Bible Study Notes on Genesis 29 – 20161122

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 29:1  “…came to the land of the people of the East”
Doesn’t tell us how long this journey was.  Commentary said it may have been several hundred miles.  May have taken a month to get there.

4  “…Jacob said to them…and they said…”
Obviously spoke the same language.  Probably not too surprising as the people he was looking for had common ancestors.

7  “Then he said, “Look…”
Seems odd from the text that Jacob, a stranger, would be giving commands to shepherds he has just met.  Commentary suggests it wasn’t as it reads.  Jacob, a shepherd himself, was inquiring why they were waiting to water their sheep when there was still so much day left.  The shepherds explained it to him so they obviously understood his question.

10  “…Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth…”
Sounds like a bit of showing off.  I believe he was trying to make an impression.

11  “…Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept”
Odd actions.  Not sure what to make of it.  Commentaries suggest the kiss was a greeting after learning Rachel was a relative and part of the family he was looking for.  The weeping may be of joy or relief that his quest is nearly complete.  Not sure why we’re not given more about Jacob’s exact state of mind, thus it’s hard to know what is going on in his head.

15  “…should you therefore serve me for nothing…”
Commentary suggests that guests would stay for only a few days before working to pay their way.  Jacob was apparently working for Laban while he lived in his house.

17  “Leah’s eyes were delicate…”
Different thoughts on what is meant here.  Had always heard it was a reference to bad eyesight.  Commentaries suggest it may have meant she had blue eyes or blear eyes, eyes made dim with tears from some issue.  All would have been considered a blemish which would make Leah less desirable than her sister Rachel.

25  “…What is this you have done to me…”
What a sorry state of affairs.  Jacob the trickster has come upon someone who is as deceitful as himself.  Laban blames his behavior on regional custom, yet never mentioned this custom to Jacob when he made the deal.  He should have given Rachel as a wife to compensate for his behavior, yet he is bold enough to require seven more years of labor from Jacob for something that is already his.

30  “…he also loved Rachel more than Leah…”
Hard to know what to think here.  It’s an absolute tragedy for a wife to be unloved by her husband.  Yet it’s understandable since Jacob never intended to wed Leah.  He was in love with Rachel.  The three of them were victims of Laban’s scheme.

31  “…the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb…”
Interesting statement and those following.  Commentary suggests it wasn’t a case of Leah being completely unloved, but loved less than Rachel.  And as she had four sons, Jacob was obviously having relations with her.  It’s hard to know the cultural issues in play here.  Perhaps it was a case of the women competing to obtain rank within the family structure, competition that should not exist at all.

35  “…she called his name Judah…”
The line through which would come the Messiah.  Interesting that God didn’t choose one of the sons of the favored wife, but one of the first one.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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