What does Genesis 29:13 mean?
ESV: As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things,
NIV: As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things.
NASB: So when Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Then he told Laban all these things.
CSB: When Laban heard the news about his sister's son Jacob, he ran to meet him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then he took him to his house, and Jacob told him all that had happened.
NLT: As soon as Laban heard that his nephew Jacob had arrived, he ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him home. When Jacob had told him his story,
KJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
Many years earlier, Laban had heard about the arrival of the servant of a relative and had run out of the city to greet him (Genesis 24:28–29). That time it was Abraham's servant who came to offer great wealth as part of his request to take Rebekah away and marry her to Isaac (Genesis 24:34–38). Perhaps when Laban heard from Rachel that Rebekah's son had arrived, he expected to find a similar opportunity for wealth. Or perhaps he was just excited to meet his nephew. As the events of this chapter will reveal, it is often difficult to know whether Laban is driven by greed or by love.

Whatever Laban's initial motives, he would have quickly seen that Jacob arrived without great wealth. He was likely traveling alone, and in the prior chapter he was described as sleeping in the wilderness with a rock for a pillow (Genesis 28:10–11)! We're told of no servants or caravan of camels. Still, Laban warmly greets Jacob, hugging and kissing him in the manor of the day and welcoming his nephew into his home.

Jacob, also overjoyed, is said to have told Laban "all these things." We assume that means that Jacob told Laban some of the story of his family and his reason for coming to Haran (Genesis 28:1–2). We don't know, however, if Jacob revealed all of his family's business, including his own deception of his father to get Esau's blessing (Genesis 27:41) or of his encounter with the Lord in a dream (Genesis 28:12).
Verse Context:
Genesis 29:1–30 describes Jacob's arrival at his uncle's household. Laban is happy to see his nephew, likely for the first time. Jacob falls in love with Laban's more attractive daughter, Rachel, and agrees to work for Laban seven years to marry her. On the wedding night, however, Laban treacherously switches Rachel for her older sister Leah. Jacob agrees to marry Rachel the next week, but now must work another seven years.
Chapter Summary:
Jacob's journey from his home brings him to his uncle's household in Haran. He falls in love with Laban's younger daughter Rachel and agrees to work for Laban for seven years to marry her. When the time comes, Laban switches out Rachel for her older, less attractive sister Leah. Jacob is surprised to find he has consummated the marriage with the wrong sister. Manipulative Laban assures Jacob he can still marry Rachel the next week, as long as he will work another seven years. Jacob loves Rachel more than Leah, but with the Lord's help, unloved Leah bears Jacob his first four sons.
Chapter Context:
The previous chapter described Jacob fleeing from home to seek his uncle in Mesopotamia. This was both to escape the rage of his brother, Esau, and to look for a suitable wife. Now Jacob arrives and falls in love with his uncle's daughter Rachel. After working seven years to marry her, Jacob is tricked by his uncle into marrying the older daughter, Leah, instead. Laban allows Jacob to marry Rachel, as well, in exchange for another seven years' work. Though she is unloved by Jacob, the Lord notices Leah's heartbreak and allows her to bear four sons. In the next chapter, Rachel's jealousy sets off something of a birth war, as she and Leah compete to obtain children.
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.
Accessed 4/22/2024 2:04:04 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com