Then Laban declared, "This mound is a witness between you and me this day." Therefore the place was called Galeed.
1. False accusers, though silent at a just defence, yet are not ready to clear the innocent.
And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, &c. A great lesson on -
I. THE EVIL OF DISSIMULATION. Hatred and wrong the fruits of crafty ways. Family dissensions where the things of this world uppermost. Separations which are made in the spirit of dependence on God rend no true bond, but rather strengthen affection.
II. THE FORBEARANCE OF GOD. No justification of Laban, much imperfection in Jacob; yet the shield of Divine patience and mercy thrown over the man who vowed the vow of service, in whom his grace would yet be abundantly revealed. Laban's action controlled by God. He forbad the evil design. He stilleth the enemy and the avenger. "Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad" (ver. 29). "Touch not mine anointed," &c. When we are doing God's work and walking towards his chosen end we may leave it with him to speak with those who would hinder or harm us. - R.
Let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee. I.
IT WAS FORCED UPON HIM BY CIRCUMSTANCES.
1. His long journey in pursuit of Jacob.
2. The Divine warning.
3. His failure to criminate Jacob.
4. The overwhelming force of Jacob's self-defence.
II. IT SHOWED AN IMPERFECT SENSE OF RELIGIOUS DUTY AND OBLIGATION.
1. The natural love of kindred may exist apart from piety. The social affections are beautiful in themselves, but they may be exercised by those who have very imperfect notions of religion, or who even set it aside altogether.
2. The forms of religion may be used with but an imperfect recognition of their real significance. The setting up of this pillar, and the pious motto attached to it, seemed to indicate a most sacred friendship and a solemn regard to the realities of religion. The all-pervading presence and the power of God were recognized. God is regarded as One to whom men are ultimately accountable. But this transaction, though employing the sanctions of religion, shows but a very low apprehension of its nature. This heap was set up by enemies who called upon God to protect them, each from the encroachments of the other.
JACOB'S REMONSTRANCE WITH LABAN.
1. He had served a long time.
2. He had served Laban honestly.
3. He had undergone much toil.
II. JACOB'S CONFIDENCE IN GOD.
III. JACOB'S COVENANT WITH LABAN. Learn:
1. God's providence.
2. God's faithfulness.
2. Guilt makes wicked men dumb to answer the plea of the righteous. Laban knew his guilt, but owns it not.
3. Proud oppressors, when they cannot hurt, yet they brag all is theirs.
4. Unnatural parents, when found out, pretend nearness and interest in their offspring.
5. Cruelty is sometimes crafty to pretend to spare for relation's sake (ver. 43).
6. Bloody men overawed by God are forced to seek peace with the righteous whom they hate.
7. Oppressors are wily to secure their peace by covenant with the innocent when forced to it.
8. Crafty persecutors overcome desire engagement from the persecuted for their safety (ver. 44).
()1. The righteous and wicked in covenants of peace may agree in the same terms, but not in the same heart.
2. Good and bad have inclination to use terms consonant to their country and religion.
3. Imposition of names upon dead things may tend to the information of the living (ver. 47).
4. Visible tokens may lawfully bear the titles of things signified by them.
5. The worst souls may be ready in word to appeal to witness, but such as they conceive cannot hurt them.
6. Pillars and places may bear the name of memorable actions to teach posterity (ver. 48).
7. Titles and words enough the falsest hearts may use for their own ends.
8. Jehovah may be appealed unto by false hearts as to selfseeking and their own security.
9. Fair pretences and guilty fears may move wicked souls to lay bends from God upon the innocent for their own safety.
10. God doth oversee and watch all parties covenanted what they do when they are separated (ver. 49).
()The following story is told of a rich old citizen of Bermago. He had lent to one of his countrymen at Florence four hundred crowns, which he advanced without any witness, and without requiring a written acknowledgment. When the stipulated time had elapsed, the creditor required his money; but the borrower, well apprised that no proof could be brought against him, positively denied that he had ever received it. After many fruitless attempts to recover it, the lender was advised to resort to the duke, who would find some method of doing him justice. Alessandro accordingly ordered both the parties before him; and after hearing the assertions of the one, and the positive denial of the other, he turned to the creditor, saying, "Is it possible, then, friend, that you can have lent your money when no one was present?" "There was no one, indeed," replied the creditor. "I counted out the money to him on a post." "Go, bring the post then, this instant," said the duke, "and I will make it confess the truth." The creditor, though astonished at receiving such an order, hastened to obey, having first received a secret caution from the duke not to be very speedy in his return. Meantime the duke employed himself in transacting the affairs of his other suitors, till at length, turning to the borrower, he said, "This man stays & long time with this post." "It is so heavy, sir," replied the other, "that he could not yet have brought it." Again Alessandro left him, and, returning some time afterward, carelessly exclaimed, "What kind of men are they that lend their money without evidence? Was there no one present but the post. No, indeed, sir! replied the knave. "The post is a good witness then," said the duke, "and shall make thee pay the man his money."
