What does Genesis 24:29 mean?
ESV: Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban. Laban ran out toward the man, to the spring.
NIV: Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring.
NASB: Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring.
CSB: Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and Laban ran out to the man at the spring.
NLT: Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, who ran out to meet the man at the spring.
KJV: And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
NKJV: Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man by the well.
Verse Commentary:
Rebekah has been speaking with a traveler from the land of Canaan. This man is a servant of Abraham, on a mission to find a wife for Abraham's son, Isaac (Genesis 24:3–4). Rebekah arrived as the man was praying for God to send him a sign (Genesis 24:12–14), and she unknowingly fulfilled that very request (Genesis 24:18–19). The man gave her expensive gifts, and asked if her family was able to accommodate the traveling group for the night (Genesis 24:22–25).

Suddenly a new character—and a complication—bursts onto the scene of this unfolding drama. Rebekah had run home to tell the news about this stranger, his wealth, his connection to the family, and his interest in staying with them (Genesis 24:28). Now her brother Laban runs back to the spring, the well, where Abraham's servant remains waiting.

As Rebekah's brother, Laban will play a role in the decision of whether to accept the coming marriage proposal for Rebekah and to allow her to travel and settle away from the family. He will also play a role later in Genesis when Jacob, the son of Rebekah and Isaac, comes to him looking for a wife of his own (Genesis 29). The role of brothers, or fathers, in accepting marriage proposals, was common in that time; this was part of why Abraham had attempted to pretend that he was only Sarah's brother in years past (Genesis 12:11–13; Genesis 20:2).
Verse Context:
Genesis 24:28–59 describes how Abraham's servant, confident he has found God's intended woman for Abraham's son, approaches Rebekah's family to ask for her hand in marriage to Isaac. After being welcomed into their household, the servant tells, in great detail, the story of how God has lead him to Rebekah and their home. Rebekah's father and brother quickly agree that they must allow this marriage to happen. After a bit of negotiation the next morning about when Rebekah will travel to Canaan, Rebekah agrees to leave that very day.
Chapter Summary:
Abraham asks his most trusted servant to travel to his former homeland to find a wife for his son Isaac. Swearing to do so, the servant arrives at the city of Nahor and asks the Lord to show him which young women is appointed for Isaac. Finding Rebekah, the very granddaughter of Abraham's brother Nahor, the servant reveals the reason for his journey to her family. Her father Bethuel and brother Laban agree to allow Rebekah to travel to Canaan and marry Isaac, which she does.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 24 takes place a few years after Sarah has died. Abraham becomes urgent to find Isaac a wife, not among the women of Canaan, but from his own people back in Mesopotamia. His trusted servant, sent to accomplish this mission with the help of the Lord, eventually returns with Rebekah, the granddaughter of Abraham's own brother. Isaac is married to her at the age of 40. Abraham's death is recorded in the following chapter.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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