Making it Simple
Jacob Gets Two Wives
Verses 10-17 Jacob leaves Beersheba and heads toward Haran where his mother’s family lives. When he comes to a certain place he stops to spend the night. He takes a stone and uses it for a pillow. He has a dream of a ladder going from earth with its top reaching to heaven. Angels of God were coming up and going down the ladder. The Lord stood above the ladder and told Jacob that the land he is lying on will be given to him and to his descendants. The Lord says that He is with Jacob and will keep him safe and He will not leave him until the Lord has done what He’s promised. Jacob awakes and realizes he is in a special place and that the Lord is there with him.
Verses 18-22 Jacob got up early in the morning and he took the stone he’d slept on and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on to it. He called the place Bethel (before that it had been called Luz), which means “house of God”. Jacob then makes a vow that if God will keep him safe on his journey, give him food to eat and garments to wear, and see him safely back to his father’s house – then the Lord will be Jacob’s God. The stone that he set up as a pillar will be God’s house and of everything God gives to Jacob, Jacob will give back a tenth.
Verses 1-12 Jacob goes on his journey. He comes to the land in the east and sees a well with a large stone lying on top of it. There are herds of sheep there with their shepherds. Jacob asks them where they are from and they answer that they are from Haran. Jacob asks if they know of Laban the son of Nahor. These men do know of Laban and they tell Jacob that his daughter Rachel is coming to water her flock of sheep. Rachel comes up with her father’s sheep. Jacob saw Rachel and he goes to open the well and watered her flock for her. Jacob kisses Rachel in greeting and weeps. He tells Rachel that he is Rebekah’s son and Rachel runs to tell Laban.
Verses 13-20 Laban comes to meet Jacob and brings him to the house. Jacob tells Laban all that has happened. Jacob stays with Laban for a month. Jacob is working for Laban, and Laban offers to pay him whatever he wishes for wages. Jacob loved Rachel so he told Laban he would work for seven years to be able to marry Rachel. Laban agrees and Jacob stays to work for Rachel. Jacob served his seven years and they seemed but a few days because he loved her so much.
Verses 21-30 After the seven years Jacob goes to Laban and asks for Rachel to become his wife. Laban makes a feast, but instead of Rachel he sends Leah into Jacob. The next morning Jacob realizes that it is Leah he is married to. He wants to know why Laban has deceived him. Laban says that it is not the practice to marry off the younger daughter before the firstborn is married. He tells Jacob to go through with Leah’s honeymoon week and then Laban will give Rachel to Jacob also – but Jacob must work another seven years. Jacob agreed to this, so Rachel also became his wife. But Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah.
Verses 31-35 God sees that Leah is not loved, so He opens her womb so that she conceives. But Rachel is barren. Leah bears a son, names him Reuben (“See, a son”) hoping that Jacob will love her now. She then gives him another son; he is named Simeon (“Heard”). She conceives again and has yet another son; she calls him Levi (“Attached”) hoping that Jacob will now favor her because she has born him three sons. Again she bears another son, named Judah (“Praise”) and then she had no more children.
Rachel becomes jealous of Leah’s ability to bear children for Jacob. She goes to Jacob and says “Give me children, or else I die.” Jacob gets angry with Rachel. He tells her that only God has kept her from having children. Rachel decides to give Jacob her maid, Bilhah, for wife so that Rachel may have children by her. Jacob agrees. Bilhah conceives and has a son; Rachel names him Dan (“Judge”). Bilhah conceives again and has another son; Rachel names him Naphtali (“My wrestling”).
Leah sees all this going on, notices that she is not bearing Jacob anymore children, so she also gives Jacob her maid, Zilpah. Zilpah bears a son, and Leah names him Gad (“Troop” or “Fortune”). Zilpah bears another son and Leah names him Asher (“Happy”).
Leah’s son, Reuben, finds some mandrakes in the field during the wheat harvest and brings them to his mother. Rachel asks Leah to share the mandrakes. Leah says, “Is it not enough that you have taken my husband, but that you should also get my son’s mandrakes?” So Rachel says, “Ok, Jacob can come to your bed tonight if you’ll give me some mandrakes.” When Jacob comes in from the fields. Leah meets him and tells him that she has “hired” him for the cost of her son’s mandrakes.
Leah becomes pregnant again and bears another son for Jacob. She names him Issachar (“Wages”). Leah becomes pregnant again, and again has a son. His name is Zebulun (“Dwelling”). She bears another child, this time a girl, and her name is Dinah.
Then God remembered Rachel and opens her womb. She bears Jacob a son and calls him Joseph (“He will add”). She prays that the Lord will give her another son.
Children born to Leah – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah
Children born to Zilpah, Leah’s maid – Gad, Asher
Children born to Rachel – Joseph
Children born to Bilhah, Rachel’s maid – Dan, Naphtali
image can be found at: https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/Treasures%20of%20the%20Bible%20(Genesis)/images/scan0024.jpg
Note: Links to outside sources and those of pictures or clip art do not mean I am in agreement with any or all of the information given there. I am simply attempting to give credit for the work of others that I have borrowed.