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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

"Crucified before the foundation of the world." What does that mean? How could that even happen? Historians and archaeologists ta...

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Jacob's Problem

Jacob had two wives. He didn't want two wives, but his father-in-law, Laban, tricked him. Laban had two daughters, and he didn't want the younger to marry before the older. I'm not sure what the tradition of marriage was. It seems that there was no ceremony for public view, but Laban escorted the bride, discreetly veiled, to the groom at evening and the marriage was consummated. In daylight, Jacob saw that his bride was not the girl he thought he had married. Laban agreed to give him Rachel too, after the first week of marriage to Leah. I can't imagine that Rachel was very happy with the arrangement, but she was the one he wanted in the first place, and Leah wasn't very happy about it either. Leah did have the consolation of her children as time went on, but Rachel couldn't get pregnant. 

Rachel thought her only advantage was to give her servant to Jacob and have children through her. Leah had made that substitution with her maid, too, when she thought she wouldn't have more children. Jacob thought he was enough compensation for Rachel since he did love her first and apparently he was more attentive to her. But this rivalry had been brewing a long time and, Rachel couldn't let it go.

One day in the field Reuben, Leah's first son, found some mandrakes and brought them to his mother. The plants were held in high esteem in ancient societies for their medicinal uses. Rachel saw him and appealed to Leah to give her some of them. Leah became outraged. "You took my husband and now you want the mandrakes, too?"  

Leah disregarded her part in the marriage scheme, but Rachel prevailed and Leah shared the mandrakes. Leah met Jacob at the gate when he came home from work and said, "Tonight you are mine. I bought you with some of the mandrakes."
I really love the plot twists of Jacob's story. He was a shrewd character and he brought much of his trouble on himself. God had plans for him that he could not imagine, but even the deceit and ill-feelings in the family did not destroy God's plan. Read it for yourself and find the places where God stepped in to make his story blessed. 

Genesis 25 begins the story of Jacob and Genesis continues with the story of his marriage to Rachel. Genesis 30 tells the story of the mandrakes. Read on to find out how he ended up in Egypt.