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Jacob's First Love

If there is such a thing as "love at first sight," Jacob surely had it for his cousin Rachel:

"29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter ... 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her" (Genesis 29:18,20 KJV)

Rachel would always be Jacob's first love, whether in the chronological sense, or the priority sense. But she would never be his first wife. That position went to Rachel's older sister Leah, by means of a deception played upon the sometimes deceptive Jacob.

A Substitution In The Darkness

In ancient times, it was sometimes customary and acceptable to all involved to "sell" a bride. Such was the case with Rachel. It wasn't a "price" put on Rachel by her father; it was an offer made by Jacob i.e. "I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter" for a young woman who apparently loved him as much as he loved her. Unfortunately for Jacob, Laban was as effective at making a switch in the darkness as Jacob was (i.e. as Jacob had done to his blind father Isaac; see Blessing The Favorites).

Darkness

"29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? 29:16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

29:19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.

29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 29:24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid."

"29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. 29:29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. 29:30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years." (Genesis 29:15-30 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) From what mothers were the progenitors of the tribes of Israel born? (b) Which one of Jacob's wives was buried with him in the family tomb at Hebron? (c) Where is Rachel buried?
(a) See Children of Jacob
(b) See Leah
(c) See Rachel


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