Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Jacob had finally made it to his uncle’s land and was immediately smitten when he saw Laban’s younger daughter, Rachel. In a touching moment of emotion, he wept after first kissing her. Jacob offered to work for Laban for seven years to receive Rachel as his wife. Imagine waiting seven years for the woman or man of your dreams! Yet it is recorded that it seemed like only a few days to Jacob! Yes, he was smitten!
After seven years of waiting, Jacob finally married—but Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his oldest daughter, Leah. Laban justified his actions by reasoning that their custom was for the eldest daughter to marry first. A week later Laban allowed Jacob to also marry Rachel—the woman he had wanted to marry in the first place—if Jacob agreed to give him another seven years of work.
Not surprisingly, friction quickly developed among the three who were now forming a household. God saw that Leah was unloved by Jacob, so He blessed her with four children (Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah) while Rachel was unable to conceive.
It is interesting to note that Leah, not the more loved Rachel, was the mother of both Judah and Levi. Judah would become the forefather of the Davidic line of kings—which was promised to last forever (Jeremiah 33:17). Levi would become the forefather of the priests who would serve in the temple (Numbers 1:50).
Though the Old Testament records many examples of polygamy (with all its accompanying problems), the Bible clearly teaches that this is not what God intended for marriage. To learn God’s standards for marriage, read “What Is Marriage?”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Being a Blessing to Others.”