|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:15-30 During the month that Jacob spent as a guest, he was not idle. Wherever we are, it is good to employ ourselves in some useful business. Laban was desirous that Jacob should continue with him. Inferior relations must not be imposed upon; it is our duty to reward them. Jacob made known to Laban the affection he had for his daughter Rachel. And having no wordly goods with which to endow her, he promises seven years' service Love makes long and hard services short and easy; hence we read of the labour of love, Heb 6:10. If we know how to value the happiness of heaven, the sufferings of this present time will be as nothing to us. An age of work will be but as a few days to those that love God, and long for Christ's appearing. Jacob, who had imposed upon his father, is imposed upon by Laban, his father-in-law, by a like deception. Herein, how unrighteous soever Laban was, the Lord was righteous: see Jud 1:7. Even the righteous, if they take a false step, are sometimes thus recompensed in the earth. And many who are not, like Jacob, in their marriage, disappointed in person, soon find themselves, as much to their grief, disappointed in the character. The choice of that relation ought to be made with good advice and thought on both sides. There is reason to believe that Laban's excuse was not true. His way of settling the matter made bad worse. Jacob was drawn into the disquiet of multiplying wives. He could not refuse Rachel, for he had espoused her; still less could he refuse Leah. As yet there was no express command against marrying more than one wife. It was in the patriarchs a sin of ignorance; but it will not justify the like practice now, when God's will is plainly made known by the Divine law, Le 18:18, and more fully since, by our Saviour, that one man and woman only must be joined together, 1Co 7:2.
Verse 28. - And Jacob aid so, and fulfilled her week. Literally, the week of this one, either of Leah or of Rachel, as above. Rosenmüller, assigning the first week (ver. 27) to Leah, refers this to Rachel; but the expression can scarcely have two different meanings within the compass of two verses. And he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. The polygamy of Jacob, though contrary to the law of nature (Genesis 2:21-25), admits of some palliation, since Rachel was the choice of his affections The marriage of sisters was afterwards declared incestuous (Leviticus 18:18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week,.... The week of the days of the feast of Leah, as the Targum of Jonathan adds; he agreed to it; during which time he cohabited with Leah as his wife, and which confirmed the marriage: how justifiable this was, must be left. The marrying of two sisters was forbidden by the law of Moses, Leviticus 18:18; and polygamy was not allowed of in later times, and yet both were dispensed with in times preceding; and there seems to be an overruling Providence in this affair, which oftentimes brings good out of evil, since the Messiah was to spring from Leah, and not Rachel; See Gill on Genesis 29:35; and having more wives than one, and concubines also, seems to be permitted for this reason, that Jacob might have a numerous progeny, as it was promised he should: and indeed Jacob was under some necessity of marrying both sisters, since the one was ignorantly defiled by him, and the other was his wife by espousal and contract; and though he had served seven years for her, he could not have her without consenting to marry the other, and fulfilling her week, and serving seven years more; to such hard terms was he obliged by an unkind uncle, in a strange country, and destitute:
and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also; not after seven years' service, as Josephus (u) thinks, but after the seven days of feasting for Leah; though on condition of the above service, as appears from various circumstances related before the seven years' service could be completed; as his going in to Rachel, Genesis 29:30; her envying the fruitfulness of her sister, Genesis 30:1; giving Bilhah her handmaid unto him, Genesis 30:3; and the whole series of the context, and life of Jacob.
(u) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 19. sect. 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. gave him Rachel also—It is evident that the marriage of both sisters took place nearly about the same time, and that such a connection was then allowed, though afterwards prohibited (Le 18:18).
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