Genesis 29.18–30 – Seven years for Rachel, and seven more years for her

Jacob met his cousin Rachel, and loved her; then Moses revealed,

“Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said [to her father], ‘I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter'” (Genesis 29.18).

Why did Jacob choose that number? Verse 17 had said that Rachel, “was beautiful of form and appearance,” and perhaps seeing her perfection, Jacob choose the number representing perfection or completeness.

Jacob did just as he promised, but seven years seemed as nothing,

“So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her” (Genesis 29.20).

Therefore, when those years were complete, he fully expected to receive Rachel as his wife, but her father tricked Jacob and gave him Leah instead, claiming that the older daughter had to marry first! Why did Laban not tell Jacob that seven years earlier, or sometime during those years?

He promised that Jacob could have Rachel, if he first spent time with Leah, and a week later he could have Rachel also, for which, Laban said, Jacob would serve another seven years,

“Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years” (Genesis 29.27).

When Laban heard the promise of seven years, he only saw what he could get out of someone who was so willing to serve, and who was so generous with himself.

Then the Bible says that Laban kept his word,

“Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years” (Genesis 29.30).

Seven and seven, working fourteen years for these women, and from them and their maidservants came the tribes of Israel, all starting with the promise of a man for a woman he loved, a promise of seven years work!


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