What does Genesis 31:54 mean?
ESV: and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.
NIV: He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.
NASB: Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his relatives to the meal; and they ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.
CSB: Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat a meal. So they ate a meal and spent the night on the mountain.
NLT: Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there on the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast. After they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain.
KJV: Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
NKJV: Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread. And they ate bread and stayed all night on the mountain.
Verse Commentary:
Laban and Jacob have agreed on the terms of a covenant that would keep both on their own side of the heap or boundary marker they have built. To seal this agreement, Laban has sworn an oath on the gods he recognizes, including the God of Abraham. Jacob has sworn an oath by God, as well, calling Him the "Fear of Isaac."

Now Jacob concludes the agreement by offering a sacrifice upon an altar and by sharing another meal with Laban and his kinsman. This eating of bread was likely more than just a meal, but part of the covenant process itself.

Finally, everyone retreats to their tents and goes to bed, ending what must have been a momentous, emotional, and exhausting day.
Verse Context:
Genesis 31:43–55 describes the final agreement reached between Jacob and Laban. Laban declares that he will not claim his right to Jacob's wives and children and property. Instead, he and Jacob agree to make a covenant of separation and peace. They build a heap of stones, swear oaths, conduct a sacrifice, and eat a meal together. Finally, Laban kisses his daughters and grandchildren goodbye and rides back to his home. Jacob and his family turn to face the Promised Land.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 31 describes Jacob's difficult separation from Laban, his father-in-law, as well as his boss for twenty years. During that time, Jacob was routinely mistreated and cheated by his master. Commanded by God to return to the land of Canaan, Jacob packs up his wives, children, and all of his possessions and leaves without telling Laban. Laban soon catches up with the large company. Laban and Jacob confront each other bitterly. Eventually, though, they make a covenant of separation and peace.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 30 described the dramatic expansion of Jacob's family and property. Now, after twenty years of working for Laban, the time comes for Jacob to return to his own people. He attempts to sneak away without telling Laban, but Laban soon catches up with him. After bitter confrontations, father and son-in-law make a covenant of separation and peace. Jacob is finally free to begin the next chapter of his life in the Promised Land. First, though, he will need to deal with his brother Esau, whose rage was the main reason Jacob fled in the first place. That encounter is described over the following two chapters.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 7/21/2024 12:16:15 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com