Genesis 29:13
And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Laban . . . ran to meet him, and embraced him.—Rachel told her father, because it was a matter simply of the hospitable reception of a relative, and not such news as Rebekah had run to tell those of her mother’s house. And to Laban the tidings must have been most welcome, as he called to mind now, seventy-seven years ago, he had seen his dear sister depart to marry the son of the distant sheik. It seems strange, however, that the daughters of this old man should be so young. Either they must have been the children of a wife of his old age, or his granddaughters, but regarded as his own because their father was dead. As Laban’s sons are not mentioned till Genesis 31:1, probably on account of their youth, the former is the more probable explanation.

Genesis 29:13. He told Laban all these things — About his journey, and the cause of it, and what he saw in the way.29:9-14 See Rachel's humility and industry. Nobody needs to be ashamed of honest, useful labour, nor ought it to hinder any one's preferment. When Jacob understood that this was his kinswoman, he was very ready to serve her. Laban, though not the best humoured, bade him welcome, and was satisfied with the account Jacob gave of himself. While we avoid being foolishly ready to believe every thing which is told us, we must take heed of being uncharitably suspicious.Jacob's interview with Rachel, and hospitable reception by Laban. Rachel's approach awakens all Jacob's warmth of feeling. He rolls away the stone, waters the sheep, kisses Rachel, and bursts into tears. The remembrance of home and of the relationship of his mother to Rachel overpowers him. He informs Rachel who he is, and she runs to acquaint her father. Laban hastens to welcome his relative to his house. "Surely my bone and my flesh art thou." This is a description of kinsmanship probably derived from the formation of the woman out of the man Genesis 2:23. A month here means the period from new moon to new moon, and consists of twenty-nine or thirty days.12. Jacob told Rachel, &c.—According to the practice of the East, the term "brother" is extended to remote degrees of relationship, as uncle, cousin, or nephew. Abram the Hebrew; so called, either,

1. From his great and good predecessor Eber, Genesis 10:24 11:14, in and by whom the primitive language and true religion were preserved; and therefore though Abram had five other progenitors between Eber and him, which were persons of less note, he is rightly denominated from Eber, the Hebrew, because he was the first that revived the memory and the work of Eber, that kept up the same language, and eminently propagated the same true religion. Or,

2. As others think, from his passing over the river Euphrates, from beyond which he came into Canaan.

These were confederate with Abram, i.e. had entered into a league for their mutual defence against common enemies. Whence we learn that it is not simply and universally unlawful to make a league with persons of a false religion. And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son,.... That there was such a man at the well, thus related to him, and what he had done there, had rolled away the stone, and watered his flock. The Jewish writers (l) make this report chiefly to respect his great strength showed in the above instance, with other things:

that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house; Jarchi and other interpreters represent this as done with avaricious views, and that he expected Jacob had brought presents with him, as pieces of gold, pearls and jewels, and such like precious things Abraham's servant brought and gave him when he came for Rebekah, Genesis 24:53; but I see not why we may not take all this to be hearty, sincere, and affectionate, arising from nearness of relation, and a sense of it:

and he told Laban all these things; how he was sent hither by his parents on account of the hatred of his brother Esau, because he had got the birthright and blessing from him; how God had appeared to him at Luz, and the promises he had made him; how providentially he had met with Rachel at the well, and perhaps might him at, if he did not openly declare, the end of his coming thither for a wife.

(l) Targ. Jon. in loc. Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c. 36.)

And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban {e} all these things.

(e) That is, the reason why he departed from his father's house, and what he saw during his journey.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Laban] According to the P narrative, Genesis 26:34, it was over forty years since Laban had said farewell to his sister Rebekah. He now effusively greets and welcomes her son. Perhaps he recollects the gifts of Rebekah’s dowry (Genesis 24:30), and also perceives in Jacob a strong and capable worker.

the tidings] LXX τὸ ὄνομα = “the name,” with the omission of one letter in the original (shêm for shêma‘).

kissed] The Hebrew verb expresses the warmth of the salutation.Verse 13. - And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings (literally, heard the hearing, or thing heard, i.e. the report of the arrival) of Jacob his sister's son, - he acted very much as he did ninety-seven years before, when Abraham's servant came to woo his sister (Genesis 14:20, 30) - that (literally, and) he ran to meet him, and embraced him, - so afterwards Esau did Jacob (Genesis 33:4), and Jacob the two sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:10) - and kissed him, and brought him to his house - thus evincing the same kindness and hospitality that had characterized him on the previous occasion. And he (Jacob) told Laban all these things - what his mother bad instructed him to say to attest his kinship (Calvin); the things related in the immediate context (Keil); more likely the entire story of his life, and in particular of his exile from home, with its cause and object (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange). Jacob asked the shepherds where they lived; from which it is probable that the well was not situated, like that in Genesis 24:11, in the immediate neighbourhood of the town of Haran; and when they said they were from Haran, he inquired after Laban, the son, i.e., the descendant, of Nahor, and how he was (לו השׁלום: is he well?; and received the reply, "Well; and behold Rachel, his daughter, is just coming (בּאה particip.) with the flock." When Jacob thereupon told the shepherds to water the flocks and feed them again, for the day was still "great," - i.e., it wanted a long while to the evening, and was not yet time to drive them in (to the folds to rest for the night) - he certainly only wanted to get the shepherds away from the well, that he might meet with his cousin alone. But as Rachel came up in the meantime, he was so carried away by the feelings of relationship, possibly by a certain love at first sight, that he rolled the stone away from the well, watered her flock, and after kissing her, introduced himself with tears of joyous emotion as her cousin (אביה אחי, brother, i.e., relation of her father) and Rebekah's son. What the other shepherds thought of all this, is passed over as indifferent to the purpose of the narrative, and the friendly reception of Jacob by Laban is related immediately afterwards. When Jacob had told Laban "all these things," - i.e., hardly "the cause of his journey, and the things which had happened to him in relation to the birthright" (Rosenmller), but simply the things mentioned in Genesis 29:2-12 - Laban acknowledged him as his relative: "Yes, thou art my bone and my flesh" (cf. Genesis 2:23 and Judges 9:2); and thereby eo ipso ensured him an abode in his house.
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