Shadowland: Beginnings: Week 34
Genesis 29: The Rights of the Firstborn
Deuteronomy 32:9-14 Jacob's time with Laban in song
- 29:1 "lifted his feet" (often translated "went on his journey") - Jacob
was walking on air for the remaining 500 mile hike to Haran, believing
the promises he had received.
- 29:2-3 As Pink says, there is some spiritual significance about these
details (that he fails to discern). But I can at least point to
the practical significance. Wells are scarce resources. The
stone kept out sand, but since this was a shared well, was also
big enough to require several men to move it, so that one party
could not hog it. Or at least too big for a child or female.
- 29:4 Eliezer, when he arrived at Haran seeking a wife for Isaac,
immediately asks the Lord for guidance in the momentous task
of choosing a Godly wife. Jacob asks some shepherds.
- 29:7 Jacob was trying to get rid of these guys to talk to Rachel.
- 29:8 But his ploy fails, they will not move the stone without Laban's
daughter, especially because she cannot move the stone.
- 29:10 The three references to his mother suggest the source of Jacobs
emotion. Jacob did not necessarily move the stone by himself
("strong as 3 men!"); the other 3 were waiting for Rachel. But
I'm pretty sure he was showing off, with an extra boost of strength.
Isaac's bride waters the camels of Eliezer. Jacob waters the sheep
- 29:15 "serve me" - Jacob lied to receive Isaacs blessing, "Let peoples
serve thee." But Jacob's first discipline is to serve Laban.
- 29:17 "tender eyed" - teary. Either caring and compassionate - or
bleary eyed from allergies or dry desert air. (Commentators are
split.) "well favoured" - to this day, Rachel is more revered.
- 29:20 "they seems to him but a few days" - a poignant description
of romantic love.
- 29:25 Bear this in mind when feeling sorry for Leah later on:
She is complicit in the scheme, keeping her identity concealed
- 29:26 Jacob gets a hard lesson in the rights of the firstborn. And
smarts from a mirror of the deception he foisted on his father.
- 29:31 Not just the reader, but God himself is heartbroken over
Leahs rejection. I note that while many OT saints had multiple
wives, they only had one "favorite". (Which sometimes changed.)
Thus, modern divorce and remarriage is essentially serial polygamy.
Apparently, while a man can father children by multiple women,
he can only "cleave to" one.
- 29:32 Reu-ben - "see a son". Because the Lord has seen my affliction.
- 29:33 Simeon - "hearing". Because the Lord has heard that I was hated.
- 29:34 Levi - "attached". Now this time my husband will be joined to me.
- 29:35 Judah - "praise". Now will I praise the Lord. Leah continues
the line of the Seed. Leah is buried next to Sarah - Rachel has a tomb
Hindsight is 20/20
Discussion question: what should Jacob have done upon discovering