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“Regarding marriage generally, the Nuzi tablets provided that if a man worked over a period of time for the father of a girl whom he wished to marry, then he would have the right to take the girl as his wife.”6189

“Seven years was a handsome offer: Jacob was clearly not risking a refusal—a fact which Laban would not fail to note and exploit, as Jacob had exploited Esau’s eagerness (25:32).”690


Genesis 29:

9 While Jacob was talking with the shepherds, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, because it was her job to care for the sheep. 10 When Jacob saw Laban’s daughter Rachel and Laban’s sheep, he went to the well and rolled the stone from its mouth and watered Laban’s sheep. Now Laban was the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and cried.

(Keep in mind the culture, kissing was like a firm handshake is today, it is a form of greeting)

12 He told her that he was from her father’s family and that he was the son of Rebekah. So Rachel ran home and told her father.

13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him. Laban hugged him and kissed him and brought him to his house, where Jacob told Laban everything that had happened.

I imagine that Jacob had quite a bit to talk about. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that he entertained them at dinner with his story of how he tricked his brother to get his birthright, and how he used trickery to get the blessing, and how clever he was. Probably he told about that night at Bethel, too. “He told Laban all these things.”3

14 And Laban said to him, m“Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him for a month.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, nwhat should your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were 2delicate, but Rachel was obeautiful of form and appearance. 4

29:13–20 Weak eyes were dull and lacking in luster rather than bright (v. 17). Fiery eyes were, and still are, considered the height of beauty among Near Eastern people.688


6 18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, p“I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”

19 And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob qserved seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may rgo in to her.” 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and smade a feast. 23 Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 And Laban gave his maid tZilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 25 So it came to pass 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 you? Why then have you udeceived me?”

26 And Laban said, “It must not be done so in our 3country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 vFulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.”

28 Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. 29 And Laban gave his maid wBilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. 30 Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also xloved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban ystill another seven years.


Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and gbe 2joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

God never advocated polygamy, He had planned for Jacob to marry Leah as his right woman, as punishment for what he did to Esau.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for jwhatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8

31And Jehovah saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben. For she said, Because Jehovah hath looked upon my affliction. For now my husband will love me. 33And she conceived again, and bare a son: and said, Because Jehovah hath heard that I am hated, he hath therefore given me this son also. And she called his name Simeon. 34And she conceived again, and bare a son. And said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons. Therefore was his name called Levi. 35And she conceived again, and bare a son. And she said, This time will I praise Jehovah. Therefore she called his name Judah. And she left off bearing.


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