10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
Jacob sees her coming down to the well with Laban's sheep, to water them, and leaps up and rolls the stone away, and waters the flock. This was an impressive gesture, and gives an insight into Jacob's character, warm, helpful, spontaneous, yet easily tripped by the more calculating, exploiting his weakness. *
*The Apocalyptic Messenger, Dec 2016
16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Jacob had another Divine lesson to learn-
"Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, SHE shall be praised" (Prov.31:30).
Leah had the sadder life, but the nobler position in God's plan.
It is significant that, as he was about to die, Jacob commanded his sons to bury him in the cave of Macpelah, beside Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah-and Leah. Rachel is
not mentioned. She was not buried there. She died and was left along the way. It is significant, too, that it is the unloved Leah, and not the favourite Rachel, whom God selected for the line of the royal seed.
There is a patient sadness, and a deep reverence, in Leah's naming of her children-Reubeη-the Lord hath looked on my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. Simeon-the Lord hath heard that I was hated. Levi-now this time will my husband be joined to me. But two years later, at the birth of the sixth and last son, it is still the same unfulfilled hope: Zebulun-
NOW will my husband dwell with me!
The enmity in the house of Jacob was carried down through the history of the nation, finally ending in the disruption of the kingdom. The first, faithless king was of the seed of Rachel.
Following Saul's rejection, God set the throne forever in Judah, of Leah.
Proud and wilful Ephraim, of Rachel, became the leader of the opposition, soon breaking away with nine other tribes to form a separate and Godless kingdom. Beth-el, the "House of
God," where Jacob at the beginning received the everlasting covenant and made his vow dedicating the nation to God-this same Beth-el became the center of Israel's idolatrous worship:
"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone * (Hos. 4:17).
Ephraim had gone back to his mother's stolen idols. The immediate cause of Jacob taking Leah was Laban's deceit, but the real cause was the hand of God. Through Leah came the great prophet-leader Moses and priestly tribe of Levi; through her too came the greater Prophet than Moses and Judah's royal tribe.
Bro Growcott - A New Name
17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
" Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."-(Prov. xxxi. 30.)
This sort of woman is not appreciated by the Ishmaels and the Esaus : to the Jacobs she is all-important, and sometimes they are sent by curious twists of providence to the places where they are to be found.
Ways of Providence Ch 6
Leah and Rachel
Paul, writing to the Galatians, hinges a doctrinal argument on the figurative meaning of the relationship between Sarah and Hagar. He says:
"These are the two covenants: Hagar is Mt. Sinai -- in bondage with her children."
When we study the relationship of Leah and Rachel, we have the same picture: Rachel the old Mosaic economy -- Leah the new; Rachel the flesh -- Leah the spirit. By the decision of her father, Leah was the first and the true wife. Paul carefully points out how the Law of Moses (Rachel), to which the natural Jew leaned with such affection, was secondary to, and later than, the original Abrahamic covenant of the Christ-seed.
Leah was "tender-eyed" -- the word means soft and gentle -- but Rachel was beautiful. Jacob preferred Rachel because of outward appearances, just as the Jew loved the outward forms of the Law, but God -- who looks upon the heart -- ordained that both the priesthood and the throne should come through the line of the unwanted Leah.
But still Rachel has her appointed part to play. As the figure of natural Israel, it is she who gives birth to Joseph, the favourite and faithful son of his father, and the most striking type in all Scripture of the rejected Saviour.Bro Growcott - Not Ashamed to be called their God