~~~~~Lesson: Genesis, Chapter 29-31 (reading below lesson)
There is almost an element of irony in this story.
Jacob, who usurped his brother's birthright, is tricked by Laban into marrying the wrong woman. And Laban gives him the reply: it is tradition for the eldest to marry first. Laban is tricky and cunning throughout his entire relationship with Jacob. However, it all works out according to God's will. Between Jacob's two wives and their two maidservants, Jacob will have a total of 12 children....the 12 tribes of Israel.
Can you think of something you or someone else has done that God has turned for the better?
[Jacob's brother Esau married a Canaanite woman, displeasing his parents. Isaac sends Jacob back to the homeland of his mother Rebekkah, to find a wife among their people.]
(14-30)...and Laban [Jacob's uncle] said to him, "You are indeed my flesh and blood."
After Jacob had stayed with him a full month, Laban said to him: "Should you serve me for nothing just because you are a relative of mine? Tell me what your wages should be." Now Laban had two daughters; the older was called Leah, the younger Rachel. Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was well formed and beautiful.
Since Jacob had fallen in love with Rachel, he answered Laban, "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel."
Laban replied, "I prefer to give her to you rather than to an outsider. Stay with me." So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, yet they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.
Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, that I may consummate my marriage with her, for my term is now completed." So Laban invited all the local inhabitants and gave a feast. At the nightfall he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob consummated the marriage with her. (Laban assigned his slave girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant.) In the morning Jacob was amazed: it was Leah! So he cried out to Laban: "How could you do this to me! Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why did you dupe me?"
"It is not the custom in our country," Laban replied, "to marry off a younger daughter before an older one. Finish the bridal week for this one, and then I will give you the other too, in return for another seven years of service with me."
Jacob agreed. He finished the bridal week for Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel in marriage. (Laban assigned his slave girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.) Jacob then consummated his marriage with Rachel also, and he loved her more than Leah. Thus he remained in Laban's service another seven years.
paraphrase: Chapters 30 & 31: After the fourteen years of service, Jacob works six more years for his share of the livestock. Laban keeps changing his wages, though, trying to cheat him at every turn. Jacob finally takes his wives, children, and livestock, and flees back home. Laban catches up with him, but had been warned in a dream not to harm Jacob. Jacob upbraided Laban about all of the offenses Laban had committed against him: cheating him out of his first choice as wife, having Laban's sons take off with the livestock that should have belonged to Jacob, changing Jacob's wages at his whim. Laban gave in, and sent forth Jacob, his wives, his children, and his livestock in peace.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
If you wish to donate in order to help support the cost of running this website, it would be greatly appreciated!
If you found the information helpful, even a small donation would be wonderful!
Thank you & God bless you.
~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
This site will occasionally feature paid posts! I always 100% verify everything I endorse. You will not see posts for products or sites I would not use myself.
All images on site were labeled for general re-use. If you find an image that is NOT supposed to be used, please contact me & I will remove it.
Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong