Genesis 29:13 MEANING

Genesis 29:13
(13) Laban . . . ran to meet him, and embraced him.--Rachel told her father, because it was a matter simply of the hospitable reception of a relative, and not such news as Rebekah had run to tell those of her mother's house. And to Laban the tidings must have been most welcome, as he called to mind now, seventy-seven years ago, he had seen his dear sister depart to marry the son of the distant sheik. It seems strange, however, that the daughters of this old man should be so young. Either they must have been the children of a wife of his old age, or his granddaughters, but regarded as his own because their father was dead. As Laban's sons are not mentioned till Genesis 31:1, probably on account of their youth, the former is the more probable explanation.

Verse 13. - And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings (literally, heard the hearing, or thing heard, i.e. the report of the arrival) of Jacob his sister's son, - he acted very much as he did ninety-seven years before, when Abraham's servant came to woo his sister (Genesis 14:20, 30) - that (literally, and) he ran to meet him, and embraced him, - so afterwards Esau did Jacob (Genesis 33:4), and Jacob the two sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:10) - and kissed him, and brought him to his house - thus evincing the same kindness and hospitality that had characterized him on the previous occasion. And he (Jacob) told Laban all these things - what his mother bad instructed him to say to attest his kinship (Calvin); the things related in the immediate context (Keil); more likely the entire story of his life, and in particular of his exile from home, with its cause and object (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange).

29:9-14 See Rachel's humility and industry. Nobody needs to be ashamed of honest, useful labour, nor ought it to hinder any one's preferment. When Jacob understood that this was his kinswoman, he was very ready to serve her. Laban, though not the best humoured, bade him welcome, and was satisfied with the account Jacob gave of himself. While we avoid being foolishly ready to believe every thing which is told us, we must take heed of being uncharitably suspicious.And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son,.... That there was such a man at the well, thus related to him, and what he had done there, had rolled away the stone, and watered his flock. The Jewish writers (l) make this report chiefly to respect his great strength showed in the above instance, with other things:

that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house; Jarchi and other interpreters represent this as done with avaricious views, and that he expected Jacob had brought presents with him, as pieces of gold, pearls and jewels, and such like precious things Abraham's servant brought and gave him when he came for Rebekah, Genesis 24:53; but I see not why we may not take all this to be hearty, sincere, and affectionate, arising from nearness of relation, and a sense of it:

and he told Laban all these things; how he was sent hither by his parents on account of the hatred of his brother Esau, because he had got the birthright and blessing from him; how God had appeared to him at Luz, and the promises he had made him; how providentially he had met with Rachel at the well, and perhaps might him at, if he did not openly declare, the end of his coming thither for a wife.

(l) Targ. Jon. in loc. Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c. 36.)

Courtesy of Open Bible