not to leave it, without being clearly persuaded as to the path of duty.
  • So ought we to set the Lord before us, and to acknowledge Him in all our ways, our journeys, our settlements, and plans in life.

Genesis 31:4 KJV

And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,


  • His wives and family were in their usual residence.
  • Whether he wished them to be present at the festivities of sheep shearing, as some think; or, because he could not leave his flock, he called them both to come to him, in order that, having resolved on immediate departure, he might communicate his intentions.
  • Rachel and Leah only were called, for the other two wives, being secondary and still in a state of servitude, were not entitled to be taken into account.
  • Jacob acted the part of a dutiful husband in telling them his plans; for husbands that love their wives should consult with them and trust in them (Proverbs 31:11).

Genesis 31:5 KJV

And said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.


  • That is one thing upon which we can agree with Jacob and say to his credit.
  • He had worked hard, but I’m of the opinion that we ought to give Laban credit for that.
  • I believe that Laban got his money’s worth out of anyone who worked for him.

Genesis 31:6 KJV

And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.


  • With all my power, This may have been an exaggeration.
  • Having stated his strong grounds of dissatisfaction with their father‘s conduct and the ill requital he had got for all his faithful services, he informed them of the blessing of God that had made him rich notwithstanding Laban‘s design to ruin him; and finally, of the command from God he had received to return to his own country, that they might not accuse him of caprice, or disaffection to their family; but be convinced, that in resolving to depart, he acted from a principle of religious obedience.

Genesis 31:7 KJV

And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.


  • Notice that ten times in those twenty years old Laban had changed his wages! Poor Jacob.
  • But when he was perplexed and frustrated, not knowing where to turn, God intervened.

Genesis 31:8 KJV

If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.


  • Jacob is explaining to Rachel and Leah that it is God who has blessed him, to the extent that Laban and his sons have become very jealous of him; in fact, they hate him.

Genesis 31:9 KJV

Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.


  • Now Jacob tells the actual reason why he wants to leave—

Genesis 31:10 KJV

And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.


 

 

 

Genesis 31:11 KJV

And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.


  • The angel of God spake, He gave Jacob a lesson in genetics which brought success.

Genesis 31:12 KJV

And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.


  • God says, “I did it!” We don’t need to look for natural explanations, although I am confident that God used one of them.
  • However, since God didn’t tell us which one it is, we simply do not know.
  • There are several explanations, and you may take the one you want, but I like this one: God says, “I saw what Laban was doing to you, and I blessed you.”

Genesis 31:13 KJV

I am the God of Beth–el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.


  • “I am the God of Beth-el.” God goes back to the time He appeared to this boy when he was running away, that first night away from home which he spent at Bethel.
  • “Now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.” God wants him to leave Haran because he has at this time eleven boys who are growing up, and they are already beginning to learn some things which they should not be learning.
  • God wants to get Jacob and these boys away from the place of idolatry just as He got Abraham out of a home of idolatry.

Genesis 31:14 KJV

And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?


  • Having heard his views, they expressed their entire approval; and from grievances of their own, they were fully as desirous of a separation as himself.
  • They display not only conjugal affection, but piety in following the course described – “whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do” [Genesis 31:16 ].
  • Those that are really their husbands‘ helpmeets will never be their hindrances in doing that to which God calls them.

Genesis 31:15 KJV

Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.


  • They are saying that certainly, as the daughters of their father, they should receive some inheritance, and that ought to keep Laban from being so antagonistic.

Genesis 31:16 KJV

For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.


  • I admire these two women.
  • They tell Jacob to do whatever he wants to do.
  • They stand with him, and apparently they feel that their father has robbed them.

JACOB FLEES FROM HARAN

In this chapter we find that Jacob leaves Laban without giving notice. They don’t even have a farewell party for him. Laban takes out after him and overtakes him.

Genesis 31:17-42 KJV

[17] Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;

[18] And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan–aram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.

[19] And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.

[20] And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.

[21] So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.

[22] And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.

[23] And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.

[24] And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

[25] Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.

[26] And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

[27] Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?

[28] And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.

[29] It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

[30] And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father’s house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?

[31] And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.

[32] With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.

[33] And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent.

[34] Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.

[35] And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.

[36] And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?

[37] Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.

[38] This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.

[39] That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.

[40] Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.

[41] Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.

[42] Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.

Genesis 31:17 KJV

Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;


  • Little time is spent by pastoral people in removing.
  • The striking down the tents and poles and stowing them among their other baggage; the putting their wives and children in houdas like cradles, on the backs of camels, or in panniers on asses; and the ranging of the various parts of the flock under the respective shepherds; all this is a short process.
  • A plain that is covered in the morning with a long array of tents and with browsing flocks, may, in a few hours, appear so desolate that not a vestige of the encampment remains, except the holes in which the tent poles had been fixed.

Genesis 31:18 KJV

And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan–aram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.


