Review: Jacob heads east and encounters a water well, sheep, and Laban’s daughter Rachel (vv. 1-6) … Laban’s sheep are gathered, fed, and watered from the well (vv. 7-8) … Jacob greets Rachel, his first cousin, with a kiss and helps water the sheep (vv. 9-12) … Laban greets Jacob as one of his own (vv. 13-14) … Laban proposes Jacob serve him for free for 7 years (v. 15) … Laban has two daughters – Leah the elder and Rachel the younger and beautiful (vv. 16-17) … Jacob loved (lust at first sight?) Rachel and served his 7 year term (vv. 18-20) with the expectation of wedding her at it’s conclusion (vv. 21-23) … After 7 years, Laban presents Jacob with Leah telling the custom of his land is to give the first born to wed first (vv. 24-27) before the younger … Jacob obliges and is given Rachel as incentive for another 7 years free labor (vv. 28-30) … Leah, unloved by Jacob, gives Jacob four sons – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Rachel, loved by Jacob, womb is barren (vv. 31-35).
Analysis: Previously, Jacob leaves his place of blessing (Gen. 26:1-5) for Laban’s greener pastures after being threatened by his brother Esau (Gen. 27:41) … Nevertheless, despite all of his missteps Jacob is still supported with God’s care (Gen. 28:13-15) … Proving turnabout is fair play, Laban deceives Jacob by presenting Leah for marriage instead of Rachel (vv. 21-26). Jacob deceived Issac to receive his blessing instead of Esau (Gen. 27:18-33) … Jacob’s experience with the LORD is typical. He is given his freedom to make a mess, yet God sticks with him (cp. Deut. 31:6) … The opening scene with Rachel is similar to Abraham’s servant finding Issac a bride in Rebecca (Gen. 24), it’s happening is beyond descriptive words. Love and marriage are like that … Laban’s two girls cost Jacob 14 years free labor, a cost he willingly paid … Just as America has a figurative father in George Washington, because he gave control of the Continental Army to the Congress instead of appointing himself Emperor of America. Israel has literal father. Jacob begot through Leah, her maid Zilpah, Rachel, and her maid Bilhah 12 sons that were the foundation of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Gen. 29-31).