Genesis 29

The believer who has erred may not be forsaken of God,
but he is permitted to reap the shame and sorrow of his self-chosen way (Matthew 7:2).

Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.

And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth.

And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place.

And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.

And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.

And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.

And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.

And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.

¶ And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep: for she kept them.

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 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.

12 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.

13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.

15 ¶ And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?

16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.

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

21 ¶ And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.

22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.

23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.

25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.

27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.

30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

31 ¶ And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.

34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.

35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.

Genesis 29:1-20 – Jacob in Laban’s Home

Well might Jacob lift up his feet! When we are sure of God we receive strength that enables us to run with patience the race that is set before us. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and we have a special claim on His guidance in our matrimonial alliances—the most solemn and momentous step of all. There were many good qualities in Rachel, fitting her to be a good wife. Her humility and industry, her patience under the oppression of the unmannerly shepherds, her haste to share her joy with her father—all these elicited Jacob’s love. What a touch of old-world and new-world poetry is in those words of Genesis 29:20! Where Love is queen time is too short, labor never hard, distance never long, sacrifice unheard of! Oh, that we so loved our Lord, that for the missionary toiling through long years, and the invalid condemned to a life of pain, affliction might appear light and but for a moment. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Genesis 29:20 – But a few days, for the love he had.

   That touch is enough! We can fill in all the rest. This old-world love was of the same quality as our own. Oh, blessed God! what a priceless inheritance this is! Time itself never tedious, but always too short; labor never hard; distance never long; sacrifice unheard of, the word almost in disuse—where Love is queen. This is how we would feel to our dear Lord: so that the missionary away from home and friends, as well as the invalid suffering for Jesus, might feel years of loneliness and pain but a few days, for love of the beloved Master. We may acquire such love thus:–
   Meditate much on the love of Jesus.—Sit with the Apostle beneath his cross, and say, each time with deeper appreciation: He loved me, He gave Himself for me. Do not think of your love to Him, but of his. It is well to take the Lord’s Supper frequently, as affording opportunities for remembering his dying love.
   Be on the alert to detect his love in daily providence and trifles.—It is amazing how much is ever being arranged by his tender thoughtfulness to alleviate and brighten our lot. If you cannot detect it, dare still to believe it.
   Ask the Holy Spirit to breathe his love into your heart.—He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit; and when the doors are open between Christ and the soul, the aroma of his love freely enters.
   Show his love to every one.—Whether you like people or not, do to them as He would do; let his love flow through you to them; what we manifest to others for his sake, we shall come to feel towards Him, and them also. “This commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:21). —Our Daily Homily

Genesis 29:21-35 – Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

The chief lesson of this paragraph is its illustration of the awful nemesis which accompanies wrongdoing. No thoughtful person can watch the events of history or experience without realizing that we are already standing before the judgment-seat of God, and that His sentences are in process of being executed. Jacob deceived his father, and was himself deceived. “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:2). What disappointments there are in life! We think that we are to be dowered with Rachel, and lo! Leah is substituted; but in after-days Jacob spoke of Reuben as his might, the beginning of his dignity and excellency. The names of Leah’s sons suggest the blessings that accrue through heartbreak. For the Leahs of the world there are great compensations. God remembers and hears them. Brokenhearted and forsaken, they live again in the lives of those whom they have borne either naturally or spiritually. —Through the Bible Day by Day