  • That is, his own and nothing more.
  • He did not indemnify himself for his many losses by carrying off any thing of Laban‘s, but was content with what Providence had given him.
  • Some may think that due notice should have been given; but when a man feels himself in danger – the law of self-preservation prescribes the duty of immediate flight, if it can be done consistently with conscience.

Genesis 31:19 KJV

And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.


  • Laban went Better, “Laban had gone.”
  • Images Household gods. Archaeologists have found many of them, mostly female and thought to have been charms to foster fertility.

Genesis 31:20 KJV

And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.


  • The result showed the prudence and necessity of departing secretly; otherwise, Laban might have detained him by violence or artifice.

Genesis 31:21 KJV

So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.


  • River The Euphrates. Crossing would have been difficult in the springtime.
  • They have come within sight of Mt. Gilead, which is just east of the Jordan River.
  • They have covered a lot of ground.

Genesis 31:22 KJV

And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.


 

 

Genesis 31:23 KJV

And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.


  • No sooner did the news reach Laban than he set out in pursuit, and he being not encumbered, advanced rapidly; whereas Jacob, with a young family and numerous flocks, had to march slowly, so that he overtook the fugitives after seven days‘ journey as they lay encamped on the brow of mount Gilead, an extensive range of hills forming the eastern boundary of Canaan.

Genesis 31:24 KJV

And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.


  • Being accompanied by a number of his people, he might have used violence had he not been divinely warned in a dream to give no interruption to his nephew‘s journey.
  • How striking and sudden a change!
  • For several days he had been full of rage, and was now in eager anticipation that his vengeance would be fully wreaked, when lo! his hands are tied by invisible power (Psalm 76:10).
  • He did not dare to touch Jacob, but there was a war of words.

Genesis 31:25 KJV

Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.


  • Listen to Uncle Laban.
  • He’s a clever rascal, by the way.
  • He’s been coming, breathing out fire and brimstone, and wanting to recover all the possessions which Jacob had taken.
  • He probably wanted to kill Jacob and take back the two daughters and their children.

Genesis 31:26 KJV

And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?


  • How clever Uncle Laban is, how diplomatic!
  • He tries to make Jacob feel guilty for depriving his family of a wonderful send-off party.
  • He would have had a great celebration and a fond farewell.
  • That’s what he says, but I don’t think that is what he would have done.
  • Then he goes on to appeal to sentiment.

Genesis 31:27 KJV

Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?


  • Not a word is said of the charge (Genesis 31:1). His reproaches were of a different kind.
  • His first charge was for depriving him of the satisfaction of giving Jacob and his family the usual salutations at parting.
  • In the East it is customary, when any are setting out to a great distance, for their relatives and friends to accompany them a considerable way with music and valedictory songs.
  • Considering the past conduct of Laban, his complaint on this ground was hypocritical cant.
  • But his second charge was a grave one – the carrying off his gods – Hebrew, “teraphim,” small images of human figures, used not as idols or objects of worship, but as talismans, for superstitious purposes.

Genesis 31:28 KJV

And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.


  • These “sons” would be his grandsons. They are destined to be very prominent as far as the history of this world is concerned.

Genesis 31:29 KJV

It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.


  • Laban lets him know that he didn’t mean good by him but that God had prevented him from doing bad.

Genesis 31:30 KJV

And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father’s house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?


  • Now he asks about the stolen gods.
  • Actually, Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
  • When he answers Laban, he is answering about his running away without letting him know.

Genesis 31:31 KJV

And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.


  • Jacob knew that Laban wouldn’t have let him take his wives and his family and that which belonged to him.
  • Now he replies to the charge of the stolen gods—

Genesis 31:32 KJV

With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.


  • With whomsoever thou findest thy gods let him not live — Conscious of his own innocence and little suspecting the misdeed of his favorite wife, Jacob boldly challenged a search and denounced the heaviest penalty on the culprit.
  • A personal scrutiny was made by Laban, who examined every tent [Genesis 31:33 ]; and having entered Rachel‘s last, he would have infallibly discovered the stolen images had not Rachel made an appeal to him which prevented further search [Genesis 31:34Genesis 31:35 ].

Genesis 31:33 KJV

And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent.


 

 

 

Genesis 31:34 KJV

Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.


  • He really expected one of his daughters to have them.
  • Rachel is quite a clever girl herself, isn’t she?
  • She is the daughter of her father!
  • She had taken them and put them in the camel’s furniture, which is the box that went on the camel’s back.
  • Then she sat down on them and excused herself to her father.
  • She said she couldn’t get up because she didn’t feel well that day.
  • All the while, she is sitting on them.
  • What a realistic picture we get of this family!

Genesis 31:35 KJV

And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.


