And Jacob rose up early in the morning
In order to proceed on his journey, being comfortably refreshed both in body and mind: but first he took the stone that he had put [for] his pillows, and set it up [for]
not for a statue or an idol to be worshipped, but for a memorial of the mercy and goodness of God unto him, see ( Joshua 4:3-9 ) ; indeed, among the Heathens, stones, even rude and unpolished ones, were worshipped as gods; and this was the ancient custom among the Greeks, and which, as Pausanias F12 says, universally obtained among them: and poured oil upon the top of it;
which he had brought with him for necessary uses in his journey, or fetched from the neighbouring city; the former is most likely: and this he did, that he might know it again when he returned, as Aben Ezra remarks, and not for the consecration of it for religious use; though it is thought, by some learned men F13, that the Phoenicians worshipped this stone which Jacob anointed; and that from this anointed stone at Bethel came the Boetylia, which were anointed stones consecrated to Saturn and Jupiter, and others, and were worshipped as gods; the original of which Sanchoniatho F14 ascribes to Uranus, who, he says, devised the Boetylia, forming animated stones, which Bochart renders anointed stones; and so Apuleius F15, Minutius Felix F16, Arnobius F17, and others, speak of anointed stones, worshipped as deities; and hence it may be through the early and ancient abuse of such pillars it was, that they were forbidden by the law of Moses, and such as the Heathens had erected were to be pulled down, ( Leviticus 26:1 ) ( Deuteronomy 7:5 ) ( 12:3 ) .
F12 Achaiaca sive, l. 7. p. 441.
F13 Bochart. Canaan. l. 2. c. 2. col. 707, 708. Marsham. Chronicon, p. 56. & alii.
F14 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 37.
F15 Florida, c. 1.
F16 Octav. p. 2.
F17 Adv. Gentes, l. 1. p. 2.