Laban – Brother of Rebekah


We’re all selfish, but some of us have a real corner on the weakness. Laban’s whole life was stamped by self-centeredness. His chief goal was to look out for himself. The way he treated others was controlled by that goal. He made profitable arrangements for his sister Rebekah’s marriage to Isaac and used his daughters’ lives as bargaining chips. Jacob eventually outmaneuvered Laban, but the older man was unwilling to admit defeat. His hold on Jacob was broken, but he still tried to maintain some kind of control by getting Jacob to promise to be gone for good. He realized that Jacob and Jacob’s God were more than he could handle.

On the surface, we may find it difficult to identify with Laban. But his selfishness is one point we have in common. Like him, we often have a strong tendency to control people and events to our benefit. Our “good” reasons for treating others the way we do may simply be a thin cover on our self-centered motives. We may not even recognize our own selfishness. One way to discover it is to examine our willingness to admit we’re wrong Laban could not bring himself to do this. If you ever amaze yourself by what you say and do to avoid facing up to wrong actions, you are getting a glimpse of your selfishness in action. Recognizing selfishness is painful, but it is the first step on the road back to God.

Dig Deeper:  Job - Upright and Blameless

Strengths and Accomplishments

  • Controlled two generations of marriages in the Abrahamic family (Rebekah, Rachel, Leah)
  • Quick-witted

Weaknesses and Mistakes

  • Manipulated others for his own benefit
  • Unwilling to admit wrongdoing
  • Benefited financially by using Jacob, but never fully benefited spiritually by knowing and worshiping Jacob’s God

Lessons From His Life

  • Those who set out to use people will eventually find themselves used
  • God’s plan cannot be blocked

Vital Statistics for Laban

  • Where: Haran
  • Occupation: Wealthy sheep breeder
  • Relatives: Father: Bethuel. Sister: Rebekah. Brother-in-law: Isaac. Daughters: Rachel and Leah. Son-in-law: Jacob

Key Verse for Laban

“If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you” (Genesis 31:42).

Laban’s story is told in Genesis 24:1 – 31:55

Recommended Bible Study Resources

ESV Study BibleStudy Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!

Dig Deeper:  Rachel - Wife of Jacob

Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.

The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.

Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.

Click here to print or download Bible character study “Laban – Brother of Rebekah


Get updated on the latest bible studies and outlines. Be the first to know!!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.