Jacob and Rachel
Genesis 29, I noticed a contradiction in the story regarding Jacob and Rachel.
When did Jacob receive Rachel, before or after serving seven more years? I
thought it was after serving seven more years but the Scriptures do not support
that. This is why it is so important for each individual to search the
Scriptures for themselves and allow the Holy Spirit to bring enlightenment.
Every minute detail adds to the fullness of the story and brings to life the
character of each individual, or the character of a nation.
As you know
Jacob was deceived into believing that Leah was Rachel on their wedding night.
Upon awakening the next morning he realized that he had been deceived and was
extremely angry. He went to Laban (Leah and Rachel’s father) and asked
“Why did you deceive me?” Upon answering Laban said “It is against our
custom to marry the youngest before the oldest”. I am sure Jacob was
thinking “Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place.” But let’s look
at the Scriptures and see what actually happened.
Jacob Meets Rachel
Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the sons of the east.
looked, and saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep were
lying there beside it, for from that well they watered the flocks. Now the stone
on the mouth of the well was large.
all the flocks were gathered there, they would then roll the stone from the
mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on
the mouth of the well.
said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from
said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know
he said to them, “Is it well with him?” And they said, “It is well, and here is
Rachel his daughter coming with the sheep.”
said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be
gathered. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them.”
they said, “We cannot, until all the flocks are gathered, and they roll the
stone from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”
he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she
was a shepherdess.
Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of
Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the mouth of
the well and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.
Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted his voice and wept.
told Rachel that he was a [c]relative
of her father and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.
when Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran to meet him, and
embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Then he related to
Laban all these things.
said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him a
Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me
for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”
Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the
younger was Rachel.
Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face.
Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger
said, “It is better that I give her to you than to give her to another man; stay
Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few
days because of his love for her.
In Old Testament times parents usually determined who their children married,
and a dowry had to be given. It was the fathers who negotiated the dowry
because “to lose or gain a daughter was to lose or gain a worker.... Jacob substituted an agreed period of work for the marriage price.” (Handbook
of Life in Bible Times, J.A. Rogers, p. 85).
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is completed, that I
may go in to her.”
22 Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a feast.
23 Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him;
and Jacob went in to her.
24 Laban also gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid.
25 So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah!
And he said to Laban, “What is this you have
done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have
you deceived me?”
wedding day, “the groom and his friends would go to the bride’s
house in the evening,
collect the bride and her
friends and return to the groom’s house with singing, music and dancing
and her face would be veiled.
(This explains how Jacob was tricked into marrying the wrong woman.) . . .
The feasting could often last for a week.” (Handbook of Life in Bible
Times, by J.A. Thompson, p. 89; reprinted 1987).
Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before
27 Complete the week of this one, (the wedding feast; 7 days) and we will give
you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another
28 Jacob did so and completed her week (Leah’s week), and he gave him his
daughter Rachel as his wife.
29 Laban also gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid.
30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah,
and he served with Laban for another seven years.
So now we see what really happened. I often wondered why it was so easy
for Jacob to work another seven years for a woman he loved after being tricked
by her father. I know he loved her, but it makes more sense that he
received her before, not after, making the next seven years bearable knowing she
was by his side.