In the Jewish tradition, the Jews usually perform some religious rituals that involve stones. Abraham, for example, used to build an altar for worship and sacrifice whenever he would go to a certain place for preaching, and so did almost all of the prophets in the Old Testament.
Usually, the place of worship is a monument above a pile of stones, which is what Jacob called Gilead (גִּלְעָֽד) and named a land after it. It also means a heap of signs, the idea that was later developed into what is known as Mizpah (מִּצְפָּה֙).
Mizpah Bible Verses:
“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 watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.” (Gen 31:48-49)
The verse refers to the role that should be performed i.e., witness and watching a comer.
The Meaning of Mizpah in Hebrew:
The word Mizpah in Hebrew is (מִּצְפָּה֙) which means a watchtower that was built on a high place (Strong's 4709). The one responsible for Mizpah's role is called “misaphi” - which is the participle name of the word “Mizpah” – the one who evaluates and watches a certain comer, the person who chooses what\who is pure, good, and right.
What confirms this meaning is that the observer at Mizpah Tower was staring and watching carefully from a distance to distinguish a group of people coming to the city, whether he was a messenger to the king or a person joining the group, and even the leader of the group "Jeho".
The relationship of the Mizpah with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
The Mizpah was originally a monument or shrine on a high secluded place in Gilead where the observer and his family lived. After the number of observers increased, these heights became great religious centers and then developed into institutes of education and religious societies that preserved and nurtured religious secrets, including the distinction between what is real and false, or pure and impure of people who are candidates for important positions.
These religious secrets included the signs of the last Prophet and his characteristics. Thus, the truth is to be distinguished and separated from the false, and the pure from the impure. The centuries passed and the prophets were in succession, and the Mizpah was still carrying out its mission until the Chosen One appeared, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). When the observers’ mission was to watch the Seal of the Prophets and to search for him with his signs and evidence.
Let’s sum up all the above: Although this subject and the conclusion require more discussions and reflections, you could see that the Mizpah had worked in Jewish history as a watchtower that checks the conditions of prophets to appear and tests their qualities, and those entitled to carry on this role had some religious secrets that enable them to distinguish between what is real and false, or Pure and impure of the candidates for important positions.
Watching the coming of the last prophet, and the secrets of his signs and connotations were Mizpah’s last mission that was fulfilled by the appearance of the last Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
For a full and expanded discussion of this topic and many of the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible, I would urge you to read the book written by the former Roman Catholic priest, Professor David Benjamin (later Abd al-Ahad Dawood) under the title: "Muhammad in the Torah and the Gospel". Click here and check it now!