While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
Proverbs 31:30). While the first woman was merely " she who gives life" (Eve); the daughter of Lamech, seven generations later, was the "beautiful" (Naamah); this was certainly a progress; but many centuries were required to elapse before men ceased to regard beauty both as the test of worth, and a proof of special Divine favour. To contribute towards this important lesson is the end of this portion; for, "when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren"; by the same act He taught Jacob wisdom, and procured justice to Leah. The latter was clearly aware of this turning-point in her life; for when she gave birth to a son, she exclaimed: "Surely, the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me." Nor does she seem to have been unworthy of being blessed with offspring; the love of her husband was the sole object of her thoughts and feelings.
I. THE TRUE LIFE is that which starts from the place of fellowship with God and commits the future to him. We can always find a pillar of blessed memorial and consecration. The Bethel.
1. Providential care.
2. Religious privilege.
3. Special communications of the Spirit.
God with us as a fact. Our pilgrimage a Bethel all through.
II. THE TRUE TESTIMONY that which erects a stone of witness, a Bethel, where others can find God.
1. Personal. The pillow of rest the pillar of praise.
2. Practical. The testimony which speaks of the journey and the traveler.
III. THE TRUE COVENANT.
1. Coming out of fellowship.
2. Pledging the future at the house of God, and in sight of Divine revelation.
3. Blessed exchange of gifts, confirmation of love. Jehovah keeping and guiding and feeding; his servant serving him and giving him a tenth of all he received. The patriarch's vow was the result of a distinct advance in his religious life. The hope of blessing became the covenant of engagement, service, worship, sacrifice. The highest form of religious life is that which rests on a solemn vow of grateful dedication at Bethel. The end before us is "our Father's house in peace." - R.
He loved also Rachel more than Leah.I. THEIR TRIALS. Leah was "hated " (ver. 31), i.e., she was loved less than Rachel By becoming a party to a heartless fraud she lost her husband's affections. And Rachel, the beloved wife, was denied the blessing of children, so coveted by the ancient Hebrew mothers (ver. 31). Both had trials, though of a different kind.
II. THEIR COMPENSATIONS. Leah was blessed with children, which compensated her for the loss of her husband's love. The names of the four sons successively born to her were all significant, and betoken that pious habit of mind which recognized the hand of God in all that befel her. She called the first-born, Reuben (Hebrews) "see ye a son." The second, Simeon (Hebrews) "hearing," for God had heard her prayer and seen her affliction. The third was named Levi (Hebrews) "joined." Now, surely, would the breach be healed and the husband and wife joined together by this threefold cord. The fourth she called Judah (Hebrews) "praise," as if recording her thankfulness that she had won the affections of her husband by bearing to him so many sons. Rachel, on the other hand, continued barren. But she was compensated by her beauty, and by the thought that she was first in her husband's affections. Thus with the evils which fall to the lot of individuals, there are compensations.
(T. H. Leale.)
2. God's providence may be regardful of them who are neglected by men.
3. Undervalued and hated mercies may, under God's ordering, prove most fruitful to men.
4. The most regarded by men may be disrespected upon some accounts with God.
5. The most lovely mercies in man's eye may prove barren and unfruitful to him (ver. 31),
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.).
PeopleBilhah, Haran, Jacob, Laban, Leah, Levi, Nahor, Rachel, Rebekah, Reuben, Simeon, Zilpah
TopicsCare, Father's, Flock, Kept, Rachel, Sheep, Shepherdess, Spake, Speaking, Talking, Tended, Yet
Outline1. Jacob comes to the well of Haran.
9. He becomes acquainted with Rachel.
13. Laban entertains him.
18. Jacob covenants for Rachel.
23. He is deceived by Laban with Leah.
28. He marries also Rachel, and serves for her seven years more.
32. Leah bears Reuben;
35. and Judah.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 29:1-10
LibraryThe Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Ver. 8. "Judah, thou, thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; before thee shall bow down the sons of thy father. Ver. 9. A lion's whelp is Judah; from the prey, my son, thou goest up; he stoopeth down, he coucheth as a lion, and as a full-grown lion, who shall rouse him up? Ver. 10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him the people shall adhere." Thus does dying Jacob, in announcing …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
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Departure from Ireland. Death and Burial at Clairvaux.
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