A Daily Genesis

Genesis 29:1-6

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:1 . . Jacob resumed his journey and came to the land of the Easterners.[/B]

The geographic region in Turkey where Jacob went wasn't actually east by his reckoning. It was just about dead north. But the people who populated that region had roots in the east. Here's another version.

"Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the sons of the east."

Many of the peoples in and around Haran, although they lived northward from Canaan, were actually descendants of early pioneers who migrated out west from the world of Babylon; just as Abraham and his dad Terah had done many years prior to Jacob's birth. (cf. Gen 11:1-2)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:2a . .There before his eyes was a well in the open.[/B]

The balance of Jacob's trip, from Luz to this well, is passed over in silence. Apparently nothing of significance occurred along the way. If Jacob traveled at, say, 25 miles per day, it would have taken him about eighteen days to reach Haran.

If he stuck to the trade route, he could have stopped in Damascus and took in some of the local sights and maybe stayed at a "motel" before pushing on. Food wouldn't really be a problem because there surely were plenty of settlements and/or vendors along the trade route.

Major highways, like the old US routes 66, and 101, always had lots of merchants offering overnight accommodations, plus all the goods and services a traveler would likely need to see them through. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there existed in that day fast food equivalents of McDonalds and Burger King.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:2b-3 . .Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it, for the flocks were watered from that well. The stone on the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the stone would be rolled from the mouth of the well and the sheep watered; then the stone would be put back in its place on the mouth of the well.[/B]

Apparently this well wasn't fed by an artesian source but was a variety that kept itself filled by seepage out of a substrate aquifer. A well like that-- which is more like a cistern --can become rancid very quickly by bird droppings, dead critters, and debris if it's not kept covered.

Although structuring the watering time created a rush hour, it was sensible. That way the well wasn't left open for too long a time and there was less chance of polluting it.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:4a . . Jacob said to them: My friends, where are you from?[/B]

Exactly what language Jacob spoke in his greeting isn't said; but during his era; Akkadian was a common language in Mesopotamia where Laban lived.

I don't think this well is the very same one where Abraham's servant met Rebecca. For one thing, it's out in the open, not actually connected with any specific town. If it had been, then Jacob could have assumed the shepherds lived nearby and not asked them where they were from.

This particular well was within walking distance of pasture land. Any grasses close in to the towns were likely over-grazed. That's just one of the natural results of progress and urban sprawl.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:4b-6a . . And they said: We are from Haran. He said to them: Do you know Laban the son of Nahor? And they said: Yes, we do. He continued: Is he well?[/B]

Laban's location, and his state of affairs, would of course be Jacob's primary concern. After all, he just traveled nearly 500 miles to find him. If the man was dead or moved away, then the trip was all for nothing; and in those days, there was no way to call ahead.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:6b . .They answered: Yes, he is; and there is his daughter Rachel, coming with the flock.[/B]

According to Gen 31:1 Laban had sons too, not just daughters. But the boys may have been too young at the time to go out in the fields alone. So big sister had to do all the ropin' and brandin' till her little brothers grew a few more hat sizes.

Does that maybe indicate Rachel was a bit of a tomboy? Maybe. Personally; I think she was. But I don't think she was one of those hard, masculine kinds of tomboys, like some tough she-male working shoulder to shoulder with roughneck oil drillers, or packing a 9mm Glock, a nightstick, and a can of pepper spray as a cop, or putting out fires with a hook and ladder company, or dressed full-out for combat in Afghanistan.

I think Rachel was one of those women who can survive in a man's world if need be; yet retain their feminine side too. They still like cosmetics, dinner out, husbands, family and children, pampering themselves with a trip to the beauty parlor, and shopping for new shoes and a purse-- but don't mind running a lawn mower, trimming the hedges, or firing up a leaf blower when they have to.

There's a lot of single moms out there nowadays who haven't much choice but to wear a man's hat now and again-- not to prove a point, but just to get by.

Herding sheep out in the open is risky for a lone woman. But apparently Rachel wasn't afraid of any of the local men; who no doubt were motivated by male chivalry to look out for her; and besides, we're going to see just up ahead that her dad was not a man to trifle with. Anybody who messed with Rachel would have to answer to Laban; and he was a man who took nothing lying down.

Jacob is going to fall for this tomboy-ish angel in a very short time; and no surprise. Men often hook up with women that resemble their moms. That is so weird because some of those very same guys were brought up by moms from hell. But that's what they're used to. So, without even thinking about it, they often gravitate to those very same attributes in a girl.

Well, Rachel and Rebecca were like peas in a pod. They were both confident, fearless, and decisive: not to mention tens to boot. I think Jacob felt very secure with women like that.

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