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and the evening approaches. He is weary with
CHAPTER XXIX. his journey, and lies down to sleep under 1 Jacob cometh to the well of Haran. 9 He taketh acquaintthe naked canopy of heaven, with nothing
ance of Rachel. 13 Laban entertaineth him. 18 Jacob
corenanteth for Rachel. 2: He is decrired with Leah. but the ground for his bed, and the stones 28 He marrieth also Rachel, and serveth for her seren
32 Leah beureth Reuben, 33 Simeon, 31 for his pillow. There lies the heir of the
Leri, 35 and Judah. promises, the man whom God had chosen,
', and whom God had blessed. And what
came into the land of the people of the brought him to that spot? By way of cor- east. rection and chastisement, it was for his sin. 2 And he looked, and behold a well in the In the providence of God, he was led thither field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep for mercy and peace, though the journey was
lying by it; for out of that well they watered undertaken to escape his brother's fury. Con
the flocks: and a great stone was upon the
well's mouth. ceive how he mourned and wept over his
3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: recent misdeeds; how he was astonished and
and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, surprised at the goodness of God.
and watered the sheep, and put the stone and dreamed. A ladder set upon the earth, again upon the well's mouth in his place. with the top reaching up to heaven, appeared
4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, before him ; and the angels of God were
whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran ascending and descending on it!
5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban May we not see here a beautiful type of
the son of Nahor ? And they said, We know Jesus, the true ladder; the one appointed him. way to the Father. Did not Christ himself 6 And he said unto them, 'Is he well? And allude to this event being verified in his own they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his triumphant ascension on high ? (John i. 51.)
daughter cometh with the sheep.
7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, Contemplate this way to the Father.
neither is it time that the cattle should be earth was the foot of this ladder fixed in his incarnation, suffering, and death. But its top
gathered together: water ye the sheep, and
go and feed them. reached up to heaven, when he returned to
8 And they said, We cannot, until all the the Father, having finished the work which flocks be gathered together, and till they roll was given him to do. In that Saviour the stone from the well's mouth; then we water thus humbled, and thus exalted, God is
the sheep. revealed as
9 | And while he yet spake with them,
God, reconciled and at peace. There he stands, ready to
Rachel came with her father's sheep: for she
kept them. receive all who will come to him. In and
10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw through that Saviour all his gracious pro- Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's mises are given; and for his sake they shall brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's all be fulfilled to his praise and glory. The brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the God of Abraham and Isaac becomes the God stone from the well's mouth, and watered the
flock of Laban his mother's brother. of Jacob, and He is the believer's God for
11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up ever. Now, what does the Lord speak to his
his voice, and wept. fugitive servant ? Among other blessings, he
12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her says, “I am with thee," I will "keep thee,”
father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's “I will not leave thee till I have done that
son: and she ran and told her father. which I have spoken to thee of." (v. 15.) 13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard That is, as the apostle expounds it, “I will the ó tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb.
ran to meet him, and embraced him, and
kissed him, and brought him to his house. xiii. 5.) Oh, my soul! may the Lord bless
And he told Laban all these things. thee, and keep thee, and never leave, nor
14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art forsake thee ! May he bring thee safe to thy
my bone and my flesh. And he abode with journey's end, and, by the glorious ladder thus
him the space of a month. revealed, raise thee up at last to his eternal
15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because kingdom.
thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore
serve me for nought ? tell me, what shall thy be joined unto me, because I have born him
three sons: therefore was his name called 16 And Laban had two daughters: the
1° Levi. name of the elder was Leah, and the name of 35 And she conceived again, and bare a the younger was Rachel.
son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: 17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was therefore she called his name Judah ; and beautiful and well favoured.
12 left bearing. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel ; and said, I
(1) Heb. lift up his feet.
(7) Heb. place.
(2) Heb. children. will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy
(8) That is, See a son.
(3) Heb. Is there peace to him? (9) That is, Hearing. younger daughter.
(4) Heb. yet the day is great.
(10) That ls, Joined. (5) Heb. hearing.
(11) That is, Praise. 19 And Laban said, It is better that I give (6) Heb. a month of days.
(12) Heb. stood from bearing. her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. 20 And Jacob served seven years
How kind is that Providence which guides Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few our steps, and watches over all our ways ! days, for the love he had to her.
Such is the care which the Lord exercises 21 | And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me over his people. Abraham had found it to my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may
be so; so had Isaac.
And in the chapter go in unto her.
before us we find Jacob watched and led 22 And Laban gathered together all the
and blessed by the same gracious "keeper of men of the place, and made a feast.
