After his encounter with YAHUAH, Jacob travelled north for nearly a month (1000km), and eventually arrived at a large well of water with three flocks of sheep and goats waiting nearby to be watered, because a big, heavy-stone covered the opening to the well. The people would wait for all the animals to arrive before the shepherds moved the big stone and watered them all. Then the stone would be rolled back into place.
And Jacob approached some of the men and said, “Hi fellas, where are you guys from?”
“We’re from Haran,”they said,
“Do you know Laban son of Nakor?”
“How’s he doing, is he well?”
“Yeah he’s great, infact here comes his daughter Rachel with their sheep now, look!”
And observing the hour, Jacob said, “Look guys it’s still broad daylight and way too early to start rounding up the animals. Get them all watered and send them back out quickly eh”.
But they said, “The shepherds won’t move the stone and let the water through until all the animals are here”.
And while they were still speaking Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And since Rachel was actually his cousin and the sheep were his Uncle Laban’s, Jacob went and moved the big stone for her (it usually took a few men to move it!) and he watered his Uncle’s flocks
(SHOWING-OFF FOR HIS DREAMGIRL POSSIBLY).
And Jacob greeted his cousin Rachel, kissing her (STANDARD MIDDLE-EASTERN GREETING) and he explained to her who he really was (a cousin on her father’s side, the son of her Aunt Rebekah) and he wept loudly, for his journey had been incredibly long and he was now safe among family again. Rachel went and found her father Laban and told him of Jacob’s arrival.
And Laban ran and hugged his nephew, kissing him and he brought him into their family home. And as they all ate together, and Jacob filled them in on all the drama and adventure that had just gone down, Laban turned to him and said, “Wow boy, what a crazy journey you’ve had, you really are my own flesh and blood, how ‘bout that”.
JACOB MARRIES LEAH AND RACHEL
Now Laban had two daughters, Leah (the older) and Rachel (the younger). Leah was not as attractive as her sister and had no sparkle or glimmer in her eyes (much plainer to look at), while Rachel was absolutely breathtaking with a gorgeous face and body. And after Jacob had stayed (and worked with the family) for a month, his Uncle Laban said to him, “Let’s talk my boy, it’s great having you here, but even though we’re family, you shouldn’t be working for nothing. It’s time I started paying you. So name your price?”
And Jacob was head-over-heels smitten and in love with Rachel so he said, “I want to marry Rachel but I have nothing to give you for her, so let me work here seven years for Rachel?”
Laban said, “That’s wonderful, I’d rather give her to you than some other stranger. Ok, seven years my boy....Stay and work with us”.
GIFTS AND PAYMENTS GIVEN TO FAMILIES FOR THEIR DAUGHTERS TO BE MARRIED IS A COMMON PRACTICE IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD.
So Jacob worked the full seven years so that he could marry Rachel, but he loved her so much that the seven years only seemed like a few days. And he said to his Uncle Laban, “Ok I’ve worked for you seven years now so please give me your daughter so that I may ‘take her into my tent’ and have her as my wife”.
So Laban threw a big banquet and they all ate and drank into the evening. However afterwards, instead of presenting Rachel to Jacob as promised, Laban took Leah instead (as well as her maid-servant, Zilpah) and in the darkness Jacob didn’t know and he slept with Leah, making her his wife
(ONCE YOU HAVE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH SOMEONE YOU ARE OFFICIALLY MARRIED TO THEM AS FAR AS YAHUAH IS CONCERNED - THAT IS HOW TO GET MARRIED - YOU COMMIT & CONSUMMATE).
And when Jacob woke up in the morning and saw Leah sleeping next to him he was furious and went to his Uncle Laban, saying “WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU DONE, TRICKING ME LIKE THIS AFTER I WORKED SEVEN YEARS FOR YOUR DAUGHTER RACHEL? NOW I’VE MARRIED HER SISTER LEAH INSTEAD? WHAT THE HELL??”
And Laban was cunning and shrewd, “O’ didn’t we tell you, it’s not our custom here to marry off the younger daughter before the FIRSTBORN, surely you knew that? Don’t worry though, we’ll give you Rachel too after your bridal week is over . . . as long as you promise to work another seven years for me?”
IT’S COMPLETELY IRONIC GIVEN JACOB’S TRICKERY OF HIS OWN `FIRSTBORN’ BROTHER - YAHUAH INDEED HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR!
And despite being outraged, Jacob agreed to the terms because he loved Rachel so much and was allured by her beauty. And after the `bridal week’ was over, Laban gave Rachel to him as his wife and he ‘took her into his tent’ and slept with her, making her his wife also.
SINCE A BRIDE AND GROOM HAD USUALLY NOT SPENT ANY TIME ALONE TOGETHER BEFORE THE WEDDING IT WAS CUSTOMARY TO GIVE THEM A WEEK ALONE TO BE INTIMATE AND GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER PROPERLY BEFORE THEY MADE ANY PUBLIC APPEARANCES AS A HUSBAND AND WIFE. THIS IS THE ‘BRIDAL WEEK’ LABAN IS REFERRING TO.