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GENESIS 29:10-12

"And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother'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. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father."

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THE WEDDINGS

In chapter 29, Jacob continues on his journey to his mother's relatives in search for a bride. We saw Abraham's servant make this same journey in chapter 24 to bring back Jacob's father, Isaac, a bride. And just as the servant met Rebekah at a well of water, so does Jacob first see Rachel and (I believe) it was love at first sight. This is a beautiful love story.

Rachel's job was to keep her father's sheep. While Jacob spoke with the men at the well, he saw Rachel coming with the sheep and he rolled the stone away so the sheep could drink. When he told Rachel that he was her cousin she was so excited she left the sheep and ran to tell her father. (But not before Jacob kissed her!) Jacob's uncle, Laban, then ran out to meet him and invited him into the house. He then asked Jacob to stay with them. After he had stayed for a month at his uncle's house, Laban decided to pay him for the work he was doing. When asked what his wages should be, Jacob said he would serve Laban for 7 years for his youngest daughter, Rachel, for he loved her. Laban agreed to this.

GENESIS 29:20

"And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her."

At the end of the seven years, Jacob asked for Rachel's hand in marriage. Laban made a feast and then did a switch! Up to this point, we have seen Jacob as the big deceiver but now the tables are turned on him and he gets a taste of what he did to Esau. In the evening, instead of giving Jacob Rachel for his wife, Laban sends Leah, Rachel's older sister, in to him. I have always wondered how Jacob could have been deceived in this manner, having known Rachel for 7 years! I think I would have known I was with the wrong person if it had been me; unless the two sisters were very similar in size, manner and speech! When Jacob confronted Laban with what he had done, Laban told him the youngest daughter could not marry before the eldest. He further told Jacob that if he would give Leah one week, he could have Rachel while he worked another 7 years to pay for her! I can't imagine any man working for 7 years to marry a woman today! Most marriages don't even last that long!

Each of Jacob's wives were given maids by their father. These handmaids play an important part in the nation of Israel as they each bare two of Jacob's sons, who then later make up part of the 12 tribes of Israel. When God saw that Rachel was loved and Leah hated, he allowed Leah to have children while Rachel remained barren. By the end of the chapter, Leah had given birth to 4 sons; Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

  1. WOMEN: Do you think your husband would have been willing to work fourteen years to marry you? (I dare you to ask him!) MEN: (Now think hard before you answer!) Would you have been willing to wait seven years to marry your wife?
  2. Do you think if all marriages were built on love this strong there would be as many divorces today?
  3. How do you think Leah felt on her wedding night?


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