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Genesis 31:46

46 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap.

Read Genesis 31:46 Using Other Translations

And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
And Jacob said to his kinsmen, "Gather stones." And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap.
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.

What does Genesis 31:46 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Genesis 31:46

And Jacob said unto his brethren, gather stones
Not to his sons, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi; these would not be called brethren, and were not fit, being too young to be employed in gathering large stones, as these must be, to erect a monument with; rather his servants, whom he employed in keeping his sheep under him, and might so call them, as he did the shepherds of Haran, ( 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 F15, 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 The Chinese F16 call friendship that is most firm and stable, and not to be rescinded, "stony friendship": whether from a like custom with this does not appear.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 (le) "apud", "juxta", "prope"; see Nold. Concord. Part. Heb. p. 691.
F16 Martin. Hist. Sinic. p. 178.
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