What does Genesis 29:19 mean?
ESV: Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me."
NIV: Laban said, "It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me."
NASB: Laban said, 'It is better that I give her to you than to give her to another man; stay with me.'
CSB: Laban replied, "Better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay with me."
NLT: Agreed!' Laban replied. 'I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.'
KJV: And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
NKJV: And Laban said, “ It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.”
Verse Commentary:
Jacob has come to his ancestral homeland, both to escape his murderous brother (Genesis 27:41) and to find a wife at the request of his father (Genesis 28:1–2). Luckily, he located his family and fell in love with the younger of his uncle's two daughters, Rachel (Genesis 29:16–17). After a month of living with the family, Laban asks what wages he expects, and Jacob offers to work for seven years in exchange for Rachel's hand in marriage.

Jacob's offer was extraordinarily generous. It's no surprise that Laban quickly agrees. He likely did see Jacob as an excellent husband for his daughter. He also saw seven years of free labor from a hard worker. Had he been more generous, Laban could have countered Jacob's offer with one that was not so strenuous on his daughter's future husband. That wasn't Laban's style. In fact, as the next few verses will explain, Laban's intentions are clearly not good. Jacob, the cheater (Genesis 25:29–34; 27:33–36), is working towards a taste of his own medicine.
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.
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