Rachel-The Loved is a spin-off of Leah The Overlooked. Rachel is a type of grace, she did nothing to get the love of Jacob. Since Rachel had her faults it needs to be mentioned that to be a “type and shadow” every characteristic and action does not have to be perfect. Leah and Rachel are many of the pairs of people that are used to teach us lessons in the Bible. (Examples – Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, David and Jonathan, Paul and Peter. The pair does not need to be in conflict but their actions teach us something.)
Rachel is a picture of grace because she did nothing to inspire Jacob’s love for her. Rachel means ewe or female sheep (#7354 Strong’s). Like David, her grandson, she was probably taking care of the sheep because she was the youngest. Genesis 29:17 (NIV) says she was “lovely in form and beautiful” but I can imagine her as a tough and harden individual. Taking care of sheep was not easy work.
As a “mother of Israel” she bore Jacob Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) and Benjamin. Benjamin was the last child born to Jacob and was the “other tribe” that stayed with Jerusalem when the kingdom split under Rehoboam. (Judah and Levi are the tribes who stayed.)
Rachel had her share of struggles and problems, but she was loved. I can imagine Jacob’s anger when Laban’s household gods came out of the camel’s saddle as they went to Bethel (Genesis 35). In spite of her issues Jacob still loved her, that is grace.
Leah – All that is said about her was that she was older and had “delicate or weak eyes”. I have heard many negative things said about Leah over the years. Considering that she had seven children by Jacob I cannot imagine that she was ugly or some of the other things I have heard. Leah according to Strong’s (#3812) means “to be or make weary”. I read this as speaking to her life and the pain she endured from Rachel, Jacob, and her father. Laban used his daughters to snare Jacob and then used up everything that came from the bridal cost – fourteen years of work. She also had to watch her first three sons not receive a blessing from their father – Ruben committed adultery and Levi and Simeon slaughtered the men of Shechem bring trouble to Jacob/Israel.
It would be very easy to cast Leah as “natural Israel” and all of the weariness they have endured over the millennia. I just don’t think it is that easy! Leah is still a “mother of Israel” and the grandmother of Jesus. So, my type is going to be edgier than that – she is a picture of those who are working for their place at the feast and not those who understand and walk in grace. That can cover the people who sit in Christian churches every week and still struggle with their walk with Jesus. Compare this to Rachel you enjoyed the love of Jacob even when she did some pretty outrageous things.
Laban’s Daughters – These two girls are probably behind the command in Leviticus 18:18 not to marry your wife’s sister. Siblings will disagree, unfortunately, it may be very heated. In reading Genesis 29 through 31 it is obvious these ladies have issues. I will not attempt to excuse them but please do not discount the example they were raised by – Laban. But you got to love the Bible, it does not pull punches. Problems and praises can be on the same page. Sometimes you wish more was written as that would help frame the issues better. On somethings, they are not so, just study (thoroughly) and don’t take things out of context.
The last post in this series (hopefully) will be on the family that produces the players from Abram to the Exodus. It is important to remember that even though Leah was chosen and placed with Jacob, and Rachel was loved by him both played a part in the Father’s plan.