Jacob And His Wives: Patriarch Series Part 3

Genesis 28:1-5
“Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him, You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take you a wife from there of the daughers of Laban your mother’s brother. And God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a multitude of people; And give you the blessing of Abraham, to you, and to your seed with you; that you may inherit the land wherein you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham. And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.”
(Jacob goes off to Padan-aram.)
In part 1, God had promised Abraham that He would make of him a great nation.  In the fullness of time, Isaac was born to them.  When Isaac was grown and ready to marry, we saw in part 2 that his father sent his servant to his family to get a wife for him.  Rebecca came into their lives and from their union, twin boys were born:  Jacob and Esau. In part 3 we will cover their rather lengthy story.
The Brothers.
These brothers couldn’t have been more opposite.  Esau, the elder, was an outdoorsman and an accomplished hunter.  In stark contrast, Jacob was more of an indoor guy and was favored by his mother above his brother.  Later in life, she would actually help her favorite son steal the first-born blessing from Esau. 😳

At this point in our story, the time had for Jacob to marry.  Isaac, his father, sent him to their relative’s home in Haran to find a wife for himself from among the daughters of his maternal uncle, Laban.
Why did he sent Jacob away to look for his own bride when his own father sent a servant to that very same family find a bride FOR him.  True, there was tension between Jacob and his older brother, Esau, because of the birthright thing.  It would stand to reason that separating the two was sound advice.  But there is another reason.  It fits the narrative of the Author, Who is always pointing us to Jesus! 💖 Let’s follow the story.
Jacob Sent To Padan Aram.
Genesis 29:1-8
“Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.  And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, see, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was on the well’s mouth.  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 on the well’s mouth in his place.
“And Jacob said to them, ‘My brothers, from where be you?’ And they said, ‘Of Haran are we.’ And he said to them, ‘Know you Laban the son of Nahor?’  And they said, ‘We know him.’ And he said to them, ‘Is he well?’ And they said, ‘He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter comes with the sheep.’ And he said, ‘See, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water you the sheep, and go and feed them.’ 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.’”
(Rachel with her sheep.)

Like his father’s servant who years before, had sought a bride for Isaac, Jacob also had immediate success.  For him, it was love at first sight as we read in the verses that follow:

Jacob Kissed Rachel.
Genesis 29:9-12
“And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them.
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.  And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.  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.”

Not A Casual Greeting.

Notice, Jacob KISSED Rebecca.  In those days, a kiss was not the casual greeting it has become today.  It was a sign of commitment as well as a desire and readiness for intimacy.  Jacob knew that this was the woman for him.  He loved her the instant they met and knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

(Jacob and Laban at Galeed.)
Secrets In The Hebrew Language.
So much more of this love story is revealed in the meanings of the names of people and places in Hebrew.  In all of them are pictures of Jesus and what He accomplished at Calvary. 💖
Laban, for example, means “White,” indicative of moral purity.  There is only one man and one settlement named, “Laban,” in the entire Bible.  Interestingly enough, the town is mentioned in Deuteronomy 1:1 as one of the markers between which Moses conveyed the words of YHWH to Israel.  This points to the fact that there is also only One Man in the history of the world Who is morally pure:  JESUS!

Another Hebrew word of interest in this portion of scripture is the verb “פדה (pada),” meaning “To ransom, to rescue.”  The letter nun (נ)” is often added to a verb to create a noun that denotes a person or a place.  “Pada” becomes “Pada-n.” To a Hebrew audience, the name “Paddan-aram” may have sounded like “Elevated Ransom.” 🙌🏻  What does that remind you of?  Jesus lifted up on the cross as a ransom for all of us! 💖

The name, “Mizpah,” is the same as the noun, “מצפה (mispeh),” meaning, “Watchtower.” Laban called Mizpeh, “Jegar-sahadutha,” meaning “Heap of witness.”  Calvary is our “Heap of witness” that all our sins are paid for in full. 🙌🏻
Jacob knew this place as “Galeed,” another Hebrew word full of meaning, which comes from the verb, “גלל Galal.”  Galal is all about “Rolling.”  In other words, “To roll some object on, upon, or away.”  In a figurative sense, it is used in ideas like “To whirl or dazzle” and even “To roll oneself onto the Lord, meaning to put one’s trust in Him (Psalm 22:8) or to commit oneself to Him(Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 16:3).
When this verb is used for physically rolling something away or somewhere else, the object is usually stones. (Genesis 29:3, Joshua 10:18).

