"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Women of the Bible No. 5 Rachel

"Rachel came with her father's sheep...and Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept."

Genesis XXIX vv. 9,11

This needs a little more explanation. It was in fact a family reunion. The bit of the story missed out above is that Rachel's father was Laban, and Jacob's mother was Rebekah, Laban's sister. Therefore Laban is Jacob's uncle, and Jacob and Rachel are of course cousins. Jacob told Rachel of the family connection, and she ran to tell her father, and Jacob stayed with the family for a month.

The kiss was the traditional patriarchal greeting between man and woman, and Jacob's tears were almost certainly of joy at finding his family again.

The story goes on...Rachel had an older sister, Leah. But it sounds as if Rachel was the family beauty. Perhaps what happened was therefore inevitable. Jacob fell in love with Rachel, and it was agreed that he would work for Laban for seven years in return for her hand in marriage. Those seven years apparently flew by because Jacob was so in love with Rachel, but at the end of that time Laban deceived Jacob - after what must have been a wild feast, Jacob was tricked into spending the night with Leah. On tackling Laban about this afterwards, Laban explained that the first born must be matched up first, and made Jacob work another seven years for the hand of Rachel! The story continues in v. 31 et seq ... for another time!

Jacobs Sheep Pictures, Images and Photos

When I was a little girl I used to cycle the lanes of Kent in the summer evenings, and particularly liked stopping at a field where a small herd of black and white speckled goat-like sheep, with horns, used to graze. They had tinkly bells round their necks - and I loved the noise those made as the sheep moved across the pasture. My mother told me they were called Jacob sheep.

It is said that these Jacob sheep were so called after the story in Genesis Chapter 30, v. 32 et seq., where Jacob takes all the speckled and spotted sheep and goats from Laban's flock as wages for work done. That again is a longer story for another day...

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