Laban was Rebecca’s brother and the head of her household, and she was subject to his will, until she was betrothed. Rebecca became betrothed when she accepted the bracelets and rings from Abraham’s servant. When she ran back home to tell her family what had just happened at the well, she was already betrothed to Isaac.
Laban certainly appeared to be a nice guy; he ran to meet the servant, offered his barn and feed for the camels, and a meal for Abraham’s servant and the men with him. He did not object to the servant’s gifts, and he did not object tot Rebecca’s betrothal at that time (Gen. 24:42-51). It seemed as if Laban was all in favor of yielding to the servant’s wishes.
The next morning, Abraham’s servant prepared to return to Canaan with Rebecca, and this is when Laban tried to throw a monkey wrench in Yahweh’s plan. He wanted the servant and Rebecca to delay their return to Canaan by at least ten days, but the servant protested because he wanted to leave immediately. The issue was only resolved when Rebecca herself agreed to leave at once (Gen. 24:58). Rebecca was able to speak for herself because she was betrothed; Laban no longer had any say over what she did, although he tried his best to keep her under his control.
Why would Laban try to delay Rebecca’s marriage to Isaac? I think that the evil one was behind this, and I’ll try to explain why…