Genesis 29 – The Marriage of Jacob
Jacob comes up on some men watering their sheep while on his journey to Laban to find a wife. He asks the men if they know of Laban ‘the son of Nahor’ in v.5.
This is questionable. In just Gen. 28:5, and many verses before, it says Laban is the ‘son of Bethuel the Syrian.’ Which is it? Apologists claim Nahor is his father and Bethuel may be his grandfather. If this were true why not explain it all, we know they like genealogies, why skip this one.
So, the guys say they know of Laban and even his daughter, Rachel, is with the sheep. When she brings the sheep he gets water for them all. In v.12 he tells her that he is was related to her father through Rebekah, she runs to tell her father.
Laban comes and embraces him saying ‘you are my own flesh and blood.’
Skip ahead a month and Laban tells Jacob even though they are family he shouldn’t work without being paid, he says ‘tell me what your wages should be.’
v.20 Jacob replies that he would work for 7 years for Rachel who had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Laban responds better Jacob than someone else.
v.20, he worked the 7 years but they flew by because of his love for her.
v.21, Jacob says ‘give me my wife so I can “know” her.’
At a feast to honor the marriage, Laban gives Leah and her servant to Jacob and he doesn’t notice until the next morning. v.25 Jacob is mad, he says he served 7 years for Rachel and asks why he was deceived.
Laban then explains in v.26 that they don’t give the younger daughter away before the older. He says he can also have Rachel and her servant if he works another 7 years.
v.28 ‘And Jacob did so.’
He worked 14 years to get two wives as payment who are also his cousins.
This story has everything so far: Polygamy, Incest, and Slavery
v.31god sees that Leah was not loved like Rachel was. Jacob was tricked into marrying her why would he love her as much as the one he worked 14 years for.
So, because Jacob didn’t love the person he was tricked to marry, god gives Leah the ability to bear children while he leaves Rachel barren.
Leah gives birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah and each time expects that it will make Jacob love her over Rachel.