- Son of Bethuel, brother of Rebekah and father of Leah and Rachel. (B.C. about 1860-1740.) The elder branch of the family remained at Haran, Mesopotamia, when Abraham removed to the land of Canaan, and it is there that we first meet with Laban, as taking the leading part in the betrothal of his sister Rebekah to her cousin Isaac. (Genesis 24:10,29-60; 27:43; 29:5) The next time Laban appears in the sacred narrative it is as the host of his nephew Jacob at Haran. (Genesis 29:13,14) [JACOB]
Jacob married Rachel and Leah, daughters of Laban, and remained with him 20 years, B.C. 1760-1740. But Laban’s dishonest and overreaching practice toward his nephew shows from what source Jacob inherited his tendency to sharp dealing. Nothing is said of Laban after Jacob left him.
- One of the landmarks named in the obscure and disputed passage ( 1:1) The mention of Hezeroth has perhaps led to the only conjecture regarding Laban of which the writer is aware, namely, that it is identical with LIBNAH.