Summary of Genesis 29:15-20:
Laban asks Jacob after a month what his wages were be (in sum, what he actually wants and why he is here). Jacob responds that he will work 7 years for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Leah was the older daughter, she is described as having weak eyes, while Rachel is lovely in form and beautiful. The time flew for Jacob so in love was he.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 29:15-20
6) Apparently Jacob was working for Laban for free.
7a) It taught him patience to have what he wants, and it’s a fair price for his work.
b) Jacob could have offered to pay Laban; instead, he works for what he wants, which is the opposite today in this world of instant gratification
8a) Proverbs says God disciplines those He loves for His reasons and their good. Romans 8:28 is the famous verse of all things work for your good. James tells us that we are tested to develop perseverance. Peter tells us that grief proves our faith to be genuine and results in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus is revealed. We are filled with joy becaues of our faith.
b) Stay the course. Keep praying. Keep working. Keep following His lead despite the hardships and the setbacks.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 29:15-20
I think Jacob’s mistake is not leaving as soon as he could, like Abraham’s servant did with Rebekah. It gave Laban time to plot.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 19, Day 3: Genesis 29:15-20
While on the surface, Laban seems to be generous, he’s seen the good work Jacob could do and wants to see what Jacob wants in exchange for continued work.
Bible scholars debate what Leah’s eyes being weak or delicate actually mean. Does it mean she has a problem with her vision? Does it mean she has no life to them like her sister? Is it just a nice way to say she wasn’t pretty? Either way, we can guess that if Rachel is more beautiful than Leah that there was a sibling rivalry between the two.
Jacob offers to work for 7 years for Rachel as a dowry. This is over-the-top generous, which was probably his downfall. It showed how much he really wanted Rachel, which Laban would exploit next. Yet it shows his love for her. He was willing to wait. This is a long time in today’s culture and rare is this “I want it now” culture seen today. Time flew for him too.
We can surmise that Jacob and Rachel probably did not see each other much. First, in these times and culture, women did not spend time with men and were often relegated to the home, whereas the men worked the fields. Second, there were no date nights back there. Social propriety was strictly enforced to ensure no one questioned the woman’s purity. However, since both were shepherds, they could have spent some time together and got to know each other more.
Jacob is now 77 years old at this time and he kept sheep for Laban Hos. 12:12 Rachel was very young, maybe even barely marriageable age, which may be another reason Jacob wanted to wait.