The bible provides practical guidance on settling family disputes. In this first of a two-part study, we learn about family dispute settlement, roles of the Council of Relatives, and the importance of sharing food, based on interactions between Jacob and Laban during Jacob’s departure from Paddan Aram. When Laban was informed that Jacob left with his household and belongings without telling him, he gathered his relatives and pursued Jacob, caught up with him at Gilead, and confronted him the next day in the presence of their relatives. The interaction that followed illustrates that the best approach to settling a family dispute is to make peace without necessarily digging for the truth, setup mechanisms for preventing future disputes, and invite God to witness and honor the settlement.
In this bible study we learn about business partnership agreements, leadership responsibilities, and re-alignment of relationships at marriage. The study focuses on interactions between Jacob and Laban during Jacob’s final six years in Paddan Aram and between Jacob and his wives in deciding to leave Paddan Aram to return to his Cradle in Canaan.
In this bible study we learn about Jacob’s first seven years in Paddan Aram, where he lived with his uncle Laban. The passage illustrates the role of family as a structure for regulation of human interactions. This function often is performed through the Council of Relatives, constituted by informally selecting family members to represent each family. The Council of Relatives is still the same and plays the same roles today as in the days of this bible incident. The council is referred to as Umunna among the Igbo people of Nigeria, for example.