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Jacob Gets Married

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 29:1-35; Genesis 30:1-24

INTRODUCTION:  Jacob is still the deceiver.  However, God is still blessing him and is certainly teaching him.  In this lesson, he learns what it is to be deceived himself.  We should consider our actions in like manner.  Would we be willing to receive from others what we give to them?

  1. JACOB ARRIVES IN HARAN (Genesis 29:1-10)
    1. Jacob’s Arrival at a Well (Genesis 29:1-3)
      1. In the land of the people of the east (Genesis 29:1; Judges 6:3, 33; Judges 7:12; Judges 8:10)
      2. Where three flocks of sheep waited at the well (Genesis 29:2-3)
        1. With a stone over the well (Genesis 29:2)
        2. Waiting for the rest of the flocks (Genesis 29:3)
    2. Jacob Inquires of the Shepherds (Genesis 29:4-8).
      1. About his location (Genesis 29:4) –in Haran
      2. About Laban (Genesis 29:5-6)
        1. He is well.
        2. His daughter Rachel comes.
      3. About watering the sheep (Genesis 29:7-8)
        1. He questions (Genesis 29:7).
          1. It is too early to bring the sheep in for the evening.
          2. Why not water the sheep and take them back to pasture?
        2. They answer (Genesis 29:8).
          1. We must wait until all the flocks arrive.
          2. We must wait until “they roll the stone.”
      4. NOTE: Several explanations are given for the answer of the shepherds.
        1. They were physically unable to move the stone.  This would make Jacob, a plain man and dweller in tents, stronger than the shepherds.  This does not seem possible unless the shepherds were very young lads.
        2. They were under special agreement not to move the stone.  Perhaps the sheep were not to go to pasture until the cattle had had their fill.
        3. They were lazy and unimaginative.  They could not see their way clear in doing anything that was different than how they had always done it.   Although the first two ways are possible, this seems the most likely especially since Jacob could not make any sense of their waiting and he certainly understood the ways of shepherds.  The first two choices would have made sense to him if they had been the real reason and he would not have questioned them.
    3. Jacob Waters the Flocks of Laban (Genesis 29:9-10).
      1. Rachel arrives with the sheep of Laban (Genesis 29:9).
      2. Jacob moves the stone and waters the sheep (Genesis 29:10).
  2. JACOB SERVES LABAN FOR RACHEL (Genesis 29:11-20)
    1. Jacob Meets Rachel (Genesis 29:11-12).
      1. Jacob kisses Rachel (Genesis 29:11) –the kiss of a close relative (see Genesis 29:13).
      2. Jacob weeps (Genesis 29:11).
      3. Jacob reveals himself to Rachel (Genesis 29:12).
    2. Jacob Meets Laban (Genesis 29:13-14).
      1. Laban runs to meet Jacob (Genesis 29:13).
      2. Laban receives Jacob into his house (Genesis 29:13-14) –“my bone and my flesh” refers to their family connection. (cp. Ephesians 5:30)
      3. Jacob stays for a month (Genesis 29:14).
    3. Jacob Agrees to Work for Rachel’s Hand in Marriage (Genesis 29:15-20).
      1. Laban asks what Jacob wants for his labor (Genesis 29:15).
      2. Laban’s two daughters are introduced (Genesis 29:16-17).
        1. Leah
          1. The elder
          2. Tender-eyed (tender means soft or delicate; most likely, Leah had beautiful eyes but was plain in other ways; her eyes showed compassion and shamefacedness; compare to tender-hearted)
        2. Rachel
          1. The younger
          2. Beautiful – refers to overall beauty (Deuteronomy 21:11; 1 Samuel 16:12; Ezekiel 16:13)
          3. Well-favored
      3. Jacob offers to serve seven years for Rachel (Genesis 29:18-20).
        1. Laban accepts the agreement (Genesis 29:19).
        2. The time seems short because of love (Genesis 29:20). NOTE: True love can wait for fulfillment.  It is a fake love that cannot wait for its fulfillment.  Teenagers and young adults need to be taught this.
    1. Jacob Gets Married (Genesis 29:21-24).
      1. Jacob has to request his wife (Genesis 29:21).
      2. Laban makes a wedding feast (Genesis 29:22).
      3. Laban brings Leah to Jacob in the cover of darkness (Genesis 29:23-24) -there was no actual wedding ceremony as we have today.
    2. Jacob Discovers the Deceit (Genesis 29:25-26).
      1. In the morning he sees he has married Leah (Genesis 29:25).
      2. Laban excuses his action on account of the firstborn (Genesis 29:26).
