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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rachel




Jacob meets Rachel.
Genesis 29.6 He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!”
This verse details the first appearance of Rachel to Jacob and the “fall in love at first sight” notion toward their relationship.
Genesis 29.9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them.
Rachel worked by keeping the sheep, she was required to work, or she wanted to keep the sheep, Laban the son of Nahor felt it was all right and safe for his daughter to do this.
Genesis 29.11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud.
Rachel must have been overwhelmed with not knowing who Jacob was; this man had kissed her in public. Jacob had wept aloud (moaning and muttering maybe) and she is the center of attention while the herdsmen stand there looking on.
Genesis 29.12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son; and she ran and told her father.
Rachel probably couldn’t believe what she was hearing, however it must be true. This man Jacob was her father’s kinsman. Jacob’s mother was Laban’s sister Rebekah. Likely that Laban has told Rebekah and his other children that his sister’s name was Rebekah. There was even a real possibility that Laban knew who Jacob was from family and friends traveling passing this information along to each other’s family.
Genesis 29.17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful and lovely.
Leah was of a common beauty it is assumed and Rachel was full of beauty and lovely to look at. Rachel was probably accustomed to being stared at because of her good appearance. Leah was not second to Rachel for she was the older daughter. Rachel must have respected Leah and looked to her for guidance on some things. They had the bond of being sister’s that must have fostered some type of mutual relationship. They probably shared girl talk; even spoke to each other about marriage and how to prepare and how they would remain family.
Genesis 29.30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
Rachel became officially married to Jacob and she knew him sexually and consummated her marriage. Rachel also had a covenant with her father Laban through Jacob, where he was contracted to work seven years for her also, because Leah also married Jacob; so the previous seven years had gone to Leah’s dowry. Although Leah was the first wife, Rachel remained a principal wife to Jacob. This time in life Rachel had become to know adult responsibility and was a woman responsible for her share of the home. Rachel was under the protection of Jacob also now.
Genesis 29.31 When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.
Leah wasn’t Jacob’s favorite wife and the LORD God Almighty saw fit to give her the fruit of the womb and not Rachel. Leah enduring her pregnancy and withstanding the birth of their child; Jacob was required to be affectionate toward her. Rachel was a witness to Jacob showering attention onto his wife and new child. These actions only made Rachel want to bear children like her sister wife. Rachel was left to learn the significance of the birthright in the family. The lesson she learned most of all that family is important and getting along did matter. Apparently Leah could do something better than her sister wife that Jacob loved so well. Rachel must have been jealous, however not jealous enough to harm Leah or discredit her in any way.
Genesis 30.1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Rachel’s Character
Rachel is completely distraught that she has no children. Leah was happy and Rachel wanted to be just as happy, yet that was impossible to Rachel without children. The words she spoke to Jacob assumed that he had control of the life giving anointing. Rachel is probably depressed that she can’t share in community with a child for Jacob.
Genesis 30.2 Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
Jacob hoped to get understanding from Rachel, however she was obsessed with childbirth. Jacob informed Rachel in no uncertain terms that their heavenly father was the reason she was childless. How did she expect him to change places with the heavenly father. Surely, Rachel needed prayer and would she ask the LORD God Jehovah to sustain her.
Later Rachel ask Leah for mandrakes, an aphrodisiac, which Ruben had found in the field. Whether it was used for food, drug or potion of sexual arousal later becomes clear. Leah’s price for her mandrakes is a night with Jacob as man and wife. Leah becomes pregnant and receives a new son portion when she sleeps with Jacob.
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