Our story begins, in 29:1-3, with an introduction: “Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the sons of the east.1 He 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.2 Now the stone on the mouth of the well was large. When 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.” The phrase, “Then Jacob went on his journey” is literally translated, “Then Jacob lifted up his feet.” This unusual expression suggests that Jacob had a new lease on life now that God had promised him the blessing he had so desperately tried to gain by his own efforts. Before his dream at Bethel (28:10-22), Jacob’s heart was filled with fear; now he walks with a new spring in his step. Before, he felt the weight of his past; now, he looks with excitement to the future. Before, he was running for his life; now, he is running to find a wife.
While there appears to be no gap between 29:1 and 29:2, don’t be fooled. For the sake of ink, Moses is fast-forwarding this story. Jacob is traveling to Haran, 400 miles away from Bethel. This is a major journey for him, that didn’t happen overnight. After many days of traveling, Jacob arrives in Haran. He plans to stay there for a few months, find a wife, and then return home to Beersheba. Little does he know that Haran is going to be his home for 20 long years, or that what awaits him is hard times in Haran.
In 29:4-9, Jacob has a conversation with some local shepherds. Jacob says, ‘“My brothers, where are you from?’ And they said, ‘We are from Haran.’ He said to them, ‘Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?’ And they said, ‘We know him.’ And 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’” (29:4-6). Now before we go any further, it is important to understand that Rachel is very attractive (cf. 29:17). Furthermore, she has sheep and is a shepherdess (29:9). In biblical times, sheep were a sign of wealth. It might be the equivalent to a nice car. Immediately, Jacob is impressed! He is like most men who notice the appearance of a woman first and then the car that she drives. In this case, Jacob notices Rachel’s appearance and the sheep that she was herding. So what does he do? In 29:7, he slyly says to the shepherds, “Don’t you guys need to take those sheep somewhere?3 I see Rachel coming and I want to talk to her. Why don’t you guys just take the sheep and baa-moose?” Look at this obvious request: “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them.’ But 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” (29:7-8). For some reason, the shepherds who are tending their flocks by the well are waiting for some unspecified group of people, (“they”) to roll back the stone from the surface of the well. They are unable to roll back the stone themselves to water their flocks. I think they’re messing with Jacob and just want to be able to gaze upon Rachel themselves.
Now this is where things get really amusing. Jacob pretends he has not seen Rachel and does not know who she is (although he has been told she is about to arrive and he does know who she is!). Verse 10 tells the tale: “When 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.”4 Isn’t it amazing how strong a guy can be when he wants to impress a woman? This task should have taken several men but once Jacob sees Rachel coming with her flock of sheep he single-handedly rolls back the stone.5 He wants her to know how wonderful he is. What a dashing, strong, helpful man he is—when Rachel is watching! He removes the stone before he greets her, although it would have been normal to greet someone before you do anything else. But Jacob was pretending he was involved in rolling away the stone before she arrived! He then even feeds Rachel’s sheep.6 All I have to say is, “Jake, you’re a sly ole’ dog!”
We must ask the question: Why does Mr. Lazy Bones turn into Mr. Overnight Sensation? Why does he go to all this work? The answer is obvious: He has to make a good first impression. So Jacob tries to fool Rachel into thinking he’s really a man’s man, instead of some pantywaist momma’s boy. Men, does this sounds familiar? You did the same thing when you were dating. You tried to get that woman to believe you were someone you’re not! Then, once you hooked her, you showed her your true colors.
My first job was working at Target. I worked on the 5:00 AM stock team. This team was made up of some hilarious young men. To pass the time and keep ourselves awake, we would make all kinds of noises (grunts, groans, screams) as we stocked both heavy and light items. We nearly laughed ourselves to death—always on the verge of dropping some of the heavy items on our toes. This is Jacob. He’s never really worked hard. Instead, he’s been the schemer, who now has to pump it up. I’m sure he made some noise. If he’s like most men, I’m sure he was sporting a pose the whole way. After he moved the rock, I bet he even moved right into a bodybuilding crab flex, topping off with a double bicep kiss.
