Why did Lavan make a party for the men of Charan before the wedding?


Targum Yonasan: To take counsel with them how to trick Yaakov into remaining in Charan another seven years (Refer to 29:22:1:3*). They counseled him to give Leah to Yaakov instead of Rachel.


Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim: He wanted to get Yaakov drunk, so he would not distinguish Leah from Rachel. This is why he did not make a party for Rachel!


Tosfos ha'Shalem (2, from Bereishis Rabah 70:19): He told the men that he will swindle Yaakov to stay another seven years. They desired this. 1 He took securities from them not to reveal the ruse, 2 and did not return them. The party was from their money!


Oznayim la'Torah #1: So that the people of the town would assist him to trick Yaakov by switching Leah for Rachel. 3


Oznayim la'Torah #2: In order to be able to subsequently tell Yaakov that he did not give him Rachel because the townspeople would not let him.


Bereishis Rabah: He told them that water used to be scarce, and since Yaakov came, the water was blessed.


Ha'amek Davar: this is why he gathered them before he made the party.


Oznayim la'Torah: As described in detail in the Midrash Rabah.


Why did Lavan gather all the people of the place?


Malbim #1: It was to agree to make a custom not to marry off a younger daughter before her older sister.


Malbim #2: Yaakov would be ashamed to divorce Leah, due to publicity.


Malbim #3: Yaakov would not check that it is not Leah. He would rely on Lavan not to swindle him like this in front of the entire city.

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