Whenever stones are mentioned in the Bible, it is a reference to the Law.  Jesus came to usher in a New Covenant based on God’s grace, replacing or usurping the Law .  By fulfilling all the law and paying the price for sin, He in effect “ROLLED AWAY THE STONE (the Law) FROM OUR LIVES! 💖🙌🏻 

We now operate in the freedom of His grace and are no longer under punishment from God when we fail.  Jesus has become our Advocate, our “Lawyer” as it were, before the Father Who declares us “Not guilty” because our penalty was borne by Another:  Our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙌🏻💖 HALLELUJAH!!!

Jacob Deceived By Laban.
You’ve probably heard the story.  Laban agreed to give Rachel to Jacob for his wife, but he’d have to work for his father-in-law to for seven years in order to pay her dowery.  He did so gladly and the year’s fairly flew by.

At the end of that time, a wedding was held for the two.  After the wedding feast, the bride, her face veiled, was brought to Jacob and the two consummated their marriage.  In the morning, however, Jacob realized that he had been deceived.  Instead of Rachel in his bed, he found her older sister, Leah! 😳 He was not very happy, as you can imagine! 😠

It is precicely because of this incidence in Jacob’s life that all brides are unveiled at the altar to prove that the groom is, in fact, marrying the girl of his dreams. 💖

(Leah, face veiled, is presented to Jacob.)

Let’s continue following the Genesis account:
Genesis 29:21-30
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.” And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. 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 Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 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 deceived me?”
And Laban said, “It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.” Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. And Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.”

Wherever you see this kind of language, when it says Jacob “Fulfilled her week,” it is a Hebraism.  Each “Day” is one year.  He worked seven years for each wife.

The Deceiver Becomes The Deceived.
Jacob, who in his younger deceived others, has now become the object of deception.  Quite a turnaround. 😮 His name actually means, “Usurper.”
Years before, back in his own country, he had been the deceptive one.  He not only tricked his brother, Easu, out of his birthright, but deceived his own aged, nearly blind father, Isaac with the help of his mother!  In fact, it was her idea! 😲 He tricked him into believing that he was Esau so he could get the first-born blessing.  Not a very nice guy. 🤨
Later in life, however, he did change, though it took many years.  Good thing God is patient with us!

Anyway, there was nothing that he could do to change what happened to him now, so Jacob worked another seven years for uncle Laban.  At last, he married his beloved Rachel.

Sons And A Daughter Born To Jacob.

During this time in Haran, many sons were born to Jacob.  God saw that he loved Rachel more than Leah so he opened her womb.  But Rachel’s womb He did not open.  She was barren.
Leah bore him four sons:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.  The story of Jacob’s rejection of Leah and her desire for her husband to love her is covered in greater detail in the article below for those who want to know more on that topic. The names of these four boys paint pictures of Jesus!:
You will also learn more of Leah’s sad story in the above link.
Rivalry Between The Sisters.
As you can well imagine, Rachel was very upset!  There arose a kind of competition between the sisters.
Rachel gave her maid, “Bilhah,” as a wife to Jacob so she could have children through her.  The first son born was her was, “Dan,” followed by “Naphtali.”
Not to be outdone, since she saw that she had stopped bearing, Leah gave her maid, “Zilpah,” to Jacob as a wife.  She also bore sons to him.  They were “Gad and Asher.”
After these boys were born, Leah actually hired her own husband so she that he would sleep with her and she could bear him more children! 😳 How messed up is that?!  Anyway, she gave birth to two more sons, “Issachar and Zebulun,” as well as a daughter, “Dinah.”
After many years, thankfully, God remembered Rachel, and opened her womb.  She bore Jacob a son: Joseph.  Is it any wonder this boy was his favorite son?  This is the same Joseph to whom he gave that special coat of many colors.
For more on that topic and to learn what the big deal was about it, you may follow the link below. It was no ordinary coat 😉:
Jacob Prepares To Return Home.
At long last, Jacob decided it was high time to return to Canaan and to his father’s house.  So he approached Laban with his idea.  His uncle was not eager to let his free labor go away, so he attempted to entice Jacob to stay.  To make a long story short, Jacob and his family packed up and left secretly.  Let’s follow the story:
Genesis 31:19-21.
“Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel had stolen the household idols that were her father’s. And Jacob stole away, unknown to Laban the Syrian, in that he did not tell him that he intended to flee. So he fled with all that he had. He arose and crossed the river, and headed toward the mountains of Gilead.”
Seeing his father-in-law’s reluctance to let him leave and fearing he might take his wives away by force, Jacob fled with them and all his household.
(Moon “god” of ancient Haran.)
The Moon “god.”
Now, Laban was a worshipper of the moon “god,” poplular in the Haran of his day.  This “diety” was commonly known by the name, “Sin.”  That’s very telling, isn’t it?  He was considered to be the head of their pantheon of “gods.”

