Genesis 31:51 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:51, NIV: "Laban also said to Jacob, 'Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me."

Genesis 31:51, ESV: "Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me."

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 31:51, NASB: "Laban also said to Jacob, 'Behold this heap and behold the memorial stone which I have set between you and me."

Genesis 31:51, NLT: "'See this pile of stones,' Laban continued, 'and see this monument I have set between us."

Genesis 31:51, CSB: "Laban also said to Jacob, "Look at this mound and the marker I have set up between you and me."

What does Genesis 31:51 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verses have described in detail the building of and naming of both the pillar and heap—or "cairn"—of stones. It has been stated quite clearly that the pile of stones is meant to serve as a witness of the covenant between Laban and Jacob. This covenant is meant to establish a formal, peaceful separation between the two men. Jacob has served Laban for some twenty years, enduring hard work in addition to Laban's outrageous acts of fraud and cheating. Comically, Laban has invoked God as a witness to Jacob's conduct in the future, as if Jacob, and not Laban, has shown a preference for greed over family over the last two decades.

Now Laban calls Jacob's attention to both the pillar and the heap once more. He is about to spell out in detail what the two of them are agreeing to. In short, this stone formation marks a boundary between them—neither will cross that spot with intent to do harm to the other. As long as they remain separated, they will be at peace.