Genesis 29:22

ESV So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast.
NIV So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.
NASB So Laban gathered all the people of the place and held a feast.
CSB So Laban invited all the men of the place and sponsored a feast.
NLT So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast.
KJV And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.

What does Genesis 29:22 mean?

Laban appears to be keeping his end of the agreement with Jacob: the hand of his daughter, Rachel, in exchange for seven years of free work (Genesis 29:18–19). Jacob has put in his seven years of work and has now demanded to marry Rachel (Genesis 29:21). Jacob has not been intimate with Rachel (Genesis 29:21), and is ready to take her as his wife. Appropriately, Laban throws a wedding feast, inviting everyone in the area to come to the celebration.

Nobody from Jacob's family is said to have been invited. We're not told that Jacob had any contact with Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, or others from their household during the seven years that have passed. That may not be surprising given the circumstances under which Jacob left home (Genesis 27:33–41). Still, we wonder if any word of Jacob's wedding would have reached them.

A wedding feast during this era may have lasted as long as a week with much eating and drinking, as well as several specific rituals and ceremonies. One of significant event would involve the groom taking the bride to his chamber to consummate the marriage. It is at that point in the proceedings that Laban will betray his contract and relationship with Jacob in the most shocking way.
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