The Deceiver Is Deceived
When Jacob came to a well in a field in northern Mesopotamia, he inquired where he was. He learned he was near Haran and soon met Rachel, his uncle Laban"s daughter, who was coming to the well to water her father"s sheep. Jacob rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and helped her water the sheep. He then tearfully identified himself as Rebekah"s son. Laban ran to meet him and brought him to his house. They were after all flesh and blood kin (Genesis 29:1-14).
Laban did not plan to take unfair advantage of a relative, so he asked Jacob what wages he would like to be paid. Because he loved the beautiful Rachel, Jacob asked to work for her hand in marriage. Laban agreed seven years of service would pay for that honor. At the end of seven years, which seemed but a few days to Jacob because of his love, he asked Laban to fulfill the bargain. Laban prepared a feast for the wedding.
However, instead of Rachel, he brought the soft eyed Leah to Jacob that night. The one who had deceived his father by disguising himself as his brother now was deceived into accepting the wrong sister as his wife (compare Numbers 32:23; Galatians 6:7). When Jacob realized the deception which had taken place, he protested to his father-in-law. Laban explained it was their custom for the older to be married first. He promised to give him Rachel at the end of the week"s marriage celebration was completed. Of course, he also required seven more years of service for her hand in marriage. Naturally, Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah (Genesis 29:15-30).
The Children of Jacob
The Lord opened the womb of Leah. Her firstborn son was named Reuben, or "look, a son." Her hope was that Jacob would now love her more because she had borne him a son. She named her second son Simeon, or "heard." She felt the Lord had heard she was not as well loved as her sister. Next, she bore a son she named Levi, or "will be joined." Her hope was that Jacob would now be joined to her. She named her fourth son Judah, or "will praise," because she was now praising the Lord (Genesis 29:31-35).
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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 29". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany