Was wondering how old Lavan was when:

  1. Yaakov came to Padan Aram (Rashi says Yaakov was 77).
  2. When Lavan's first son was born (Rashi says Lavan initially only had daughters).
  3. When Lavan died.

1 Answer 1


I'm not a rabbi or even Jewish so I can't bring out any tradition on this but perhaps I can be of help in providing an estimate of sorts based on the following:

Laban first appears in the account of Isaac's marriage(Genesis 24). His involvement in arranging his sister Rebekah's marriage implies that he's an adult. He may've been of similar age to Isaac, who was 40 at the time(Genesis 25:20), but was likely younger as Abraham received news of the birth of his brother Nahor's sons, the youngest of whom was Laban's father Bethuel, sometime after Isaac's near-sacrifice(Genesis 22). Without any clearer evidence, we'll have to estimate that he was around 20 when he makes this first appearance.

20 years later, sometime after Isaac's 60th birthday(Genesis 25:26), Jacob(and Esau) are born. As you mentioned in your question, Jacob was 77 when he arrived in Paddan-Aram so Laban, in my estimation, was ~117 when his nephew showed up.

Laban may've fathered his first son anytime in the 77 years between his sister's marriage and his nephew's arrival but IIRC, Jewish tradition says that the birth of Laban's sons didn't occur until after Jacob's arrival as they were a result of God's blessing on his house for Jacob's sake. Therefore, the birth of Laban's first son may've taken place anytime between his 20th & 120th year.

Laban's ~137 when we see him last. Genesis doesnt tell us when Laban died, but the lifespans of his family members¹ indicate that Laban may've lived anywhere between 1 and 70 years after his last interaction with Jacob.

¹ Terah, his great-grandpa, lived 205 years & Ishmael lived 137.

  • Thanks! Your numbers are more or less what I was expecting. Will accept it if nothing more specific comes in, but I'm still holding out for a definitive rabbinical source explicitly stating a number (e.g. "seder hadorot").
    – Nic
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 18:22

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