Genesis Lesson 19 Day 3

Genesis Lesson 19 Day 3

Genesis 29:15-20

Laban makes a deal with Jacob.

6) Jacob stayed with Laban’s family for a month.

Laban showed this great hospitality, not only because of custom, and not only because Jacob was his nephew; Laban also knew that Jacob would inherit a significant fortune from his father Isaac.1

Probably when the month ended, Laban asks, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” (Genesis 29:15)

Commentators read this various ways—

  • “Laban probably expected the very answer he received; nevertheless, the proposal was fair and upright. Doubtless he had seen, during Jacob’s stay of a month, that his services would be very valuable.” Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
  • A proof of Laban’s generosity and justice (Kalisch)
  • . . . of his selfishness and greed (Keil)
  • . . . of his prudence and sagacity in opening up the way for a love-suit (Large). Pulpit Commentary

So, Jacob, heir to his father’s fortune, became Laban’s hired servant doing hard labor.
As noted above, Laban’s question can be taken favorably, unfavorably, or a mixture of the two.

Jacob didn’t bring a dowry like Eleazar did for Rebekah. Some say a dowry wasn’t always expected in those days, and Guzik says “seven years was far above a normal dowry,”1 but “Laban’s selfishness [and greed] comes out here under the appearance of justice and kindness.” Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Laban is considerably older when Jacob visits, and perhaps didn’t have any sons or they are grown and off on their own. (Rachel was tending the sheep when Jacob met her at the well.) So, he probably needs help, and Jacob isn’t in a hurry to return home.

7a) Today, it’s hard to imagine a couple waiting seven years.

Especially not joyfully and without sleeping together.

8) a) Lessons the Lord teaches us during tough circumstances

  • He disciplines and trains those He loves. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
  • For those who love God all things work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
  • When our faith is tested, we should count it all joy because trials produce steadfastness. Its full effect is that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
  • The perfect tribulation verse for the difficult season we’ve been in for over a year—trials that test how genuine our faith is. Do I love Jesus more now? I definitely do. (1 Peter 1:6-8)

When everything that can be shaken has been shaken, He is our only dependable anchor.

b) I’m learning to wait patiently.

It’s easy to take offense, but feeling bitter is no way to live.


1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.

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