Genesis 29:21-30 records the narrative of two marriages in two weeks – the marriages of Jacob to Laban’s daughters, first to Leah the firstborn and then to Rachel the secondborn. Jacob had agreed to work for Laban for a period of seven years to wed Rachel, but after the seven years of labor was over, Jacob was deceived by Laban. Laban gave to Jacob, Leah instead of Rachel as it was allegedly customary to have the firstborn wed before the secondborn. Laban then agreed to allow Jacob marry Rachel after one week of being wedded to Leah, provided he gave Laban another seven years of service.
Jacob felt that he was beguiled and questioned Laban of the deception (Genesis 29:25), failing to realize that just as he was deceived by having had one sister switched for another, he himself had switched places with his brother, Esau, deceiving his father and robbing Esau of his firstborn blessings. In retrospect, one would find that the deceiver himself was deceived by his relatives.
Points to ponder:
This account is very well illustrative of the scripture “You sow what you reap; for God cannot be mocked – let us not be deceived” (Galatians 6:7). Jacob deceived Esau his brother and was deceived. He sowed deception and reaped deception. Additionally, deception by whom we call our own and love (our relatives) while hurtful is relatively lesser when compared to the deception one suffers when they deceive themselves (our own self). When we who believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are adopted into God’s family (John 1:12). When we do not do what Jesus (our brother in God’s family) wants us to do but merely hear him, we are deceived for we deceive ourselves (James 1:22). Let us be doers of God’s word and not mere listeners. Let us not be deceived deceivers.
Genesis 29:21-30 (KJV)
21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
25 And 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?
26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.