Jacob Chooses A Wife


“So Jacob worked for Laban seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed to him like just a few days. This was because he loved Rachel very much.” Genesis 29:20

For a long time after his wonderful dream Jacob travelled for he was running away from his angry brother, Esau, who wanted to kill him. He finally saw some men standing at a well watering their sheep. So he called out

“Where are you from?”

The man told him they were from Haran. Jacob then asked if they knew his uncle named Laban. The men knew Laban and pointed out his daughter. Rachel was coming to water the sheep, for she tended sheep.

Jacob hurried to meet her and rolled away the stone that covered the well. He told her he was her kinsman and offered to water her sheep. Rachel had heard of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother, the sister of her father, and knew she had gone to Canaan to be the wife of Isaac. Rachel ran to tell her father Jacob was coming.

Laban, Rachel’s father was glad to hear the news. He brought Jacob to his home and all evening Jacob-spoke of the land of Canaan and his family there. Jacob could not refrain from looking at Rachel. He thought she was kind and beautiful.

Jacob had worked as a shepherd boy, and he helped Laban with his flocks. Laban offered to pay him for the work, so when Laban asked him what he wanted for his work, his reply was

“I will work seven years for you if you will give me your daughter Rachel to be my wife.”

Now, Laban approved of Jacob. You see, in those days it was customary to make some kind of payment for a wife. For seven years Jacob worked to win Rachel. This seems a long time, but not to Jacob, for he loved Rachel very much. When the seven years were over, Jacob asked for his bride.

Laban arranged for a great wedding feast, and it was not until the wedding was over that Jacob realized he had married Rachel’s sister, Leah. Laban had brought in Leah, Rachel’s oldest sister.

Jacob had been fooled like he had fooled his father. He complained to Laban that he had been unfair, but Laban told him it was customary to marry the eldest daughter first. He also told him if he would work seven more years he would give him Rachel. In those days, their God allowed men to have more than one wife.

Jacob loved Rachel and worked seven more years for her. Jacob wanted to return to Canaan, but Laban did not want him to and offered him a third bargain. He agreed to give Jacob part of his flocks and herds if he would work another six years. Jacob had a growing family, and this offered him a means of, taking care of them.

The Lord blessed Jacob. His herds grew in number, and he acquired a number of servants. His wives gave ham a large family. But trouble brewed for Laban was jealous of Jacob’s blessings. They began quarrelling over property.

The Lord appeared to Jacob and told him he had been with Laban long enough, and for him to return to Canaan. God promised to guide him on his way home.

Now Laban was away, and Jacob gathered the two wives, the remainder of his family, his servants, and flocks, and left Haran without Laban’s knowing. When Laban, three days later, learned they had gone, he became upset. He took men and rode to overtake them. Before he reached them, the Lord appeared to Laban and warned him not to harm Jacob.

Laban was not so angry after the Lord appeared to him. Jacob and Laban settled their differences. He kissed his daughters and grandchildren a warm goodbye. He turned back toward Haran, his home and Jacob’s family continued their journey to Canaan.


1. Whom did Jacob meet at the well?

2. How long did Jacob agree to work for Rachel?

3. Did he receive Rachel as his bride?

4. Whom did he receive for his bride?

5. Did he marry Rachel?

6. What was the third bargain Laban offered?

7. Why did Jacob decide to leave Haran?

8. What did Laban do when he found out?

9. Was their differences settled?


1. Two men 2. Seven years 3. No 4. Leah 5. No 6. More work 7. God told him it was time to go 8. He went out to find them 9. Yes

Go To Lesson 13