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Genesis 24:28-31 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 24:28
  • Genesis 24:29
  • Genesis 24:30
  • Genesis 24:31

Rebekah tells her family about the stranger and shows the golden jewelry he gifted her. Her brother Laban goes to the servant and welcomes him into their house.

Abraham’s servant asked for lodging at Rebekah’s house. She replied that they had plenty of room for him and his camels. Preparations were necessary: Then the girl, Rebekah, ran and told her mother’s household about these things. A stranger had come with a party of ten camels, and she had watered them all. This stranger gifted her with a golden ring and golden bracelets, asking her about her family, and she told him. We can imagine Rachel running to her mother, showing her new jewelry and saying “Mom, look what this man gave me!”

This arouses the curiosity of Rebekah’s family. She had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. Not only has a stranger come, the stranger is bearing great gifts, and appears to be connected. So after the girl ran and told the news, now Laban ran. There understandably seems to be much excitement all around.

When Laban saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. Laban heard the news, saw the proof, and ran to the spring.  Sure enough, there was the stranger standing by the camels. 

If Laban had any misgivings about this stranger, the costly gifts given to his sister likely calmed them, promising that whoever this man was or represented was wealthy and powerful. He tells Abraham’s servant, “Come in, blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside since I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels?”

It’s interesting to note that Laban references the LORD of Abraham and his household. We know from later events in Genesis that Laban worshipped pagan idols (Genesis 31:19). He surely had heard about the LORD whom Abraham worshipped. Abraham seems to be, in most respects, the black sheep of his family. In ancient times, families stuck together to accumulate wealth and strength. But Abraham set out on his own. He had surely told his family why he was leaving them and going to Canaan, that his God had told him he would possess the land and that his descendants would form a chosen nation. Perhaps his brothers and father had thought this insane. But years later they would contact Abraham about his brother Nahor’s children, and doubtless would have heard of the wealth and power he had accumulated after settling in Canaan (Genesis 22:20-24). Thus, although Laban worshipped the false gods of Mesopotamia, he clearly had a healthy understanding of Abraham’s God, and the evidence that this God had greatly blessed Abraham.

However, at this point the servant has not yet revealed himself as Abraham’s servant. It’s possible that Laban has guessed the identity of the servant. It seems likely he worships the LORD in addition to his idols.

Biblical Text

28 Then the girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. 30 When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31 And he said, “Come in, blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside since I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels?”




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