It says in Bereishis 29:10:

וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָה יַעֲקֹב אֶת-רָחֵל, בַּת-לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ, וְאֶת-צֹאן לָבָן, אֲחִי אִמּוֹ; וַיִּגַּשׁ יַעֲקֹב, וַיָּגֶל אֶת-הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר, וַיַּשְׁקְ, אֶת-צֹאן לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ.

And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.

Why does the pasuk go out of the way to mention that he saw the sheep of “his mother’s brother” twice. Why is this detail necessary at all in the pasuk, let alone mention it twice?

  • If I remember correctly, it is to show that Lavan was poor (or cheap) and had no sons. Since Rochel was doing the shepherding, a task lavan's sons should have done. Later on we see that Lavan did have sons, as a result of the blessings Yaakov brought – Menachem Nov 24 '14 at 17:18

The Ohr HaChaim explains that the reason why the posuk mentions that Lavan was “his mother’s brother” three times is to show that all of his actions were because he was his mother’s brother, and that he was doing them for the honor of his mother.

Another explanation that he gives is that since a stranger was doing an act of kindness for Rachel, people may have been suspicious of his motives. Therefore he mentioned with every action that he was a relative to allay their suspicions.

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  • I think that Rav Hirsch also mentions the second reason – sabbahillel Nov 24 '14 at 19:09

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