Sound like anyone else we know?  You guessed it:  The devil. Though Laban was a follower of this pagan “diety,” it’s clear  that he also knew of and had respect for Jacob’s God, though he never worshipped the True God.  His daughter, Rachel, was also obviously a worshipper of this false god at the time, though she later became a servant of Jacob’s God, YHVH.
The Holy Spirit purposely points out that Rachel stole the graven images from her father’s house.  Watch what happens when her father catches up with Jacob and company at Galeed.
Stolen Idols.
Genesis 31:26-30
“So Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountains, and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mountains of Gilead.
And Laban said to Jacob: “What have you done, that you have stolen away unknown to me, and carried away my daughters like captives taken with the sword? Why did you flee away secretly, and steal away from me, and not tell me; for I might have sent you away with joy and songs, with timbrel and harp? And you did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters. Now you have done foolishly in so doing. It is in my power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.’ And now you have surely gone because you greatly long for your father’s house, BUT WHY DID YOU STEAL MY gods?”
Jacob was blameless of this offense to his father-in-law.  He was not the one who stole the graven images.  Completely unaware that Rachel had taken her father’s household idols, he replied as follows to Laban””:
“…..I was afraid, for I said, ‘Perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force.  With whomever you find your gods, do not let him live. In the presence of our brethren, identify what I have of yours and take it with you.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.”  (Genesis 31:31-32)
Laban turned Jacob’s camp inside out looking for those little statues.  Last of all, he came to Rachel, who declined to stand up and allow him to search where she was sitting.  Let’s continue the story…
(Rachel hid her father’s idols.)
Jacob’s Curse Falls On Rachel.
Genesis 31:33-38
“Now Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them. And she said to her father, “Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me.” And he searched but did not find the household idols.”

Rachel lied to her father and told him she was menstruating so she couldn’t get up. She was sitting on those idols, of course, and didn’t want her father to find out.  But, because of what Jacob swore to Laban in verse 32, later in life, His prophecy came true.  The one who stole those graven images, Rachel, died in childbirth when Benjamin was born.

It is not recorded that Jacob ever found out Rachel had been the one to hide the graven images, and thus, suffer the curse he spoke.  She died near Bethlehem.  He erected a beautiful monument over her grave which remains to this day.

(Rachel’s tomb near Bethlehem.)
(Keber Rachel: Tomb of Rachel today.)
We are no longer have to fear curses of any kind because Jesus absorbed all our curse.  We need never fear that or any curse, generational or otherwise.  No curse can affect us.  HALLELUJAH! 
(For more on our redemption from the generational curse, you may follow the link below:

We are the “Ben-jamins: Sons of the right hand (of God),” right along with Jesus, our elder brother.  He is the Greater Joseph, Who sits at the Father’s right hand.  We are a blessed nation.  He died young at 33 years of age so that you and I, Church, could live long, free of all curses!

And that’s the story of Jacob and his wives.


Though for most of her life Leah was shunned by Jacob, sometime later in life, she got her heart’s desire.  Jacob learned to love her and actually asked to be buried with her.  😁

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