Genesis 29:16-30

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.
18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.”
20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.
23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her.
24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.
27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.
29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant.
30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Genesis 29:16-30 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 29

This chapter informs us of Jacob's coming to a well near Haran, where meeting with some shepherds he inquires after Laban, Ge 29:1-8; and there also with Rachel his daughter, the shepherds made known to him, and acquainted her who he was, Ge 29:9-12; upon which she ran to her father, and told him who was at the well, who went forth and brought him to his house, and kindly entertained him, Ge 29:13,14; with whom he agreed to stay and serve seven years for Rachel his daughter, Ge 29:15-20; at the end of which Jacob demands his wife, but instead of Rachel, Leah was brought to him as his wife, Ge 29:21-25; which being discovered, and complained of, it was proposed he should have Rachel also, provided he would serve yet seven years more, to which he agreed, Ge 29:26-30; and the chapter is concluded with an account of four sons being born to Jacob of Leah, Ge 29:31-35.

Genesis 29:16-30 In-Context

14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.” After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month,
15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.
18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.”
20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.
23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her.
24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.
27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.
29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant.
30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
31 When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.
32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”

Cross References 23

  • 1. ver 17,23,28,30; Genesis 30:9; Genesis 35:23; Genesis 47:30; Genesis 49:31; Ruth 4:11
  • 2. ver 9-10
  • 3. S ver 16
  • 4. S Genesis 12:11
  • 5. S Genesis 24:67
  • 6. ver 20,27,30; Genesis 30:26; Hosea 12:12
  • 7. S ver 18; Genesis 31:15
  • 8. Song of Songs 8:7; Hosea 12:12
  • 9. Judges 15:1
  • 10. Judges 14:10; Isaiah 25:6; John 2:1-2
  • 11. S ver 16
  • 12. Genesis 30:9
  • 13. S Genesis 16:1
  • 14. S Genesis 12:18
  • 15. S Genesis 27:36
  • 16. Judges 15:2; 1 Samuel 14:49; 1 Samuel 18:17,20; 2 Samuel 6:23
  • 17. Judges 14:12
  • 18. S ver 18; Genesis 31:41
  • 19. S ver 16; S Genesis 4:19
  • 20. Genesis 30:3; Genesis 35:22; Genesis 49:4; Deuteronomy 22:30; 1 Chronicles 5:1
  • 21. S Genesis 16:1
  • 22. S ver 16
  • 23. S ver 20; Genesis 31:41

Footnotes 1