Jacob then struts over to Rachel and plants one on her. Verse 11a states, “Then Jacob kissed Rachel.” This kiss may not have been what we necessarily envision. It wasn’t like he dipped her down and kissed her lips. More likely, he kissed her on both cheeks. However, it is worth adding that this appears to be the only case in the Bible of a man kissing a woman who is not his mother or wife. So it is possible that this was more than just a “holy” kiss. By the way, this is the first recorded instance of “kissing cousins.” This is one of those rare cases of “love at first sight.” But then, after the kiss, Jacob “lifted his voice and wept” (29:11b). Not exactly your normal pickup strategy! Jacob was emotionally spent, physically exhausted, and spiritually overwhelmed. While he wept for joy, he did not praise God. He had ended his journey, was now in the right place, and had met the right person, he thought.7
In 29:12, “Jacob told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.” After a nice smooch, Jacob decides to have a conversation with Rachel, knowing that women value conversation. Rachel was the daughter of Laban, and Laban was the brother of Jacob’s mother, Rebekah. So Jacob and Rachel were actually first cousins—“kissing cousins.” In any case, apparently Rachel enjoyed the conversation and the kiss so much that she ran home to tell her father what had happened.
In 29:13-15, our story continues: “So 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. Laban said to him, ‘Surely you are my bone and my flesh.’ And he stayed with him a month. Then Laban said to Jacob, ‘Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?’” Laban appears to be the perfect uncle. But it is worth observing that Jacob worked for Laban for a full month before they even discussed compensation for his labor. This is a tough gig for a guy who is penniless and desperate for money.
In 29:16-17, Moses provides a parenthetical statement: “Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah [“cow”], and the name of the younger was Rachel [“ewe lamb”].8 And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face.” There is some mystery regarding Leah’s eyes. A few English translations understand Leah’s eyes to be her best quality, so they translate the Hebrew word for “soft” (rak) as “lovely” (NRSV), “pretty” (NLT), or “delicate” (NKJV). However, most scholars suggest that Leah’s eyes had no fire or sparkle, a quality much prized in the East.9 She was not, to use James Taylor’s lyric, “a pretty señorita with fire in her eyes.”10 The point is that, physically, she did not measure up to her gorgeous sister. Rachel was “beautiful of form and face.” This is the Bible’s way of saying that Rachel had it going on. She was drop-dead gorgeous—a knockout.
So what do we do with this??? First of all, we must acknowledge that not all women are created equal in form and face. Some are more attractive than others; however, there is nothing wrong with being beautiful. In the 80’s, Pantene shampoo had a series of TV commercials that used the expression, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” Sadly, some people are prone to detest those who are good-looking. In the Bible, Sarah (12:11), Rebekah (24:15-16), and Rachel were all beautiful. This is just how God made them! Young people, there is a Christian myth going around today that suggests that you don’t need to be physically attracted to your spouse. That’s not true. You’re going to be looking at that face and that body for a long time. It is wise to ensure that you are attracted to the person you marry.
Second, we must prioritize inner beauty over outer beauty. Outward beauty must not be the basis upon which a person’s worth is measured. One of the dangers that beautiful people face is that there is the constant temptation to further cultivate what is already being praised—outward beauty, and give short shrift to the important issues of character and godliness (1 Pet 3:3-5). This is one reason why it is so important to affirm the inner beauty of our daughters and young women. Yesterday, Jena dressed up as a princess and came in to see me. I was stunned by how adorable she looked. But I was careful to say, “Jena, you look so beautiful. But your real beauty comes from within.” It is worthwhile to continually affirm the beauty of your family members. (Men, this even includes your mother-in-law.) The women in our life need to know that we think they are beautiful, regardless of what our society may say. This is especially important for husbands and fathers of daughters. For example, if a man wants to have a truly beautiful wife—begin by treating her like one! Tell your wife, “I’m glad to be home. There’s no other place I’d rather be. I’m thinking about you.” Remember men, the greatest thing you can do for your wife is to love her. And remember that the greatest thing you can do for your children is to love their mother.
