Genesis 29:5
And he said to them, Know you Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.
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(5) Laban the son of Nahor.—Laban was really the son of Bethuel and grandson of Nahor; but Nahor was the founder of the family, as being the original immigrant from Ur, who came to supply Abraham’s place on his departure.

29:1-8 Jacob proceeded cheerfully in his journey, after the sweet communion he had with God at Beth-el. Providence brought him to the field where his uncle's flocks were to be watered. What is said of the care of the shepherds for their sheep, may remind us of the tender concern which our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, has for his flock the church; for he is the good Shepherd, that knows his sheep, and is known of them. The stone at the well's mouth was to secure it; water was scarce, it was not there for every one's use: but separate interests should not take us from helping one another. When all the shepherds came together with their flocks, then, like loving neighbours, they watered their flocks together. The law of kindness in the tongue has a commanding power, Pr 31:26. Jacob was civil to these strangers, and he found them civil to him.Jacob arrives at the well of Haran. "The land of the sons of the east." The points of the heavens were defined by the usage of practical life, and not by the standard of a science yet unknown. Hence, the east means any quarter toward the sunrising. Haran was about four degrees east of Beer-sheba, and five and a half degrees north. The distance was about four hundred and fifty miles, and therefore it would take Jacob fifteen days to perform the journey at thirty miles a day. If he reached Bethel the first night, he must have travelled about fifty miles the first day. After this he proceeds on his journey without any memorable incident. In the neighborhood of Haran he comes upon a well, by which lay three flocks. This is not the well near Haran where Abraham's servant met Rebekah. It is in the pasture grounds at some distance from the town. On its mouth was a large stone, indicating that water was precious, and that the well was the common property of the surrounding natives. The custom was to gather the flocks, roll away the stone, which was too great to be moved by a boy or a female, water the flocks, and replace the stone. Jacob, on making inquiry, learns that Haran is at hand, that Laban is well, and that Rachel is drawing nigh with her father's flocks. Laban is called by Jacob the son of Nahor, that is, his grandson, with the usual latitude of relative names in Scripture Genesis 28:13. "The day is great." A great part of it yet remains. It is not yet the time to shut up the cattle for the night; "water the sheep and go feed them." Jacob may have wished to meet with Rachel without presence of the shepherds. "We cannot." There was a rule or custom that the flocks must be all assembled before the stone was rolled away for the purpose of watering the cattle. This may have been required to insure a fair distribution of the water to all parties, and especially to those who were too weak to roll away the stone.4. Jacob said, My brethren—Finding from the shepherds who were reposing there with flocks and who all belonged to Haran, that his relatives in Haran were well and that one of the family was shortly expected, he enquired why they were idling the best part of the day there instead of watering their flocks and sending them back to pasture. No text from Poole on this verse. And he said unto them, know ye Laban the son of Nahor?.... He was the son of Bethuel, and grandson of Nahor; grandsons being called the sons of their grandfather; and Nahor might be more known than Bethuel, Haran being Nahor's city, Genesis 24:10; and not Bethuel his mother's father, but Laban her brother is inquired after; perhaps Bethuel was dead, and Laban was the head of the family, and well known, and it was to him he was sent:

and they said, we know him; perfectly well; he lives in our city, and is our neighbour.

And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.
5. Laban … of Nahor] See note on Genesis 24:15. In Genesis 24:24 Rebekah is daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor. In Genesis 24:29 ff. Laban is Rebekah’s brother. Here he is son of Nahor. It is possible that the tradition, followed here and in chap. 24, differs from that of the genealogy in Genesis 22:20-23; or that Nahor is mentioned as more famous than Bethuel his son. Cf. Jehu who is called “son of Nimshi” (2 Kings 9:20), though, in reality, his grandson (2 Kings 9:2; 2 Kings 9:14).Verse 5. - And he said unto them (with the view of discovering his kinsmen), Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? - i.e. the grandson, Laban's father having been Bethuel, who, however, here, as in Genesis 14, retires into the background. And they said, We know him. The language of the shepherds being Chaldaean (vide Genesis 31:47), Jacob, who spoke Hebrew, was able to converse with them either because he had learnt Chaldee from his mother (Clericus), or, as is more probable, because the dialects were not then greatly dissimilar (Gosman in Lange). Lastly, Jacob made a vow: that if God would give him the promised protection on his journey, and bring him back in safety to his father's house, Jehovah should be his God (והיה in Genesis 28:21 commences the apodosis), the stone which he had set up should be a house of God, and Jehovah should receive a tenth of all that He gave to him. It is to be noticed here, that Elohim is used in the protasis instead of Jehovah, as constituting the essence of the vow: if Jehovah, who had appeared to him, proved Himself to be God by fulfilling His promise, then he would acknowledge and worship Him as his God, by making the stone thus set up into a house of God, i.e., a place of sacrifice, and by tithing all his possessions. With regard to the fulfilment of this vow, we learn from Genesis 35:7 that Jacob built an altar, and probably also dedicated the tenth to God, i.e., offered it to Jehovah; or, as some have supposed, applied it partly to the erection and preservation of the altar, and partly to burnt and thank-offerings combined with sacrificial meals, according to the analogy of Deuteronomy 14:28-29 (cf. Genesis 31:54; Genesis 46:1).
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