This chapter is about Jacob arriving at Laban’s, Jacob marrying Leah & Rachel, & Jacob’s children. Laban kinda gets Jacob back for being deceitful towards Esau. And Laban gets 14 years of work out of Jacob for free. I hope you enjoy the read!
Jacob continued on his journey & came to the lands of the “eastern peoples” (I’ve always wondered if this meant people of the Asian continent.) He saw a well in a field, with 3 flocks of sheep lying near the well. Because this is where the flocks were watered. There was a large stone over the well. When all the flocks were got together at the well, the shepherds would roll away the stone & water the flocks. Then they would return the stone after they were done.
Jacob asks the shepherds where they’re from. They answer that they’re from Haran. Jacob then asks if they know “Laban, Nahor’s grandson.” The shepherds tell Jacob that they do know Laban. Jacob asks if Laban is well. They say that he is & that his daughter Rachel is coming with the sheep (Rachel is a shepherdess.). Jacob says to the shepherds to water their flocks & get out of there. The shepherds are like “Nope. We water the sheep all together.”
While they were talking, Rachel came up to them with Laban’s sheep. When Jacob got a good look at Rachel (who’s his 1st cousin), he went over & rolled the stone away from the well. He watered his uncle’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel (it doesn’t say what kind of kiss this was. Like a kiss on the hand, cheek, mouth.) & began to weep aloud. He told Rachel that he’s related to her dad, through his mom. So Rachel went & told her dad about what had happened.
As soon as Laban heard about Jacob, he hurried to meet him. Laban embraced Jacob, kissed him, & brought him to his home. There Jacob told him all about what happened. After Jacob stayed with him for a whole month, Laban told Jacob that just because he was family that shouldn’t have to work for free & that he deserved some wages.
Laban had 2 daughters, Leah (the older daughter) & Rachel (the younger daughter). Leah had weak eyes. But Rachel was lovely in form & beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel & told Laban (Rachel’s dad) that his wages could be working for 7 years to marry Rachel. Laban told Jacob that it’d be better for Jacob to have her than some other man. So Jacob served 7 years to get Rachel, but it seemed like a few days because he loved Rachel so much. (Everybody together now: 1, 2, 3, Awwww!)
Jacob tells Laban to give him his wife. That his servitude was over & that he wanted to have adult time with her. So Laban brought together all the people of the place & had a feast. But here’s the deception: When evening came, he took Leah & gave her to Jacob to marry. (Now I bet you’re thinking why didn’t Jacob notice that it was Leah & not Rachel. It’s due to the wedding veil. The veil was a LOT thicker then. You couldn’t see the woman’s face. So Jacob couldn’t see that it was Leah & in good faith believed that it was Rachel.)
Jacob still didn’t know that it wasn’t Rachel & slept with Leah. (Yes, had adult marital relations!) Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to Leah as a handmaiden/servant. When the morning came (& the wine goggles came off! Let’s be honest. That’s the real reason he didn’t notice! *I’m kidding.*), Jacob notices that it’s Leah & not Rachel. Jacob goes to Laban & asks him about the deception. (Which if you believe karma, justice, what goes around comes around, Jacob kinda deserved this! After what he did to Esau, his own brother. Kinda. Little bit.)
Laban comes out with, “It’s not our way for the youngest daughter to marry before the oldest. Finish Leah’s wedding week. Then we’ll give you Rachel also. But you have to work another 7 years to get Rachel.” And Jacob did it! He finished Leah’s wedding week & Laban gave him Rachel to be his wife. Laban gave Rachel his servant Bilhah as a handmaiden/servant. Jacob also had adult ime with Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. Jacob worked for Laban another 7 years, for a total of 14 years.
God saw that Leah wasn’t loved, he let her have kids. But Rachel couldn’t have any children. Leah became pregnant & had a son. She named him Reuben (yes, like the sandwich.). Leah thought that because she had a son that Jacob would love her. She became pregnant again. She had another son, & called him Simeon. She got pregnant a 3rd time. She had a 3rd son & called him Levi. Leah is like “For sure Jacob will love me now because I’ve borne him 3 sons. ” She got pregnant a 4th time. She had a 4th son & named him Judah. Then she stopped have kids. (It doesn’t say how big the age gap between the kids are.)