      3. NOTE:  Jacob had deceived his father by taking the blessing from Esau, the firstborn.  Now, he is deceived by Rachel’s father who claims to be upholding the rights of the firstborn.  He reaps what he has sown.
    1. Laban’s Deal with Jacob (Genesis 29:27-29)
      1. Fulfill Leah’s week (Genesis 29:27) –this refers to the week-long wedding feast (Judges 14:10-12).
      2. Receive Rachel immediately as wife (Genesis 29:28-29).
    2. Jacob’s “Happy” Family (Genesis 29:30-31)
      1. Rachel
        1. Loved more (Genesis 29:30)
        2. But barren (Genesis 29:31)
      2. Leah
        1. Hated (Genesis 29:31) –in context, means to be loved less by comparison (see Malachi 1:2-3; Luke 14:26)
        2. God opened her womb (Genesis 29:31).
  5. JACOB’S WIVES, HANDMAIDS AND CHILDREN (Genesis 29:32-Genesis 30:24)
    1. Leah’s First Four Children (Genesis 29:32-35)
      1. Reuben (Genesis 29:32)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Leah’s first child
          2. Jacob’s first child
        2. Leah’s words – “Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore will my husband love me.”
      2. Simeon (Genesis 29:33)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Leah’s second child
          2. Jacob’s second child
        2. Leah’s words – “Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also.”
      3. Levi (Genesis 29:34)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Leah’s third child
          2. Jacob’s third child
        2. Leah’s words – “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons.”
      4. Judah (Genesis 29:35)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Leah’s fourth child
          2. Jacob’s fourth child
        2. Leah’s words – “Now will I praise the LORD.”
    2. Rachel’s Frustration (Genesis 30:1-4)
      1. Rachel envied her sister (Genesis 30:1).
      2. Rachel demanded children of Jacob (Genesis 30:1).
      3. Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel (Genesis 30:2).
      4. Rachel gave Bilhah to Jacob (Genesis 30:3-4).
    3. Bilhah’s Two Children (Genesis 30:5-8)
      1. Dan (Genesis 30:5-6)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Bilhah’s first child
          2. Jacob’s fifth child
        2. Rachel’s words (Genesis 30:6)
          1. God hath judged me.
          2. God hath heard my voice.
          3. God hath given me a son.
      2. Naphtali (Genesis 30:7-8)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Bilhah’s second child
          2. Jacob’s sixth child
        2. Rachel’s words – “With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed” (Genesis 30:8).
    4. Zilpah’s Two Children (Genesis 30:9-13)
      1. Gad (Genesis 30:10-11)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Zilpah’s first child
          2. Jacob’s seventh child
        2. Leah’s words – “A troop cometh” (Genesis 30:11).
      2. Asher (Genesis 30:12-13)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Zilpah’s second child
          2. Jacob’s eighth child
        2. Leah’s words – “Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed” (Genesis 30:13).
    5. Leah’s Remaining Children (Genesis 30:14-21)
      1. Issachar (Genesis 30:17-18)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Leah’s fifth child
          2. Jacob’s ninth child
        2. Leah’s words – “God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband” (Genesis 30:18).
      2. Zebulun (Genesis 30:19-20)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Leah’s sixth child
          2. Jacob’s tenth child
        2. Leah’s words – “God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons” (Genesis 30:20).
      3. Dinah (Genesis 30:21)
    6. Rachel’s First Son – Joseph (Genesis 30:22-24)
      1. God’s care for Rachel (Genesis 30:22)
        1. God remembered her.
        2. God hearkened to her.
        3. God opened her womb.
      2. Joseph (Genesis 30:23-24)
        1. Place in the family
          1. Rachel’s first child
          2. Jacob’s twelfth child
          3. Jacob’s eleventh son
        2. Rachel’s words (Genesis 30:24)
          1. God hath taken away my reproach.
          2. The LORD shall add to me another son.

CONCLUSION:  The old saying is “what goes around comes around.”  The Bible uses the phrase “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).  Jacob sowed some things earlier in life and now he has to reap from those things.  What are you sowing today, and are you willing to reap those things as well?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 28:5

Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.