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Rachel Of Padanaram

Padanaram, also rendered into English as Padan-aram, means the plain of Aram, or more specifically, the plain of the highlands. It was the name given to the area of Mesopotamia (i.e. equivalent to present-day Iraq; in ancient times it included what is today part of Syria) around Haran. Rebekah, the mother of Jacob, was from there:

"25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian." (Genesis 25:20 KJV)

When Rebekah's sons Jacob and Esau (see Rebekah's Two Nations and Blessing The Favorites) became too hostile to one another for them to remain together, she arranged to have Jacob go to live with her brother Laban in Padanaram:

"27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee [see Cain and Esau]. 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran" (Genesis 27:42-43 KJV)

"Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east"

After receiving a reassuring prophetic dream from the LORD along the way (see Jacob's Vow At Bethel), Jacob arrived safely at Padanaram. Almost immediately, Jacob met his future wife (one of them).

Sheep

"29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east. 29:2 And he looked, and behold a well [see Wells and Cisterns] in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth. 29:3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in his place.

29:4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye?

And they said, Of Haran are we.

29:5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor?

And they said, We know him.

29:6 And he said unto them, Is he well?

And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.

29:7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.

29:8 And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep." (Genesis 29:1-8 KJV)

As it happened, Jacob and Rachel were first cousins i.e. "Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother." Jacob had not only found a place of safety (at least until Jacob began getting the upper hand over his uncle Laban; see Jacob's Ringstreaked, Speckled And Spotted); he also found himself a future wife.

"29:9 And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep: for she kept them. 29:10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. 29:11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 29:12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.

29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month." (Genesis 29:9-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: What connection did the language of Aram have to Jesus Christ?
See Aramaic


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