In 29:18-20, we learn that Jacob is, indeed, a real man. Moses records these words: “Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.’ Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than to give her to another man; stay with me.’ So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.” Verse 20 is often misunderstood. It need not mean that the time passed quickly. More likely it means that the price seemed insignificant when compared to what he was getting in the bargain.11 The right woman is the greatest motivator for a guy. Jacob was willing to work for seven years to be able to marry Rachel. He was willing to demonstrate patience and commitment. His love for her was real. Ladies, if the man you want to marry doesn’t want to work hard for you, he needs to be told he doesn’t really love you. This truth applies to married men as well. In most cases, our wives work their tails off. They cook, clean, take care of the kids, work outside the home, and offer their bodies to us. Now in my mind, if they did any one of those things it would be impressive. But there are some of you men who have a wife who does all of those things. My question is: Can you be a man and go to work for her? Instead of complaining about your job, can you come home and say, “Baby, one of my joys in life is putting bread on the table for you!”
After seven years of remarkable dedication and devotion, Jacob approaches Laban and says, “Give me my wife, for my time is completed, that I may go in to her” (29:21). How would you like to lay that line on your future father-in-law? WOW! Jacob is not thinking about romance; he’s not seeking to have a conversation with Rachel; he wants to lie with her. Now ladies, before you think ill of Jacob, please note that he waited seven years to marry Rachel before he slept with her. In our day and age, many couples don’t want to wait seven days before sleeping together. Yet, this story teaches a valuable principle: True love can be tested with time.12 Jacob waited seven years, 364 weeks. If he was paid every two weeks, that’s 182 paychecks. Now, lest you men lose the impact of this, Jacob worked 2,555 days for his bride.
This demonstrates the reality of Jacob’s love for Rachel. Any man who can love a woman like this is not a true scoundrel—he is a man!
Now back to our story. In 29:22-24, “Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a feast. Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her.” Laban is a dirty dog! This is about one of the meanest pranks ever played on a man. It is soap opera Jerry Springer, Howard Stern ugly. Why would any father do such a cruel thing? Greed! Laban was motivated by his greed to keep Jacob working for him for nothing (1 Tim 6:9-10). Imagine the impact her father’s decision would have on Rachel. She had been looking forward to this day for seven years. How would you feel if, on your wedding day, someone else took your place? (In hindsight, some of you might wish that had happened!)
There are many questions we would like to ask at this point, the main one being: How in the world could something like this happen? The answer is: It couldn’t, if you are following modern American, wedding customs. No man could be fooled in this way. But weddings in the ancient Near East followed different patterns. The most likely explanation is that when Laban brought his daughter, Leah, to Jacob, it was late and very dark, and she was veiled from head to toe. It seems that the wedding feast hosted by Laban was an intentional ploy to dull Jacob’s senses with wine (29:22). The text also includes lexical hints that inebriation was part of the story.13 In the darkness, somehow Jacob didn’t realize that the woman next to him was Leah and not Rachel. So the marriage was consummated…but with the wrong woman!14 Other questions: Where was Rachel that night? The text doesn’t tell us. Did she know about the swap? Why did Leah go along with this? Was it a case of two sisters competing for the same man? Did Leah feel jealous of her younger, more beautiful sister? We don’t know for sure, but Genesis 30 may lead one to conclude that sisterly jealousy was part of this deception.
In 29:24, Moses writes, “Laban also gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid.” Moses may have added this parenthetical statement to lift the reader up off the floor. Call it a half-time intermission. In 29:25, “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?’” Verse 25 tells us the whole story: “When morning came, there was Leah!” In the Hebrew, that phrase contains two words: “Behold, Leah!” He wakes up a contented man. He rolls over to kiss Rachel. But the face smiling back at him is not Rachel—it’s Leah! I’m surprised he didn’t have a heart attack. Then it hits him: He’s slept with the wrong woman. How could this have happened? Then the second thought hits him: Laban! It had to be Laban, because Laban was the one who brought his “bride” to his chambers. Interestingly, the Hebrew verb translated “deceived” is cognate to the noun used in 27:35 to describe Jacob’s deception of Esau. Jacob is discovering what goes around comes around.
