Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 29

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Chosen People (c 23-50)
Theme: The Story of Jacob (c 29-36)
Message: Jacob Meets Rachael (v 1-35)

Genesis 29 Commentary

(29:18-27) Jacob Works for His Bride - It was the custom of the day for a man to present a bride-price--a substantial gift-to the family of his future wife. This was to compensate the family for the loss of the girl. Jacob's bride-price was not a material possession, for he had none to offer. Instead, he agreed to work seven years for Laban. But there was another custom of the land that Laban did not tell Jacob. The older daughter had to be married first. By giving Jacob Leah and not Rachel, Laban tricked him into promising another seven years of hard work.

(29:20-28) Jacob Gets Tricked - People often wonder if working a long time for something they desire is worth it. Jacob worked seven years to marry Rachel. After being tricked, he agreed to work seven more years for her! The most important goals and desires are worth working and waiting for. Movies and TV shows have created the illusion that people have to wait only about an hour to solve their problems or get what they want. Don't be trapped into thinking the same is true in real life. Patience is hardest when we need it the most, but it is the key to achieving our goals.

(29:23-25) Jacob Pays a Price - Jacob was enraged when he learned that Laban had tricked him. The deceiver had now been deceived himself. How natural it is for us to become upset at an injustice done to us while closing our eyes to the injustices we do to others. Sin has a way of coming back to haunt us.

(29:28-30) Jacob's Love for Rachel - Although Jacob had been tricked by Laban, he kept his part of the bargain. There was more at stake than just Jacob's hurt. There was Rachel to think about, as well as God's plan for his life. When we are tricked by others, it is still wise to be faithful to our word. Nursing our wounds or plotting revenge makes us unable to see from God's perspective.

(29:32) The Power of a Person's Name - Today parents usually give their children names that sound good or have a family connection. But the Old Testament portrays a more dynamic use of names. Parents often chose names that reflected the situation at the time of the birth. They sometimes hoped their children would fulfill the meaning of the names given them. Later, the parents could look back and see if their grown children had lived up to their names. Sometimes a person's name was changed because his or her character and name did not match. This happened to Jacob ("he grasps the heel"; figuratively, "he deceives"), whose name was changed to Israel ("he struggles with God"). Jacob would no longer be seen as a deceiver, but as a God-honoring man.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Sowing and Reaping

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 29, and in today's text, we see our focus on Jacob as He is now a man and seeks a wife. He runs into Laban, falls in love with Rachel, and agrees to work for seven years as a dowry for her hand in marriage. Laban tricks the trickster Jacob and gives him Leah instead after seven years of work. Jacob then agrees to work another seven years for Rachel's hand also. In making application of today's scripture, we can focus on many things but what catches my eye is how Jacob, who deceived Esau, is now deceived himself. It starts a pattern in the Bible of sowing and reaping. Of how those who do wrong have their actions come back to pay a dividend. I have seen this in my own life: doing good to have a good thing return to me and doing wrong to have bad return to me. How about you? Do you see this principle in your life? Some call it the golden rule, but it has roots in the Bible. Let us learn from our text today and the life of Jacob to make the right decisions because we reap what we sow. 


Genesis 29

Genesis 29

 1Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.

 2And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth.

 3And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in his place.

 4And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.

 5And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.

 6And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.

 7And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.

 8And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep.

 9And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she kept them.

 10And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.

 11And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.

 12And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.

 13And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

 14And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.

 15And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?

 16And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

 17Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

 18And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

 19And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.

 20And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

 21And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.

 22And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.

 23And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

 24And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.

 25And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

 26And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.

 27Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

 28And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

 29And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.

 30And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

 31And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

 32And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

 33And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.

 34And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.

 35And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.