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Heap of Stones

HEAP OF STONES. An expression used in the OT in several ways. 1. It is used as a symbol and a reminder of a shameful act. After Achan and his family were stoned and burned, a pile of stones was heaped over their slain bodies (Josh 7:26). After Joshua hanged the king of Ai, he raised a heap of stones over his body (Josh 8:29). A similar heap of stones was raised over the body of Absalom, who was killed by Joab and his men after he had tried to seize the throne from his father David (2 Sam 18:17).

2. It is a symbol of a covenant made between two men, as when a heap of stones was raised as a witness to a covenant made between Jacob and Laban at Mizpah. Laban said to Jacob that the heap was a witness that neither of them would pass over it to harm the other (Gen 31:46-52).

3. It is a symbol of God’s judgment upon a sinful city or family (Job 15:28; Isa 37:26; Jer 9:11; Hos 12:11). See Galeed.