ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Flipbook - Page 61
So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a monument. Then he told his
family members, “Gather some stones.” So they gathered stones and piled
them in a heap. Then Jacob and Laban sat down beside the pile of stones
to eat a covenant meal. To commemorate the event, Laban called the
place J egar-sahadutha (which means “witness pile” in Aramaic), and Jacob
called it Galeed (which means “witness pile” in Hebrew).
Then Laban declared, “This pile of stones will stand as a witness to
remind us of the covenant we have made today.” This explains why it
was called Galeed—“Witness Pile.” But it was also called Mizpah (which
means “watchtower”), for Laban said, “May the Lord keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each
other’s sight. If you mistreat my daughters or if you marry other wives,
God will see it even if no one else does. He is a witness to this covenant
“See this pile of stones,” Laban continued, “and see this monument I
have set between us. They stand between us as witnesses of our vows. I will
never pass this pile of stones to harm you, and you must never pass these
stones or this monument to harm me. I call on the God of our ancestors—
the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of my grandfather
Nahor—to serve as a judge between us.”
So Jacob took an oath before the fearsome God of his father, Isaac, to
respect the boundary line. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there on
the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast. After they had
eaten, they spent the night on the mountain.
Laban got up early the next morning, and he kissed his grandchildren
and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.
As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him.
When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named
the place Mahanaim.
Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living
in the region of Seir in the land of Edom. He told them, “Give this message
to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now
I have been living with Uncle Laban, and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks
of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent
these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will
be friendly to me.’”
After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet
you—with an army of 400 men!” Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two
groups. He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the
other group can escape.”