Rachel was the favorite wife of Jacob, who had been earlier tricked into marrying Rachel’s older sister, Leah, after working for Laban for seven years as a contract for the marriage.
After discovering that he had been tricked, Jacob married Rachel also and then worked out another seven-year contract for this marriage. So Jacob served Laban fourteen years for his two daughters and six years for the cattle — a total of twenty years.
The Hebrew name of Rachel means ewe or beautiful.
Both Jacob and Laban, Rachel’s father, were sheepherders.
Jacob Agrees to Work in Order to Marry Rachel
29:15 Later, Laban asked Jacob, “Should you serve me for free, just because you’re my nephew? Let’s talk about what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban happened to have two daughters. The older one was named Leah and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah looked rather plain, but Rachel was lovely in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he made this offer to Laban: “I’ll serve you for seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.”
19 “It’s better that I give her to you than to another man,” Laban replied, “so stay with me.” 20 Jacob served seven years for Rachel, but it seemed like only a few days because of his love for her.
21 Eventually, Jacob told Laban, “Bring me my wife, now that my time of service has been completed, so I can go be with her.” 22 So Laban gathered all the men who lived in that place and held a wedding festival.
Laban Deceives Jacob
23 That night Laban took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob. He had marital relations with her. 24 Laban also gave his servant woman Zilpah to Leah to be her maidservant. 25 The next morning, Jacob realized that it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” he demanded of Laban. “Didn’t I serve you for seven years in order to marry Rachel? Why did you deceive me?”
26 But Laban responded, “It’s not the practice of our place to give the younger one in marriage before the firstborn. 27 Fulfill the week for this daughter, then we’ll give you the other one in exchange for serving me another seven years.”
28 So Jacob completed another seven years’ work, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban also gave his woman servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maidservant. 30 Jacob also married Rachel, since he loved her. He served Laban another full seven years’ work for Rachel.
Other modules in this unit:
- Jacob steals Isaac’s blessing, Genesis 27:1-29
- Jacob dreams about a ladder and angels at Bethel, Genesis 28:10-22
- Laban meets Jacob, Genesis 29:1-14
- Jacob marries Rachel the daughter of Laban, Genesis 29:15-30
- Leah the older sister of Rachel, Genesis 29:23-35
- Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, Genesis 29:29-30:8
- Zilpah, servant of Leah, Genesis 30:9-13
- Jacob had twelve sons, Genesis 29:31-30:24 and 35:23-26
- Reuben finds some mandrakes for Leah, Genesis 30:14-18
- Jacob flees with his family from Laban, Genesis 31:1-55
- Esau’s descendants, Genesis 36:1-43
- Joseph’s Dreams, Genesis 37:1-11
- Joseph is put down a well, Genesis 37:12-36
- Tamar and Judah, Genesis 38:1-30
- Joseph runs from Potiphar’s Wife, Genesis 39:1-20
- The Cup that held the wine for the King of Egypt, Genesis 40:1-23 and Genesis 41:1-13
- The head chef to the King of Egypt, Genesis 40:1-4, 40:16-22 and 41:1-13
- Joseph’s brothers’ first trip to Egypt for food, Genesis 42:1-38
- The Second Journey to Egypt, Genesis 43:1-34
- A silver cup belonging to Joseph was put in a Sack, Genesis 44:1-34
- Jacob moves to Egypt in a cart, Genesis 46:1-47:12
- Two Sons of Joseph, Genesis 47:28-48:1-22
- Manasseh, Joseph’s older son, Genesis 48:1-22 and 49:22-26
- Ephraim, Joseph’s younger son, Genesis 48:1-22 and 49:22-28
- 12 sons of Jacob whom he blesses before he dies, Genesis 49:1-28
- Death of Jacob at one hundred and forty-seven years old, Genesis 49:29-33
- Death of Joseph at one hundred and ten years old, Genesis 50:22-26
- Questions and Answers 1-28
- 300-year gap between Joseph and Moses, Genesis 50:22-Exodus 1:22
- Life of Moses » »
- Timeline for the book of Genesis parts one and two »
- Resources – Genesis Part Two