Friday, May 21, 2010

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 29

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.


Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 29. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

29:1 – Jacob continued “eagerly”.

“continued” means “lifted up his feet”. He was almost dancing.

29:2 – The stone over the well probably took seven men to move, but Jacob moves it single-handedly in verse 10.

29:4 – the shepherds’ response that they were from Haran was probably music to Jacob’s ears. It meant his road trip was almost over.

29:6, 10-12 – Jacob was told by his parents to take a wife from Laban’s household. When the shepherds identified Rachel as Laban’s daughter, Jacob saw her as “God’s answer”. After all, I’m sure he heard stories about how Rebekah came to be Isaac’s wife. He probably thought God was bringing Rachel to him at the well just as he brought Rebekah. I wonder if he was tempted to ask for a drink although he had no camels for her to offer to water. Do you think he may have been wishing that he had prayed for a sign like Abraham’s servant had?

29:8 – this custom was meant to keep any one herdsman from monopolizing the water supply.

29:10 – “…and Laban’s sheep…” – Jacob wanted the sheep as much as he wanted Rachel!

opening the well and helping himself defied local custom. See 29:8.

29:11 – a kiss of greeting, not romance.

29:12-13 – Did Rachel run off and leave the sheep? Is that why Jacob stayed behind so Laban had to come out and meet him?

29:13 – see Genesis 24:28-31 for Laban’s last recorded encounter at the well.

“embrace” – Rabbinic tradition suggests that Laban hoped to find money and gems when he hugged Jacob.

“all these things” – Jacob told Laban everything. He gave his uncle a tremendous amount of ammunition to use against him.

29:14b-15 – see Deuteronomy 24:14-15

29:16 – Leah means “cow.” Rachel means “ewe.”

In Akkadian, Leah means “strong”. Plus, cows were symbols of fertility.

29:17 – Leah wasn’t ugly! She was pretty. She may have had a vision problem.

“Here’s looking at you, sis.” See 1 Samuel 16:7. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

“Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.” See 1 Peter 3:3-4. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

29:18 – Bride price was 30-40 shekels. Annual salary was about 10 shekels. Jacob was offering double for Rachel.

“In God we trust. In Laban we don’t.” See Psalm 62:8. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

29:19-20 – not spoken like a binding agreement. “Verbal agreements were made by restating the terms.” (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

29:21 – “my wife” – Rachel wasn’t mentioned by name.

29:22-24 – Where was Rachel? Why did Leah go along with the deception? Obedience? Desire? Fear?

29:22 – “feast” – Hebrew word means drink.

29:23 – Why did Laban give Leah to Jacob? He wanted Jacob to serve him another seven years for Rachel, and was manipulating the situation. Was this “payback” for Jacob’s manipulation of Esau and Isaac? Not really. God wanted to teach Jacob about deceit because He wanted to build a legacy for the world through Jacob’s family.

see Genesis 27:15-16.

“Actions speak louder than words.” See 1 Peter 2:15. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

“God’s light penetrates the darkness.” See Psalm 139:11-12. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

“Our sin cannot stop God’s grace from flowing.” See 1 Corinthians 1:28-29. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

29:25 – Perhaps Jacob saw the similarity in his deception of Isaac for the blessing.

29:27 – Laban didn’t even use his daughters’ names. They really were like livestock to him!

29:28 – Jacob didn’t put Leah aside. Perhaps he loved her a little? Notice that Rachel had no wedding celebration or bridal week.

Jacob didn’t protest! Maybe he thought he was getting what he deserved for being a deceiver, himself.

29:30 – Jacob loved Leah, but he loved Rachel more. The NEB says, “he loved her rather than Leah.” So, Jacob may never have given Leah a second thought.

29:31-35 – Leah’s relationship with the Lord is deepening.

29:31 – see Deuteronomy 21:15-17; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. This verse says Leah was not loved. Which is it?

29:32 – notice “the Lord has seen Leah’s misery."

“She resisted the urge to whine.” See Proverbs 31:26. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

29:33 – conceived again – Jacob continued to visit Leah’s tent. He wasn’t completely put off by her.

“heard” – Leah is closer to God. You must be closer to hear. This verse doesn’t mention Jacob – Is Leah holding him less responsible for her happiness? God’s blessing to us is Himself.

29:35 – see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 – three times Paul pleaded for his thorn in the flesh to be removed. After that, he began to rejoice in it. Leah pleads three times, as well. Then begins to rejoice.

stop blaming God for what you don’t have, and praise Him for what He’s done!

“What’s in a name? Lots.” See Proverbs 22:1. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

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