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Catholic Dictionary




Son of Bethuel, a descendant of Nahor from the land of the Aramaeans. When the aged Abraham sought a wife for his son Isaac, he sent a trusted servant back to his kinfolk to find a suitable wife. With Yahweh's help he chose Rebekah. Bethuel, her father, and Laban, her brother, willingly supported the choice and so Rebekah married Isaac (Genesis 24). Years later Jacob, the son of Isaac and Rebekah, was sent by his parents to live with his uncle in the hope that he would take one of Laban's daughters to be his wife (Genesis 28). For many years he worked for Laban, during which time he married both of his uncle's daughters, Leah and Rachel. Jacob prospered in spite of the trickery of Laban and finally departed from his father-in-law with his wives and his sons, returning to his own country (Genesis 29-31).