1 Feb. Genesis 29:1-30

1 Feb. Jacob meets Rachel but is tricked into marrying Leah

“Then Jacob continued his journey and came to the land of the people of the East [Mesopotamia]. He looked and saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying nearby, because they drank water from this well…”

“Jacob said to the shepherds there, ‘My brothers, where are you from?’ They answered, ‘We are from Haran.’ Then Jacob asked, ‘Do you know Laban, grandson of Nahor?’ They answered, ‘We know him… Look, his daughter Rachel is coming now with his sheep...'”

“When Jacob saw Laban’s daughter Rachel and Laban’s sheep, he went to the well and rolled the stone from its mouth and watered Laban’s sheep… Then Jacob kissed Rachel and cried. He told her that he was from her father’s family and that he was the son of [her aunt] Rebekah…”

“When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him. Laban hugged him and kissed him and brought him to his house, where Jacob told Laban everything that had happened…”

“Jacob stayed there a month. Then Laban said to Jacob, ‘You are my relative, but it is not right for you to work for me without pay. What would you like me to pay you?’ Now Laban had two daughters. The older was Leah, and the younger was Rachel. Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was very beautiful.”

“Jacob loved Rachel, so he said to Laban, ‘Let me marry your younger daughter Rachel. If you will, I will work seven years for you.’ Laban said, ‘It would be better for her to marry you than someone else, so stay here with me.’ So Jacob worked for Laban seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed like just a few days to him because he loved Rachel very much.”

“After seven years Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me Rachel so that I may marry her. The time promised to work for you is over.’ So Laban gave a feast for all the people there.”

“That evening he brought his [elder] daughter Leah to Jacob, and they had sexual relations… In the morning when Jacob saw that he had had sexual relations with Leah, he said to Laban, ’What have you done to me? I worked hard for you so that I could marry Rachel! Why did you trick me?’”

“Laban said, ‘In our country we do not allow the younger daughter to marry before the older daughter. But complete the full week of the marriage ceremony with Leah, and I will give you Rachel to marry also. But you must serve me another seven years.’”

“So Jacob did this, and when he had completed the week with Leah, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife… So Jacob had sexual relations with Rachel also, and Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. Jacob worked for Laban for another seven years.”

          (Genesis 29:1-30)


Jacob continued his journey to the Plain of Aram in North West Mesopotamia. Here he met his young cousin Rachel at the well near Haran and immediately fell in love with her.

He agreed to work seven years for his uncle Laban in return for Rachel’s hand in marriage; but he was tricked into marrying Leah (the elder daughter who, by tradition, was expected to be married first).

Bitterly disappointed, he agreed to marry Leah, but insisted that he was also allowed to marry Rachel. Laban agreed, so Jacob then worked a further seven years for Rachel (the younger daughter).

The photo (by Herbert Frank) shows Harran in North West Mesopotamia (modern-day Turkey).

You can read more about Jacob’s fourteen years in Harran @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/24-the-journeys-of-isaac-jacob-joseph/jacob-cheats-esau-and-flees-to-mesopotamia/

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