In 29:26, Laban responds, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn.” Laban rather coolly replies that he was forced by custom to give Leah in marriage first because she was the firstborn. This is the second direct hit by God. Jacob had dishonored the principle of the firstborn by cheating his brother out of the birthright and the blessing. Now God forces him to honor the principle he had violated by marrying Leah first. And who had Jacob deceived? His father, Isaac. Now the deceiver is deceived by his father-in-law! Everything that goes around comes around.
Knowing a sucker when he’s got one on the line, in 29:27, Laban moves in for the kill. “Complete the week of this one, [Leah] and we will give you the other [Rachel] also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” Laban offers to let Jacob marry Rachel as well, but with one tiny condition: He must serve Laban for another seven years. That’s 14 years altogether! Uncle Laban is going to change Jacob’s life forever. Up until this point, Jacob has lived by his wits. He has survived by relying on his native intelligence and his shrewd ability to take care of himself in any situation. True, things haven’t always worked out for him, but even when things have gone bad, Jacob has somehow managed to land on his feet. Like a cat with nine lives, Jacob has been getting into and out of tough spots all his life. Sometimes he’s left the playing field with a black eye, but no matter, at least he always walks off under his own power.
All of that is about to change because in Uncle Laban, Jacob is finally going to meet his match. Jacob has lived as a penny-ante con man, pulling the wool over his brother’s eyes, and deceiving his father with that ridiculous goatskin routine. Kid stuff, you might say. But, unfortunately, Jacob has been playing in the Little League. When he meets Laban, he is joining the NFL of con men. Laban is about to take Jacob to the cleaners. And there’s nothing Jacob can do about it. In the providence of God, Jacob is about to be enrolled in the oldest school known to man—the School of Hard Knocks. And Uncle Laban is about to give his nephew, Jacob, 20 years of free post-graduate education.15
God trains Jacob by allowing him to meet his own sins in someone else. Soon he will know what Esau felt when he was tricked out of something that was precious to him. It is almost a case of “an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth.” Jacob is being made to see just how despicable his tricky ways are. It is all a part of the training in his life.16 If Jacob hadn’t stolen Esau’s blessing and had patiently waited for God’s intervention and timing, he would have had the financial resources to acquire Rachel immediately, rather than having to invest 14 years of his life, laboring for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Lesson: Taking short cuts and failing to trust God is costly! It can often cost years of a person’s life. What a heavy price sin requires!
In 29:28, “Jacob did so and completed her week, and he [Laban] gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife.” Jacob agreed to Laban’s contract and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. [The bridal week was the week of feasting that followed a marriage (29:27; cf. Judg 14:12, 17). Jacob received Rachel seven days after he had consummated his marriage to Leah (cf. 29:28, 30). Jacob married two women in eight days.] “Laban also gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid. So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with Laban for another seven years” (29:29,30). From Jacob’s perspective, he had been ripped off and cheated by Laban. However, from God’s perspective, those fourteen years saved Jacob from the murderous intentions of his brother, Esau. Jacob’s rejection had to hurt Leah deeply. No one likes rejection! How would you feel if, after your weeklong honeymoon, your husband married someone else... much less your sister?
