[Today: Genesis 29] Jacob Takes a Bride: In this chapter Jacob arrives among his kindred seeking a bride for himself by his father’s instruction. Jacob and Rachel are a type of Christ and His bride. As Jacob sought a bride for himself so Jesus is seeking a bride among the flocks of men.
[Gen 29:1-35 KJV] 1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east. 2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there [were] three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone [was] upon the well’s mouth. 3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place. 4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence [be] ye? And they said, Of Haran [are] we. 5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know [him]. 6 And he said unto them, [Is] he well? And they said, [He is] well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep. 7 And he said, Lo, [it is] yet high day, neither [is it] time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go [and] feed [them]. 8 And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and [till] they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep. 9 And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep: for she kept them. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he [was] her father’s brother, and that he [was] Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father. 13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou [art] my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month. 15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou [art] my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what [shall] thy wages [be]? 16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder [was] Leah, and the name of the younger [was] Rachel. 17 Leah [was] tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. 19 And Laban said, [It is] better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. 20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him [but] a few days, for the love he had to her. 21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give [me] my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid [for] an handmaid. 25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it [was] Leah: and he said to Laban, What [is] this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? 26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. 28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. 29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. 30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. 31 And when the LORD saw that Leah [was] hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel [was] barren. 32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. 33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I [was] hated, he hath therefore given me this [son] also: and she called his name Simeon. 34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. 35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
Jacob goes on his journey from Bethel where he saw the vision of the ladder descending from heaven. He comes to the land of the people of the east who happen to be the same people that Abraham descended from and that Isaac sent Jacob to in order to choose a wife from among his tribe. Jacob comes upon a well in a field and observes three flocks. Why would the scripture make mention of three flocks? Why would it matter or to be so important for this to be made note of?
In order to understand the mention of the three flocks we have to realize that Jacob in this passage is a type of Jesus. God told Abraham that his children would be of the sands of the sea and as the stars of the heavens and as the dust of the earth. Abraham himself had three wives, by which he had three sets of children:
- Rachel / Isaac (the star seed)
- Hagar / Ishmael (the sand seed)
- Keturah / 6 sons (the dust seed).
These three sets of children represent the three flocks that Jacob encounters. They are:
- Rachel the Seed of Christ (community of the redeemed).
- Hagar (the Jews as Paul declared in Galatians 4:23-21)
- Keturah (the Gentile nations and their dead religions).
Jacob seeks among the shepherds keeping these flocks a member of his family line. He finds one who is to be his future wife and that is of course Rachel. As a type of Christ we see that Jesus has come among the servants of men seeking a bride for Himself – specifically the bride of Christ. As Rachel approaches there is a problem that the sheep are thirsting but the shepherds haven’t come together. There was a stone rolled over the well’s mouth that kept them from watering the flocks till all the shepherds have come together.
Let me ask you a question – have the shepherds in the body of Christ all come together? What would happen if they did? Satan has very effectively kept the church from coming together because the shepherds have not come together. As a result there is a well of refreshing that you and I as believers in Jesus will never partake of because our leaders will not come together. They are more interested in being separated to their own interests than to seed the spiritual needs of the people met.
What are we to do? Notice what happens next. Jacob sees amidst these troubled flocks a bride for himself in Rachel. This is Jesus in our day looking at the scattered, disunified church system today and in the midst of the chaos of competing religious systems – He sees a bride for Himself and He acts – setting the shepherds aside and rolling away the stone like a mighty deliverer bringing a refreshing that none of the shepherds will be able to take credit for. Jacob then kisses Rachel, a type of Jesus consummating relationship with the Bride of Christ in the end times.
It is interesting to note that uncle Laban – a treacherous man yes – but connected to the Rachel bride – tries to convince Jacob (a type of Christ) to accept a lesser bride. This speaks of Christian culture and its leaders offering up a bride who is tender hearted but not perfect. This is to say “it doesn’t matter what we believe just so we are sincere…” That is not the bride that Jacob (a type of Christ) will accept. Only the perfect bride, the Rachel company, is acceptable in His sight.