Laban meets Jacob, Genesis 29:1-14

Laban, the father of Rachel, was pleased to meet Jacob.

Laban made a deal with Jacob whereby Jacob had to work for Laban for 7 years in exchange for his daughter Rachel’s hand in marriage. However, Laban substituted her sister Leah instead and Jacob had to serve a further 7 years in order to marry Rachel.

Laban was a nomad. He and his family and servants lived in a number of tents.

They followed their sheep as they were moved from one feeding ground to the next.

Laban in Hebrew means: white, glorious. He was the son of Bethnel and the brother of Rebekah, who had married Jacob’s father, Isaac.

Background Reading:

Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram and Meets Rachel The Later her Father

29:1 Jacob journeyed on and reached the territory that belonged to the people who lived in the east. 2 As he was observing a well that had been dug out on the open range, all of a sudden he noticed three flocks of sheep lying there, because shepherds watered their flocks from that well. There was a very large stone that covered the opening of the well, 3 and when all the flocks had been gathered there, they would roll away the stone from the opening of the well, water their flocks, and then return the stone to its place covering the opening of the well.

4 Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?”

“We’re from Haran,” they answered.

5 “Do you happen to know Nahor’s son Laban?” he inquired.

“We do,” they replied.

6 So he asked them, “How’s he doing?”

“Very well,” they answered. “As a matter of fact, look over there! That’s his daughter Rachel, coming here with his sheep.”

7 “Look!” Jacob replied. “The sun is still high. It’s not yet time for the flocks to be gathered. Let’s water the sheep, then let them graze.”

8 But they responded, “We can’t do that until all the sheep have been gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the opening of the well. Only then can we water the flock.” 9 While he was still talking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, since she was a shepherdess.

10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, accompanied by Laban’s sheep, Jacob approached the well, rolled the stone from the opening of the well, and then watered his mother’s brother Laban’s flock. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to cry out loud. 12 Jacob told Rachel that he was related to her father, since he was Rebekah’s son, so she ran and told her father.

13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran out to meet him. He embraced him, kissed him, and brought him back to his house. Then Jacob told Laban about everything that had happened. 14 Laban responded, “You certainly are my flesh and blood!” So Jacob stayed with him for about a month.
Genesis 29:1-14

Continued Genesis 29:14-30:43


Other modules in this unit: