A rich herdsman of Mesopotamia, son of Bethuel, and grandson of Mahor, Abraham's brother, Ge 24:28-31. His character is shown in the gladness with which he gave his sister Rebekah in marriage to the only son of his rich uncle, Abraham, Ge 24:30,50; and in his deceitful and exacting treatment of Jacob his nephew and son-in-law, against which Jacob defended himself by cunning as well as fidelity. When the prosperity of the one family and the jealousy of the other rendered peace impossible, Jacob, at the command of God, secretly departed, to go to Canaan. Laban pursued him; but being warned by God to do him no harm, returned home after making a treaty of peace. He seems to have known and worshipped God, Ge 24:50; 30:27; 31:53; but the "gods" or teraphim which Rachel stole from her father, Ge 31:30,34, show that he was not without the taint of idolatry.
white. (1.) The son of Bethuel, who was the son of Nahor, Abraham's brother. He lived at Haran in Mesopotamia. His sister Rebekah was Isaac's wife (Ge 24). Jacob, one of the sons of this marriage, fled to the house of Laban, whose daughters Leah and Rachel (ch. 29) he eventually married. (See Jacob.)
(2.) A city in the Arabian desert in the route of the Israelites (De 1:1), probably identical with Libnah (Nu 33:20).
1. Son of Nahor (Ge 29:5; cf. Ge 24:47, where 'Bethuel, son of,' is apparently an interpolation). He was the hrother of Rebekah (Ge 24:29), father of Leah and Rachel (29), and through them ancestor to three-fourths of the Jewish nation. He had several sons (Ge 30:35; 31:1), and was father-in-law and uncle of Jacob. He appears first in Scripture as engaged in betrothing his sister Rebekah to Isaac (Ge 24:28-30). We meet him next at Haran entertaining Jacob (Ge 29:13-14), who had escaped from his brother Esau. The details of the transactions between Laban and Jacob for the fourteen years while the nephew served the uncle for his two daughters need not be recounted here (see chs. 29 and 30). At the end of the period Jacob was not only husband of Leah and Rachel and father of eleven sons, but also the owner of very many flocks and herds. As Laban was reluctant to part with Jacob, regarding his presence as an assurance of Divine blessing, the departure took place secretly, while Laban was absent shearing his sheep. Jacob removed his property across the Euphrates, while Rachel took with her the teraphim or household gods of the family. When Laban pursued after them and overtook them at Mount Gilead (Ge 31:32), he did no more than reproach Jacob for his stealthy flight and for his removal of the teraphim, and finally made a covenant of peace by setting up a cairn of stones and a pillar; these served as a boundary-stone between the Aram
1. Son of Bethuel, brother of Rebekah, and father of Leah and Rachel. His prompt hospitality towards Abraham's servant shows a heart disposed by the Lord in answer to prayer; but why he took the lead instead of Bethuel, his father, is not revealed. In his dealings with Jacob, Laban was scheming and unscrupulous. This was met by craft on Jacob's part, and would doubtless have led to a serious conflict, had not God warned Laban not to speak to Jacob either good or bad. After Jacob had rehearsed all the wrongs and hardships he had endured during the twenty years he had served Laban, they made a covenant together and separated amicably. Laban is called a Syrian, and he dwelt at Haran. Ge 24:29,50'>50; 5/20'>25:20; 27:43; 28:2,5; 29:5-29; 30:25-42; 31.
2. One of the stations of the Israelites. De 1:1.
1. Son of Bethuel, brother of Rebekah and father of Leah and Rachel. (B.C. about 1860-1740.) The elder branch of the family remained at Haran, Mesopotamia, when Abraham removed to the land of Canaan, and it is there that we first meet with Laban, as taking the leading part in the betrothal of his sister Rebekah to her cousin Isaac.
The next time Laban appears in the sacred narrative it is as the host of his nephew Jacob at Haran.
Jacob married Rachel and Leah, daughters of Laban, and remained with him 20 years, B.C. 1760-1740. But Laban's dishonest and overreaching practice toward his nephew shows from what source Jacob inherited his tendency to sharp dealing. Nothing is said of Laban after Jacob left him.
2. One of the landmarks named in the obscure and disputed passage
The mention of Hezeroth has perhaps led to the only conjecture regarding Laban of which the writer is aware, namely, that it is identical with LIBNAH.
LABAN, the son of Bethuel, grandson of Nahor, brother to Rebekah, and father of Rachel and Leah, Ge 28:2, &c. Of this man, the first thing we hear is his entertainment of Abraham's servant when he came on his errand to Rebekah. Hospitality was the virtue of his age and country. In his case, however, it seems to have been no little stimulated by the sight of "the ear ring and the bracelets on his sister's hands," which the servant had already given her, Ge 24:30; so he speedily made room for the camels. He next is presented to us as beguiling that sister's son, who had sought a shelter in his house, and whose circumstances placed him at his mercy, of fourteen years' service, when he had covenanted with him for seven only; endeavouring to retain his labour when he would not pay him his labour's worth, himself devouring the portion which he should have given to his daughters, counting them but as strangers, Ge 31:15. Compelled, at length, to pay Jacob wages, he changes them ten times, and, in the spirit of a crafty, griping worldling, makes him account for whatever of the flock was torn of beasts or stolen, whether by day or night. When Jacob flies from this iniquitous service with his family and cattle, Laban still pursues and persecutes him, intending, if his intentions had not been overruled by a mightier hand, to send him away empty, even after he had been making, for so long a period, so usurious a profit of him.