Genesis 31:52 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:52, NIV: "This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me."

Genesis 31:52, ESV: "This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm."

Genesis 31:52, KJV: "This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm."

Genesis 31:52, NASB: "This heap is a witness, and the memorial stone is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this memorial stone to me, for harm."

Genesis 31:52, NLT: "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."

Genesis 31:52, CSB: "This mound is a witness and the marker is a witness that I will not pass beyond this mound to you, and you will not pass beyond this mound and this marker to do me harm."

What does Genesis 31:52 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob and Laban have agreed to part ways, allowing Jacob to return to his homeland in Canaan, along with his wives and flock. This covenant was marked by a pillar, an arrangement of stones, and a ceremonial meal. Previous verses described in detail the building of and naming of both the pillar and heap—or "cairn"—of stones. Now Laban describes both heap and pillar as witness to an agreement: that neither man will pass over these landmarks to do harm to the other. In other words, the heap and the pillar would become a border and boundary between the men and their people, at least as far as evil or harmful intent is concerned. So long as they remain on their respective sides of this marker, there will be peace between their camps.

Laban wants to ensure that Jacob, armed with the blessing and power of God, will never come riding back into his territory to do him harm or make war against him. Jacob will agree.