Why have you tricked me? Then we will give you the younger one too, in exchange for seven more years of work.
He loved Rachel more than Leah, so he worked for Laban for seven more years. Surely my husband will love me now. Then she stopped having children. Have sexual relations with her so that she can bear children for me and I can have a family through her. He has responded to my prayer and given me a son. Now my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.
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He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked.
But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too? These animals will be my wages. He made white streaks by peeling them, making the white inner wood in the branches visible. He set up the branches in front of the flocks when they were in heat and came to drink.
So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban and the stronger animals to Jacob. He owned large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys. Lord, it is sad to see the deceit in the lives of these historic people, may such deceit never be practiced among Your children today or tomorrow. Lord, may be more concerned with our walk with You than the number of our children or competition with those around us.
Lord, when it is time for me to change where I am or what I am doing may it not be necessary to engage in schemes to break-free. Jacob shares his relationship information with the family and is invited to stay. He offers to work alongside them while there and Laban asks what should be his pay — to which Jacob replies — he would like to marry the beautiful Rachel.
Commentary on Sirach/Ecclesiasticus
Laban, as crafty as Jacob versus Esau, requires Jacob to work seven years for Rachel and then tricks him into marrying the older sister Leah instead. Jacob, unable to see beyond the lust of his eyes, continued to ignore the gift that was Leah - with her tender eyes a phrase often meant to infer a tender heart. He fulfilled his duties as a husband but otherwise showed no affection to her. God compensated by giving her children whereas Rachel remained childless. Rachel is obsessed with bearing children and jealous of Leah, but when she demands of Jacob that he cause her to become pregnant he insists that it is God who is keeping her from pregnancy.
Leah then seeks a chemical advantage through the Mandrake root which was thought to have aphrodesiac properties. Rachel hears of this and demands some of the root. There is nothing in the text to detail how it came to be that Leah would have to bribe Rachel for access to her husband but Rachel agrees to the arrangement. In the one night Leah becomes pregnant and produces a fifth son. The text does not explain how she again gained access to Jacob but Leah becomes pregnant again and delivers a sixth son, then another child, this one a daughter.
After the birth of many sons and a daughter Jacob decides that it is time to return home. Jacob manipulates the breeding process so that the marked animals that Laban promised him are healthier, larger, and more plentiful. It seems that Jacob has received as good as he gave Esau from his uncle Laban. God appears to be a largely ignored factor, at least there is nothing in the text which describes anyone inviting Him into the process, He chooses to intervene just the same.
How might it have worked? Leah is trapped between the lust of Jacob for Rachel and the scheming of Laban to marry-off his less-attractive eldest daughter. No one seems concerned for her perspective.
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Might God have led Jacob to use the striped branch system so that He could bless him and get him on-track to return home? When have you sensed a call from God to change where you were or what you were doing and someone or some thing was blocking your way? What happened? Ask the Holy Spirit to make you more sensitive to the subtle signs of His presence in fellow believers and of their tender-hearted availability to His working. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you may be forgetting to invite Him into the process of decision making and peace making among fellowship and family members.
I will ask a prayer-partner to walk with me through a careful assessment of my daily walk in order that we may discern, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, where there are wrong priorities. I agree to pray that God will show me someone whom others have under-valued based on some worldly priority, perhaps they are not athletic or attractive, not a scholar or a charismatic personality but rather a gentle and humble person who lives a consistent life from-love before God.
I will make a point to encourage and fellowship with that person. I will surrender that to God and ask Him to teach me what He desires for my life in that area. I will prayerfully identify a place of change God has been asking me to make in my life.
If affirmed then I agree to then prayerfully what are the roadblocks and how God would have me overcome them — then do so. I will be with you. But God has not permitted him to do me any harm. Now leave this land immediately and return to your native land. He not only sold us, but completely wasted the money paid for us! So now do everything God has told you.
Then he set out toward the land of Canaan to return to his father Isaac.
He quickly crossed the Euphrates River and headed for the hill country of Gilead. He caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. You have acted foolishly! Yet why did you steal my gods?
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In the presence of our relatives identify whatever is yours and take it. Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them.
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I cannot stand up in your presence because I am having my period. Set it here before my relatives and yours, and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. You always made me pay for every missing animal, whether it was taken by day or at night. But God saw how I was oppressed and how hard I worked, and he rebuked you last night.
All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today or the children to whom they have given birth? They ate there by the pile of stones. They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.