Israel." 23 And it came to pass in the evening, that
But how may we judge when we he took Leah his danghter, and brought her are under the special leading of Providence to him; and he went in unto her.
in any particular emergency; such, for ex24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah ample, as that before us ? Generally speakZilpah his maid for an handmaid.
ing, there will be a concurrence of events, 25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, intimately connected with each other, for behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, bringing to pass the intended design. Who What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel ? wherefore then
can doubt that Abraham's servant, when sent to hast thou beguiled me?
take a wife for his master's son, was specially 26 And Laban said, it must not be so done directed by God to bring it to pass ? All in our country, to give the younger before the things worked together for that end. And firstborn.
who can hesitate in forming a similar con27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee
clusion respecting Jacob's journey, and his this also for the service which thou shalt
coming to the house of Laban on this occaserve with me yet seven other years.
sion ? 28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her
All things work together for that
event. week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter
He comes to a well; there were to wife also.
flocks of sheep waiting to be watered. He 29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter enquires from the shepherds whence they Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
come. He is told from Haran, whither he 30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and was going. He makes enquiries after his he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and relative. Whilst he is speaking Laban's served with him yet seven other years. 31 | And when the LORD saw that Leah
daughter approaches with their flocks; and was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachel
thus the way was opened for his introduction was barren.
into Laban's house. Can any one doubt the 32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, hand of God in all these things ? And who and she called his name *Reuben : for she may not trace the same merciful hand in his said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my own career, who has ever had any experience affliction; now therefore my husband will love
of the Lord's merciful dealings with his soul? 33 And she conceived again, and bare a son;
“I being in the way, the Lord led me to and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I
the house of my master's brethren.” (Gen. was hated, he hath therefore given me this son
xxiv. 27.) also: and she called his name 'Simeon.
Let us not pass over Jacob's treatment 34 And she conceived again, and bare a there. He was, indeed, kindly received; but son; and said, Now this time will
husband he soon found that he had to deal with an
go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a
6 And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name -Dan.
7 And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.
8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name ‘Naphtali.
9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.
10 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob
artful and cunning man.
Laban took advantage of Jacob's necessities to turn his labour into a source of profit. Thus he who overreached his brother in getting possession of the birthright, is overreached by Laban in obtaining his services by cheating him in the bargain for his wife. Thus God often deals with men according to their works, and requites them in kind, though not always in the same way, for their previous iniquities. Did not Jacob see and feel this, in Laban's treacherous dealings? No doubt he did, and often mourned in secret over the sin that brought him into his present distress. Have you thus mourned over your sins? Have yon lamented them before God? Have you cried for pardon, and asked for grace to amend your life? • Again: may you not see the spirit of worldly man in all Laban does ? His whole object was to gain by Jacob. The welfare of his children was but little thought of; so that he could increase his store by their husband's labours. Alas! how many parents are ready to barter their children's comfort for the sake of forming a good connexion ? whether such connexion may be for their soul's good or not, never enters their calculation! And what follows? Much the same as in Jacob's and Laban's households : jealousy, contention, anger, and strife! Let all watch against a worldly spirit ; let all guard against sin; let all commit their ways to the Lord, crave his mercy, and order their lives according to his Holy Word.
11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name " Gad.
12 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son.
13 And Leah said, IIappy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name 7 Asher.
14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and bronght them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I
pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes.
15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband : and she called his name & Issachar.
19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.
20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name 'Zebulun.
21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name "Dinah.
22 | And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
1 Rachel, in grief for her barrenness, giveth Bilhah her maid.
unto Jacob. 5 She beareth Dan and Naphtali. 9 Leah giveth Zilpah her maid, who beareth Gad and Asher. 11 Reuben findeth mandrakes, with which Leah buyeth her husband of Rachel. 17 Leah beareth Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah. 22 Rachel beareth Joseph. 25 Jucob desireth to depart. 27 Laban stayeth him on a new covenant. 37 Jacob's policy, whereby he became rich.
no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel : and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah,
(8) That is, An hire.
(3) Heb. wrestlings of God.
(5) That is, A troop, or, company.
(12) Heb. broken forth. (13) Heb. at my foot.
24 And she called his name "Joseph; and 39 And the flocks conceived before the said, The LORD shall add to me another son. rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked,
25 | And it came to pass, when Rachel speckled, and spotted. had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban,
10 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and Send me away,
may go unto mine own set the faces of the flocks toward the ringplace, and to my country.
straked, and all the brown in the flock of 26 Give me my wives and my children, Laban; and he put his own flocks by themfor whom I have served thee, and let me go: selves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle. for thou knowest my service which I have 41 And it came to pass, whensoever the done thee.
stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid 27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee,
the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for gutters, that they might conceive among the I have learned by experience that the LORD
rods. hath blessed me for thy sake.
42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put 28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, I will give it.
and the stronger Jacob's. 29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest 43 And the man increased exceedingly, how I have served thee, and how thy cattle
and had much cattle, and maidservants, and was with me.
menservants, and camels, and asses. 30 For it was little which thou hadst before
(1) Heb. be built by her. I came, and it is now increased unto a mul
(?) That is, Judging.
(9) That is, Dwelling.
(10) That is, Judgment. titude; and the Lord hath blessed thee 13 since (4) That is, My wrestling.
(u) That is, Adding. my coming: and now when shall I provide (6) Heb. In my happiness. for mine own house also ?
(7) That is, Happy.
