Genesis 29:1-30    Jacob serves Laban 14 years for Rachel and Leah

1 So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East. 2 And he looked, and saw a well in the field; and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks. A large stone was on the well's mouth. 3 Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well's mouth, water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well's mouth.

 

4 And Jacob said to them, "My brethren, where are you from?" And they said, "We are from Haran." 5 Then he said to them, "Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?" And they said, "We know him." 6 So he said to them, "Is he well?" And they said, "He is well. And look, his daughter Rachel is coming with the sheep." 7 Then he said, "Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them." 8 But they said, "We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep."

 

9 Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother'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. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's relative and that he was Rebekah's son. So she ran and told her father.

 

13 Then it came to pass, when Laban heard the report about Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. So he told Laban all these things. 14 And Laban said to him, "Surely you are my bone and my flesh." And he stayed with him for a month.

 

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?" 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah's eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. 18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter." 19 And Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me." 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

 

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her." 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. 23 Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 And Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 25 So it came to pass 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 you? Why then have you deceived me?" 26 And Laban said, "It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years." 28 Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. 29 And Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. 30 Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.     NKJV

 

Facts revealed:

Y      The people of Syria are called “the people of the east.” 

Y      Jacob arrived at a well outside of Haran which is probably the same well the servant of Abraham came to when he met Rachel drawing water who drew water for him and his camels fulfilling his prayer request in search of a wife for Isaac.   [Genesis 24:10-27]

Y      It was at this well that Jacob first met Rachel, the daughter of Laban Rebekah’s brother, who was a beauty that captured his heart on sight.

Y      Jacob agreed to serve Laban for seven years for Rachel whom he loved.

Y      Instead of a wedding ceremony, Laban made a feast, after which he brought Leah to Jacob’s tent instead of Rachel, and Jacob spent his wedding night in the dark with the wrong woman.

Y      When it was day light, Jacob asked Laban why he had been deceived by being given the wrong woman and Laban told him it was the custom of the country to give the elder before the younger, but after Jacob gave Leah a week he would also give him Rachel for another seven years of service.

Y      Jacob stayed with Leah a week and Laban gave him Rachel as he had promised, and Jacob went in to Rachel and loved her more than Leah which created intense rivalry between them.

Y      This becomes the basis of the commandment of the Law God gave Israel at Mount Sinai that says, “Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.    [Leviticus 18:18]

Y      We must observe that it was not Jacob’s choice to do so, and the law had not yet been given, so God did not count it as sin.   [Romans 5:13]

Y      In the end Jacob wound up with four wives and it was not counted as sin.