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Unwittingly married to Leah, Jacob was thus compelled to serve Laban for another seven years…. Genesis , the first book of the Bible. The primeval history includes the familiar stories of…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice.


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They were missing and Laban wanted them back. This was news to Jacob. He did not know Rachel had taken them, since she had kept them hidden and had not told anyone what she had done.

Jacob then made one of those foolish pronouncements that give the reader a hint that something bad is coming: he indignantly denied knowledge of the theft, and said that whoever had done such a thing should die. Laban searched the tents of Jacob, Leah, and the two maids to find the teraphim — each woman in a polygamous marriage had her own separate tent.

The men of the family lived there. It was here that the women, children and babies lived and slept.

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Laban found nothing. What he did not know was that Rachel had hidden them in the saddle-bags of her camel. She greeted her father respectfully but did not rise from where she was sitting. She explained demurely that she could not do so, since she was menstruating. This meant that the cloth on which she was sitting was ritually unclean, and could not be touched by anyone.

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Most ancient tribes had customs that allowed menstruating women to withdraw from physical contact with the tribe while they had their periods, and women welcomed this time of rest from their usual tasks. She had used the laws of ritual cleanliness to her own advantage. Since Laban could not find the teraphim, he had to back down.


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The two men made a face-saving covenant, and early the next morning Laban said good-bye to them all, and left. This time things did not go well for her. The pains were very bad, and Rachel suffered terribly. To comfort her the midwife told her it would be a boy. It was, but Rachel would not live to see him grow. She died in childbirth.

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Earlier in the story, Rachel said she would die if she had no sons Genesis Bible study ideas for this story. Leah — the ugly sister? Rachel — the Bible text. Is it ever right to lie to someone for their own good? Rachel Bible woman.

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Rachel: Bible | Jewish Women's Archive

Who was Rachel? Rachel met Jacob at the well. He fell passionately in love. After seven years he married Rachel too. Genesis , 31 Rachel had a son, Benjamin, but she died giving birth to him. Stone well with wooden bucket.

The Bride, Edward Goodall. Neither of the young lovers had understood the implications of this statement. Veiled woman. Jacob reproaches Laban, Brugghen. A mandrake root. Speckled lambs. Search Box. That is, although we could identify some sins committed by Rachel or other characters in Genesis, we cannot assume that Rachel was more sinful than others or being punished for her personal sin.

Sons for Rachel

As Jesus pointed out with regard to some recent particularly abrupt deaths, those victims were no worse than others, and all people will face a fate no less horrible if they do not repent Luke What the irony may do is portend for the hearer who knows the full story and thus draw attention to her death, thereby increasing the pathos and inviting greater sympathy for this matriarch of Israel.

Clearly their ancestors in Genesis were imperfect humans, whether we think of Jacob or of Simeon and Levi or Judah. Ruth What God can make eternally of the sacrifices we offer in our often ordinary-looking lives is something that will be seen most fully from the vantage point of eternity. Yet God is trustworthy in making these offerings count as part of the larger story he is weaving in history.

This study continues a series on Genesis. See e.

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