Is this episode a case of polygamy? Or did the special circumstances excuse Jacob or Laban or both? If it is polygamy, what is the case for or against polygamy? Polygamy was never lawful for any of the persons in the Bible. There never existed an express biblical permission for such a deviation from the ordinance of God. God made the institution of marriage in the garden of Eden (2:21-24). There are at least four passages that conceivably could be construed as giving temporary permission from God to override the general law of marriage found in Genesis 2:24. They are Exodus 21:7-11; Leviticus 18:18; Deuteronomy 21:15-17; and 2 Samuel 12:7-8.17 But each one falls far short of proving that anything like divine permission was being granted in these passages. Scripture does not always pause to state the obvious. In many cases, there is no need for the reader to imagine what God thinks of such states of affairs, for the misfortune and strife that come into the domestic lives of these polygamists cannot be read as a sign of divine approval. It is true that Jacob was deceived by Laban, on Jacob’s wedding night, but that did not justify Jacob in agreeing to Laban’s crafty plan to get him to stay around for another seven years to ensure continued prosperity. Two wrongs in this case did not make a right.18 Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Jacob has been sowing for a long, long time. Reaping day has come. He’s been sowing the seeds of deceit, and the harvest is about to come.
Why did God take Jacob through this time of testing?19
1. So That Jacob Would Have Plenty of Time to Think About the Way He Had Lived. For all those years in the Promised Land, Jacob had richly earned the title “deceiver.” Now God puts Jacob in a spiritual “time-out” chair in Haran. For 20 years Jacob had lots of time to consider the course of his life.
All parents understand this. Most of us use the “time-out” chair because it gives our children time to think quietly about what they have done. Or perhaps you send your children to their room. That serves several purposes—including the prevention of homicide!—but foremost among them is giving your children a chance to slow down, cool off, and begin to think.
As long as Jacob was in Beersheba, he could get away with almost anything. But in Haran, Jacob is in foreign territory. God’s got him in a place far removed from his comfort zone, a place where Jacob is forced to think about his life. That’s what God does with us. From time to time he just sits us down and says, “You don’t need that job anymore. You need some time to think.” Or He says, “I’m going to put you in the hospital for a couple of weeks so you’ll have time to think.” “I’m going to let your dreams crumble so you’ll have time to consider the way you’ve been living.”
2. So That God Could Humble Jacob at the Point of His Perceived Strength. If you had asked Jacob, “What’s your strong point?” he would have no doubt said, “I know how to cut a deal. I know how to handle people. I know how to negotiate a contract.” Then he would have said, “I’m always in control. No one ever gets the best of me.” Yet, when he meets Uncle Laban, all his boasting comes to nothing. Suddenly he’s no longer in control. He’s not on top anymore. He cut a deal, and ended up losing. He negotiated a contract, and Uncle Laban snookered him.
Do you see what God has done? He has touched Jacob at the point of his strength and humbled him. God does that to you and me—touching us at the point where we feel strongest. He brings us down so that we will understand our confidence must be in God alone. He wants us to know that even our strength must come from him.
3. So That Godly Character Would be Developed Through Unjust Treatment. Was Jacob treated unfairly here? Yes. Without question, Laban took advantage of his nephew from Beersheba. Was it fair for Laban to switch sisters on Jacob? No, it wasn’t. What was the price Jacob had to pay? An extra seven years working for uncle Laban. Was that unjust? Yes. Then why did God allow it? Because God knew that was the only way He could develop godly character in Jacob’s life.
So many people go through life saying, “It’s not fair.” True, but God never promised to be fair with you. He never promised that the world would treat you justly. If God would let His Son be crucified while He was innocent of any wrongdoing, do you think He will exempt you from unjust treatment? No way. The great danger for us is that in reacting to unjust treatment, we will become perpetual victims. First we get angry, then we get bitter, then we victimize ourselves. I know some people—even some Christians—who go through life as perpetual victims. Someone is always mistreating them, always misusing them, and always taking advantage of them. And they are angry with God for allowing it to happen.
For the most part, godly character is not developed in the good times of life, but in the bad. Godly character is developed in your life as you respond positively and creatively to unjust treatment. Isn’t that what Romans 5:3-4 tells us? “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” One thing leads to another—and what begins as injustice leads to perseverance which leads on to character which leads on to hope in God. But if you say, “Nobody can mistreat me,” then what you are saying is, “I will not allow God to develop His character in my life.” When you are in trouble and you feel circumstances piling up against you, the key to survival is: Be a student, not a victim. A victim says, “Why is this happening to me?” A student says, “What can I learn from this?”
