Genesis 29 – Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

In Genesis 29, Jacob is still traveling; and he meets some shepherds at a well.  When he finds out they are from Haran, he asks whether they know his mother’s brother “Laban the son of Nahor”  You may remember from Genesis 24:47 that Rebekah and Laban were the Bethuel’s children, and that Bethuel was the son of Nahor, actually making them his grand-children.  The Bible often notes people speaking of  a “son” in terms of later generations.  Jesus is often called the “son of David.”

Jacob is taken with Laban’s daughter, Rachel, and works there for him for seven years to pay the bride-price for her.  But the great trickster gets tricked himself, and must marry her sister Leah.  He then has to work another seven years for her (v. 21-27).  Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, so verse 31 tells us that the Lord “opened her womb,” and Leah bears the first four of Jacob’s 12 sons (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah).

Sometimes, unless we are reading a Bible that has easily followed footnotes, some passages can seem “curious” to us.  This is true in verses 32-35, which explain that she chose the name for each one for a certain reason.  It makes more sense when we understand that “Reuben” means “See, a son,” “Simeon” sounds like the Hebrew for “heard,” “Levi” like the Hebrew for “attached,” and “Judah” like the Hebrew for “heard.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.


Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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