A Daily Genesis

Genesis 29:14b-20

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:14b . .When he had stayed with him a month's time,[/B]

Well now . . isn't that a coincidence? Just when the rent was due.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:15 . . Laban said to Jacob: Just because you are a kinsman, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?[/B]

I have no doubt Jacob was already helping out and making himself useful around the place to compensate Laban for room and board. Being industrious just came natural to Jacob. If anybody could spot a conscientious worker, it was Laban. He wanted Jacob on the payroll, and probably with the intent of keeping him on permanently.

Unfortunately, some people are prone to take advantage of their relatives. My dad was a home-delivery milk man back in the late forties and all through the fifties. He took my brother and I along to help him on Saturdays, holidays, and summer vacation. We alternated. My brother was on Mon-Wed-Fri, and I was on Tues-Thurs-Sat. Dad got us up at 4 am and we returned home around 6 or 7 pm.

We were just kids, putting in twelve to fourteen-hour days. You know what my dad paid us? Two dollars. That amounts to roughly 14 to 17 cents an hour. Our friends were earning more money than that just by trading in pop and beer bottles they found along the road.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:16-17a . . Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older one was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah had weak eyes;[/B]

According to Jewish folklore, Leah had weak eyes from crying all the time at the prospect of being forced to marrying Esau.

The word for "weak" is from [I]rak[/I] (rak) which means, variously: tender, soft, weak, and/or gentle.

So rak doesn't necessarily mean that something is feeble. It can also mean that something is kind and/or gentle as opposed to harsh and/or cruel. And in this case, where the beauty of two girls is being compared, I don't think the author of Genesis meant to convey that Leah's eyesight was weak; only that she had nice eyes, but little else to offer.

Pity. Leah was a good girl; but just about bankrupt in what really matters to most guys; and as any woman with assets can vouch; most men think better with their eyes than with their brains. In other words: when it comes to women, men's brains switch off and it's all about the view after that: if you know what I mean.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:17b-18a . . Rachel was shapely and beautiful. Jacob loved Rachel;[/B]

Duh. Why does that not surprise us? You know, Jacob was fortunate about something. In those days, a man didn't have to win a woman's heart. He had to win her custodian's heart. So men could pick out a girl like they might pick out a shirt or a new car. All it took was something of value. Neither the men's own looks nor their personality mattered.

So a girl could easily get stuck with a man who was ugly, boring, gross, mean, stingy, smelly, and too old. I don't have a clue what Jacob looked like at seventy-five. But there is something very missing in this story-- Rachel's love for Jacob. The man was ga-ga over her. But how did she really feel about him?

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:18b-19 . . so he answered; I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel. Laban said; Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider. Stay with me.[/B]

Done! And just like that; a girl became engaged. Jacob traded seven years of his life for Rachel. But it wasn't really about money, and they actually dickered over wages later. What Jacob actually proposed was a service commitment; like the contracts musicians sign with recording companies; and professional athletes sign with big league teams like the Blazers or the Mets; and like the terms of service to which young men commit themselves to the armed forces.

So Jacob didn't really buy Rachel with money. She was more like a bonus for signing up as a full-time employee with Laban. And the seven years weren't Laban's idea. They were Jacob's; and I think he made it so many years because he wanted to offer Laban a deal so lucrative that he couldn't possibly refuse it.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 29:20 . . So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.[/B]

It's a fact of human experience that men will sell their souls to satisfy their carnal lust. But I'm sure there was more to Rachel than just her looks. After seven years living in such close proximity, Jacob still wanted her. If she had been witchy, thin skinned, defensive, obtuse, chafing and demeaning, I'm pretty sure he would have lost interest by then. I say "pretty sure" because there are some men who will live with a witch in spite of the abuse they endure just so's they can have the woman of their dreams.

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