PeopleAram, Isaac, Jacob, Laban, Leah, Nahor, Rachel
PlacesCanaan, Euphrates River, Galeed, Gilead, Jegar-sahadutha, Mizpah, Paddan-aram
TopicsGaleed, Heap, Laban, Named, Reason, Stones, To-day, Witness
Outline1. Jacob, displeased with the envy of Laban and his sons, departs secretly.
19. Rachel steals her father's household gods.
22. Laban pursues after him, and complains of the wrong.
34. Rachel's plan to hide the images.
36. Jacob's complaint of Laban.
43. The covenant of Laban and Jacob at Galeed.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 31:43-53
5430 oaths, human
5095 Jacob, life
5044 names, giving of
1346 covenants, nature of
LibraryGen. xxxi. 11
Of no less importance and significance is the passage Gen. xxxi. 11 seq. According to ver. 11, the Angel of God, [Hebrew: mlaK halhiM] appears toJacob in a dream. In ver. 13, the same person calls himself the God of Bethel, with reference to the event recorded in chap. xxviii. 11-22. It cannot be supposed that in chap xxviii. the mediation of a common angel took place, who, however, had not been expressly mentioned; for Jehovah is there contrasted with the angels. In ver. 12, we read: "And behold …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
Appendix xvi. On the Jewish views About Demons' and the Demonised,' Together with Some Notes on the Intercourse Between Jews and Jewish Christians in the First Centuries.
IT is not, of course, our purpose here to attempt an exhaustive account of the Jewish views on demons' and the demonised.' A few preliminary strictures were, however, necessary on a work upon which writers on this subject have too implictly relied. I refer to Gfrörer's Jahrhundert des Heils (especially vol. i. pp. 378-424). Gfrörer sets out by quoting a passage in the Book of Enoch on which he lays great stress, but which critical inquiries of Dillmann and other scholars have shown to be …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
How the Rude in Sacred Learning, and those who are Learned but not Humble, are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 25.) Differently to be admonished are those who do not understand aright the words of the sacred Law, and those who understand them indeed aright, but speak them not humbly. For those who understand not aright the words of sacred Law are to be admonished to consider that they turn for themselves a most wholesome drought of wine into a cup of poison, and with a medicinal knife inflict on themselves a mortal wound, when they destroy in themselves what was sound by that whereby they ought, …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
Epistle Xlix. To Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch .
To Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch  . Gregory to Anastasius, &c. I received the letters of thy Fraternity, rightly holding fast the profession of the faith; and I returned great thanks to Almighty God, who, when the shepherds of His flock are changed, still, even after such change, guards the faith which He once delivered to the holy Fathers. Now the excellent preacher says, Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus (1 Cor. iii. 2). Whosoever, then, with love of …
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great
The Great Shepherd
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. I t is not easy for those, whose habits of life are insensibly formed by the customs of modern times, to conceive any adequate idea of the pastoral life, as obtained in the eastern countries, before that simplicity of manners, which characterized the early ages, was corrupted, by the artificial and false refinements of luxury. Wealth, in those …
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1
And He had Also this Favour Granted Him. ...
66. And he had also this favour granted him. For as he was sitting alone on the mountain, if ever he was in perplexity in his meditations, this was revealed to him by Providence in prayer. And the happy man, as it is written, was taught of God  . After this, when he once had a discussion with certain men who had come to him concerning the state of the soul and of what nature its place will be after this life, the following night one from above called him, saying, Antony, rise, go out and look.' …
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius
A Treatise of the Fear of God;
SHOWING WHAT IT IS, AND HOW DISTINGUISHED FROM THAT WHICH IS NOT SO. ALSO, WHENCE IT COMES; WHO HAS IT; WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS; AND WHAT THE PRIVILEGES OF THOSE THAT HAVE IT IN THEIR HEARTS. London: Printed for N. Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, over against the Stocks market: 1679. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and "a fountain of life"--the foundation on which all wisdom rests, as well as the source from whence it emanates. Upon a principle …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
Meditations for the Morning.
1. Almighty God can, in the resurrection, as easily raise up thy body out of the grave, from the sleep of death, as he hath this morning wakened thee in thy bed, out of the sleep of nature. At the dawning of which resurrection day, Christ shall come to be glorified in his saints; and every one of the bodies of the thousands of his saints, being fashioned like unto his glorious body, shall shine as bright as the sun (2 Thess. i. 10; Jude, ver. 14; Phil. iii. 21; Luke ix. 31;) all the angels shining …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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