Bible Review 10:3, June 1994

Jacob’s Terrible Burden

In the shadow of the text

By Gordon Tucker

There is scarcely a more poignant human story of love and tragedy in the Bible—if not in all of literature—than that of the Patriarch Jacob and his beloved Rachel. Sent by his father Isaac to find a wife among the daughters of his mother’s brother Laban in Haran, Jacob meets Laban’s daughter Rachel as she comes to water her flocks. Jacob instantly falls in love with the beautiful Rachel and offers to work for his uncle Laban for seven years to earn the right to marry his younger daughter. Laban agrees and “Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her” (Genesis 29:20).

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