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Jegar-sahadutha (also rendered in English as Jegarsahadutha) is the Aramaic (Jesus Christ also spoke Aramaic) name that Laban gave to the pile of rocks erected as a sign of the covenant made between him and Jacob when they parted company. It was apparently also the last time that Laban saw his two daughters, Leah and Rachel, and their sons (all but one of the Israelite patriarchs were born in Laban's household during the years that Jacob lived there in Syria - see Children of Jacob) and daughter (Dinah).

"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."

"And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?" (Genesis 31:41-43 KJV)

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."

"And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee."

"And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee; 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. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us."

"And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac. 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."

"And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place." (Genesis 31:44-55 KJV)

Fact Finder: What caused Jacob to leave the home of his parents Isaac and Rebekah and go to live with his uncle Laban?
See Jacob and Laban

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