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by Wayne Blank
"Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed"
Although related (Jacob's mother Rebekah was Laban's sister), the business relationship between Jacob and Laban had been very competitive and discordant (see the Fact Finder question below). Eventually, Jacob left, suddenly and without notice, with much of what had once belonged to Laban. Laban pursued Jacob and confronted him in the region of Gilead, east of the Jordan River.
"Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham [see On His Own Two Feet], and the fear of Isaac [see Isaac's Faith And Obedience], had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight."
The confrontation ended with an agreement that the two men were to never cross paths again - literally. A heap of witness (a pile of rocks to serve as a border marker) was made from which "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." That's apparently all that they agreed upon however; they couldn't even agree to call it the same thing i.e. "Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed" (although "Galeed" and "Gilead" are similar in English spelling, they are not the same; Gilead was the region east of the Jordan where that marker that Jacob called "Galeed" was constructed).
"Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee. And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar [see also Landmark]. 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 Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed."
Fact Finder: What caused Jacob to leave the home of his parents Isaac and Rebekah and go to live with his uncle Laban?