  • Rachel’s taking the teraphim from her father was probably much more serious than we had imagined.
  • The possession of those household gods implied leadership of the family, which meant that Jacob was going to inherit everything old Laban had!
  • That is the reason Laban was so wrought up over it.
  • He surely did not want Jacob to get his estate—he felt he had gotten too much already.
  • Jacob gets a little confidence now.
  • They can’t locate the images, and Jacob is sure that they aren’t anywhere around.
  • He wants to rebuke his father-in-law who has come after him.

Genesis 31:36 KJV

And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?


  • Now Jacob voices his complaint.
  • He has passed the course in the college of hard knocks, and now he is getting his degree.

Genesis 31:37 KJV

Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.


  • Recrimination on his part was natural in the circumstances, and, as usual, when passion is high, the charges took a wide range.
  • He rapidly enumerated his grievances for twenty years and in a tone of unrestrained severity described the niggard character and vexatious exactions of his uncle, together with the hardships of various kinds he had patiently endured.

Genesis 31:38 KJV

This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.


  • Eastern people seldom kill the females for food except they are barren.

Genesis 31:39 KJV

That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.


  • The shepherds are strictly responsible for losses in the flock, unless they can prove these were occasioned by wild beasts.

Genesis 31:40 KJV

Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.


  • The temperature changes often in twenty-four hours from the greatest extremes of heat and cold, most trying to the shepherd who has to keep watch by his flocks.
  • Much allowance must be made for Jacob.
  • Great and long-continued provocations ruffle the mildest and most disciplined tempers.
  • It is difficult to “be angry and sin not” [Ephesians 4:26 ].
  • But these two relatives, after having given utterance to their pent-up feelings, came at length to a mutual understanding, or rather, God influenced Laban to make reconciliation with his injured nephew (Proverbs 16:7).

Genesis 31:41 KJV

Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.


  • This is what has happened to Jacob.
  • Here is the man who is clever, who thought that he could get by with sin, but God didn’t let him get by with it because God has made it very clear that whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
  • Jacob refused submission to God at home; so he had to submit to his uncle.
  • Jacob came to receive a wife in dignity, but he was made a servant because God respects the rights of the firstborn.
  • Jacob had deceived his father; so he was deceived by his father-in-law.
  • Jacob, the younger, became as the older.
  • Then he found out that he was given the older when he thought he was getting the younger.
  • He revealed a mercenary spirit that displayed itself in the way he got the birthright, allowing his mother to cover his hands with the skins of kids of goats.

Later on, we will see that his own sons will deceive him in very much the same way. They killed a kid and in its blood they dipped Joseph’s coat of many colors. He deceived his father about being the favorite son, and he will be deceived about his favorite son, Joseph. Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

Genesis 31:42 KJV

Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.


  • Jacob has had his day in court. He has vented his grievances. Now he is going to leave Laban. They bid each other good-bye and make a contract.

THE MIZPAH COVENANT

Finally, Jacob and Laban made another contract, this time not to defraud or hurt each other. Then they separate in an outwardly friendly manner.

We will see that God wants to get Jacob out of that land. He recognizes that the influence of Laban’s household is not good for Jacob and his growing family.

The boys are going to be heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, and God is anxious to get them out from that environment and back into Abraham’s country, the country which He had promised to Abraham.

Genesis 31:43-55 KJV

[43] And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?

[44] Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.

[45] And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.

[46] And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.

[47] And Laban called it Jegar–sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.

[48] And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;

[49] And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.

[50] If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.

[51] And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee;

[52] This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.

[53] The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.

[54] Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.

[55] And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

Genesis 31:43 KJV

And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?


 

 

Genesis 31:44 KJV

Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.


  • 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.

Genesis 31:45 KJV

And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.


 

 

 

Genesis 31:46 KJV

And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.


 

 

 

Genesis 31:47 KJV

And Laban called it Jegar–sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.


  • Jegar-sahadutha … Galeed, The two terms mean essentially the same thing, one in Aramaic and the other in Hebrew. “Heap of witnesses.”

Genesis 31:48 KJV

And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;


  • The words of this contract have been used by young people’s groups and other groups as a benediction.
  • I don’t think it ought to be used that way because it was a contract made between two rascals who are going to quit stealing from each other and work on somebody else!

Genesis 31:49 KJV

And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.


  • Mizpah Another name for the site meaning “watchtower.” It later became a town a good distance NW of Jerusalem.

Genesis 31:50 KJV

If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.


 

 

Genesis 31:51 KJV

And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee;


 

 

 

Genesis 31:52 KJV

This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.


  • Objects of nature were frequently thus spoken of.
  • But over and above, there was a solemn appeal to God; and it is observable that there was a marked difference in the religious sentiments of the two.
  • Laban spake of the God of Abraham and Nahor, their common ancestors; but Jacob, knowing that idolatry had crept in among that branch of the family, swore by the “fear of his father Isaac.”
  • They who have one God should have one heart: they who are agreed in religion should endeavor to agree in everything else.

Genesis 31:53 KJV

The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.


 

 

 

Genesis 31:54 KJV

Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.


 

 

 

Genesis 31:55 KJV

And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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