Genesis 29: The Battle of the Brides

*These notes come from Bob Deffinbaugh’s study on Genesis 29 at
  • God is at work in Jacob’s life to purge out many of the sinful patterns which characterized him in the past
  • Leah and Rachel are insecure of Jacob’s affection like Esau was of Isaac
  • Leah went from being grateful to God for her children, but mostly concerned with the effect the kids should have had on her relationship with Jacob, to recognizing that to be loved and led by God was better than any man (4th son)
  • Rachel (wants children) and Leah (wants affection) so they are jealous of each other
  • Isaac and Jacob’s response to barrenness is quite different
    • Isaac prayed for Rebekah
    • Jacob attacked Rachel when she demanded children
  • Similarity between Rachel and Sarah’s offering their maids to their husbands
  • Rachel decided that her maid’s child was an act of God  siding with her but we were never told God had closed Rachel’s womb
  • Leah falls from her grace and presents her maid. Focus changed from God’s estimation of her actions to the praises she will receive from other women
  • Mandrakes were thought to produce pregnancy so Rachel wanted them and Leah sold them to make Jacob stay the night with her
  • We are too quick to credit God with our success, which are sometimes brought about by sin
    • Leah often mistook the reason for her pregnancies. God was not favoring her
  • Rachel left prayer as her last resort
  • We do with divorce what Jacob did with polygamy
    • Only difference with our culture today than Jacob was he lived with his wives simultaneously (polygamy) whereas we live with them consecutively (divorce)
  • Worshiping God is man’s highest and most noble end. Neither children nor careers can replace it. Parents who raise children to be faithful worshipers of God have fulfilled their calling
  • Relationships are not complete without God
  • Must sacrifice out of love to please each other
  • Sex cannot produce love, it does, however, produce children.
  • Children do not create love but rather can be the production of it
  • Jacob = passive, stopped being a leader and became controlled by his wives
  • Marriage cannot run for long on the fuel of romantic love

*Link to study on the rest of the chapters in Genesis


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