4. So That His Plans For the Future Might Be Worked Out Through Human Weakness. When Jacob comes to Haran, he is penniless, homeless, and alone. When he leaves 20 years later, he is a rich man, with two wives, two maidservants, eleven sons, a host of servants, and an abundance of cattle, sheep, and donkeys. He comes with nothing, but leaves as a man of means. In between, however, he suffers repeated humiliation at the hands of Laban.
What’s going on here? On one hand, God is using Laban to teach Jacob valuable lessons. On the other hand, God is keeping his promise to prosper Jacob and to raise up descendants who will carry on his name. Through adversity—and in spite of much personal difficulty—God is keeping His promise. In the wisdom of God, Jacob is being prospered by God at the very same time he is being disciplined by God. The result? Jacob has nothing to boast about when he leaves Haran. God has done it all. He has kept His promise and has allowed His servant to experience great hardship. Jacob will never be able to say, “I did it.” He will only be able to say, “God did it in spite of me.” As 1 Corinthians 1 says, God chooses the weak things of the world in order that he might confound the strong; He chooses the foolish to shame the wise, “so that no one may boast before him” (1:29).
Whatever it is that God wants to do in your life, let Him do it. My goal is to give everything I hold near and dear to me to the Lord so He doesn’t have to take it from me, as He lovingly disciplines and molds me. The Lord knows that the only time we will be fulfilled in this life is when He is our all in all. He uses all kinds of things to shape us and discipline us so that we will be all that He created us to be. Hebrews chapter 12 teaches that God disciplines those He loves. God will take us to Haran, for a day, a week, or a year. Whatever it takes for us to become the people He wants us to be.
1 More than any other book in the OT, Genesis emphasizes the east (see 3:24; 4:16; 10:30; 11:2; 13:11; 25:6; 29:1) as a direction of some significance. Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 18-50: NICOT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 252.
2 Copyright © 2005 Keith R. Krell. All rights reserved. All Scripture quotations, unless indicated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, and 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, and are used by permission.
4 Twice in this verse Moses pens the phrase “Laban, the brother of his mother.” Initially, it appears that Jacob’s primary motive is to ingratiate himself with Laban. Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 16-50, Vol. 2: WBC (Waco, TX: Word, 1994), 231.
5 Barry C. Davis, Genesis (Portland, OR: Multnomah Biblical Seminary unpublished class Notes, 2003).
6 Michael Eaton, Preaching Through the Bible: Genesis 24-50 (Kent, England: Sovereign World, 1999), 38-39.
7 This scene is chiefly about God’s providence versus Jacob’s prayerlessness. Bruce K. Waltke, Genesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 402.
8 Paul Wright, ed., Genesis: Shepherd’s Notes (Nashville: Broadman, 1997), 71.
9 Wenham, Genesis 16-50, 235.
10 R. Kent Hughes, Genesis: Beginning & Blessing (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 368.
11 NET Study Notes.
12 R.T. Kendall, All’s Well that End’s Well: The Life of Jacob (Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1998), 58.
13 Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 18-50, 262-263.
14 Leah: Possible reasons that Leah agreed to deceive Jacob:
· She may have secretly loved Jacob.
· She may have wanted to get even with her beautiful sister, Rachel.
· She was under the absolute authority of her father, Laban.
· She may have feared never being married.
Rachel: Possible reasons that Rachel agreed to deceive Jacob:
· She was under the absolute authority of her father, Laban.
15 Ray Pritchard, Hard Times in Haran (Genesis 29): http://www.calvarymemorial.com/sermons/SMdisplay.asp?id=333
16 Eaton, Genesis 24-50, 40.
17 For a full discussion of these passages see Walter Kaiser Jr., Toward Old Testament Ethics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983), 182-90.
18 Walter C. Kaiser, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1997 ), Electronic ed. Sailhamer makes this comment: Jacob had planned to take Rachel as his wife, but God intended him to have Leah. John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 195.
19 Pritchard, Hard Times in Haran.