(14) Heb, to morrow. 31 And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any This history of Jacob is very instructive, in thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will bringing to light some of the corrupt workagain feed and keep thy flock.
ings of the human heart, and the faults and 32 I will pass through all thy flock to day,
chastisements of the children of God. Laban removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among
was an artful, overreaching, worldly man; the sheep, and the spotted and speckled
he thought of nothing but his gains. There among the goats: and of such shall be my hire. was also much of the same mind in Jacob;
33 So shall my righteousness answer for though, in his case, it was counteracted, in a me "in time to come, when it shall come for
great measure, by the grace of God. The my hire before thy face: every one that is
man who would take another by the heel was not speckled and spotted among the goats,
not an unapt interpretation of his character, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
as well as his name. The history of the 34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it birthright proves this, and his sojourning might be according to thy word.
with Laban further illustrates these marks of 35 And he removed that day the he goats his character. If we are not led by the Spirit that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the of God, natural corruptions will undoubtedly she goats that were speckled and spotted, and
have the sway; and even though we have every one that had some white in it, and all
grace in our hearts there will be constant the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.
need of watchfulness and prayer, that we may 36 And he set three days' journey betwixt
be kept from being surprised by temptation, himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of or overcome by sin. It is in the occurrences Laban's flocks.
of life that the character is developed ; and 37 | And Jacob took him rods of green he that has not often been tried in this way poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree;
is but little known, either to himself or others. and pilled white strakes in them, and made
This chapter suggests to us these reflecthe white appear which was in the rods.
tions: Laban saw how much he was bene38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the water
fited by Jacob's services, and he wished to ing troughs when the flocks came to drink,
retain him in his hands. Jacob perceived the that they should conceive when they came to
craftiness of his father in law, and he requited drink.
him much in the same way in renewing the
engagement. This was wrong, and, in either
CHAPTER XXXI. case, the correction went hand in hand with 1 Jacob upon displeasure departeth secretly. 19 Rachel | the sin. We should always bear in mind
stealeth her father's images. 22 Laban pursueth after
him, 20 and complaineth of the wrong. 34 Rachel's that excellent precept, “Be not overcome of policy to hide the images. 36 Jacob's complaint of Laban.
13 The corenant of Laban and Jacob at Galeed. evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. xii.
ND he heard the words of Laban's sons, 2.) Ilow many unpleasant circumstances
saying, Jacob hath taken away all that might never have occurred between Laban
was our father's; and of that which was our and Jacob had that principle been acted upon. father's hath he gotten all this glory.
But worldly people are not to be trusted 2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of when they speak after a godly manner. There Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him are times when it suits their purpose to speak
as before. of the labours of the children of God with 3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return gratitude and respect, though they mean
unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kin
dred; and I will be with thee. nothing more than to further their own in
4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and When Laban besought Jacob to
Leah to the field unto his flock, tarry with him, and said, “ I have learned by 5 And said unto them, I see your father's experience that the Lord hath blessed me for countenance, that it is not toward me as bethy sake," one might have supposed he really fore; but the God of my father hath been
with me. valued that blessing; whereas the event
6 And ye know that with all my power I proved the contrary. For when Jacob pro
have served your father. posed the nature of his wages, it seemed
7 And your father hath deceived me, and so unlikely to Laban that Jacob should
changed my wages ten times; but God sufever get any profit from him, and that all fered him not to hurt me. the advantage would be on his own side, that 8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy he immediately took him at his word, and
wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and fixed him for a longer period in his service.
if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy
hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked. But to say nothing of the means that Jacob
9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of employed for the conception of the cattle
your father, and given them to me. according to his agreement, it appears from
10 And it came to pass at the time that the the next chapter that the Lord had made
cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, some revelations to him on the subject, see- and saw in a dream, and, behold, the 'rams ing the hardships he had to endure. These which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, things afford no precedents for imitation, but speckled, and grisled. they clearly teach us that the Lord is the
11 And the angel of God spake unto me
in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here patron of the injured; that he will plead the cause of his people, and make their oppressors 12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, to see, sooner or later, that he loves them.
see, all the rams which leap upon the It is, however, in the plain path of duty we cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled : are to expect God's favour; and he who goes
for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. out of the way of duty, or acts in opposition
13 I am the God of Beth-el, where thou to it, must expect rebuke before he receives
anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a blessing. Are we not also taught that "the
a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from
this land, and return unto the land of thy earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof?”
kindred. (Ps. xxiv. 1.) Do we not see that he giveth it 14 And Rachel and Leah answered and to whom he pleases ? And in the course of said unto him, Is there yet any portion or time how soon do earthly possessions change inheritance for us in our father's house? hands ? God takes from one and gives to
15 Are we not counted of him strangers ? another. Blessed be God, spiritual blessings
for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured
also our money. are not so ; they are never taken away from
16 For all the riches which God hath taken his people. And such is the amazing fulness
from our father, that is our's, and our chilof Christ, that he can pardon, bless, and en- dren's : now then, whatsoever God hath said rich them all for ever and ever.
unto thee, do.