Genesis 29:27
Fulfill her week, and we will give you this also for the service which you shall serve with me yet seven other years.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Fulfil her week.—The marriage festival seems to have lasted a week, as was the custom in later times (Judges 14:12), and. to have forsaken Leah during this period would have been to offer her an insult which her brothers must have avenged. Appeased, therefore, by the promise of Rachel as soon as the seven days are over, Jacob, rather than quarrel with the whole family, submits to the wrong. The Hebrew is remarkable, “Fulfil the week of this, and we will give to thee also the this for the service.” But in Hebrew this . . . this means the one and the other (Genesis 31:38; Genesis 31:41), and it is a mistake to suppose that the language will allow the first this to be understood of any one but Leah, and the second this of any one but Rachel.

Genesis 29:27. Fulfil her week — The seven days usually devoted to the feast and solemnity of marriage, Jdg 14:12-17; for it does not appear that it relates to the seven years Jacob afterward served. This Laban seems to have desired, that by a week’s cohabitation with Leah, his affections might be knit to her, and the marriage with her confirmed. We will give thee this also — Hereby he drew Jacob into the sin, and snare, and disquiet of multiplying wives. Jacob did not design it, but to have kept as true to Rachel as his father had done to Rebekah; he that had lived without a wife to the eighty-fourth year of his age, could then have been very well content with one: but Laban, to dispose of his two daughters without portions, and to get seven years’ service more out of Jacob, thus imposeth upon him, and draws him into such a strait, that he had some colourable reason for marrying them both.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.Jacob is betrayed into marrying Leah, and on consenting to serve other seven years obtains Rachel also. He claims his expected reward when due. "Made a feast." The feast in the house of the bride's father seems to have lasted seven days, at the close of which the marriage was completed. But the custom seems to have varied according to the circumstances of the bridegroom. Jacob had no house of his own to which to conduct the bride. In the evening: when it was dark. The bride was also closely veiled, so that it was easy for Laban to practise this piece of deceit. "A handmaid." It was customary to give the bride a handmaid, who became her confidential servant Genesis 24:59, Genesis 24:61. In the morning Jacob discovers that Laban had overreached him. This is the first retribution Jacob experiences for the deceitful practices of his former days. He expostulates with Laban, who pleads the custom of the country.

It is still the custom not to give the younger in marriage before the older, unless the latter be deformed or in some way defective. It is also not unusual to practise the very same trick that Laban now employed, if the suitor is so simple as to be off his guard. Jacob, however, did not expect this at his relative's hands, though he had himself taken part in proceedings equally questionable. "Fulfill the week of this." If this was the second day of the feast celebrating the nuptials of Leah, Laban requests him to Complete the week, and then he will give him Rachel also. If, however, Leah was fraudulently put upon him at the close of the week of feasting, then Laban in these words proposes to give Rachel to Jacob on fulfilling another week of nuptial rejoicing. The latter is in the present instance more likely. In either case the marriage of Rachel is only a week after that of Leah. Rather than lose Rachel altogether, Jacob consents to comply with Laban's terms.

Rachel was the wife of Jacob's affections and intentions. The taking of a second wife in the lifetime of the first was contrary to the law of nature, which designed one man for one woman Genesis 2:21-25. But the marrying of a sister-in-law was not yet incestuous, because no law had yet been made on the subject. Laban gives a handmaid to each of his daughters. To Rebekah his sister had been given more than one Genesis 24:61. Bondslaves had been in existence long before Laban's time Genesis 16:1. "And loved also Rachel more than Leah." This proves that even Leah was not unloved. At the time of his marriage Jacob was eighty-four years of age; which corresponds to half that age according to the present average of human life.

21. Jacob said, Give me my wife—At the expiry of the stipulated term the marriage festivities were held. But an infamous fraud was practised on Jacob, and on his showing a righteous indignation, the usage of the country was pleaded in excuse. No plea of kindred should ever be allowed to come in opposition to the claim of justice. But this is often overlooked by the selfish mind of man, and fashion or custom rules instead of the will of God. This was what Laban did, as he said, "It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born." But, then, if that were the prevailing custom of society at Haran, he should have apprized his nephew of it at an early period in an honorable manner. This, however, is too much the way with the people of the East still. The duty of marrying an elder daughter before a younger, the tricks which parents take to get off an elder daughter that is plain or deformed and in which they are favored by the long bridal veil that entirely conceals her features all the wedding day, and the prolongation for a week of the marriage festivities among the greater sheiks, are accordant with the habits of the people in Arabia and Armenia in the present day. Fulfil her week, the seven days usually devoted to the feast and solemnity of marriage, as Judges 14:12,15,17. And this he desired, that a week’s cohabitation with Leah might either knit his affections to her, or at least confirm the contract and marriage with her. Fulfil her week,.... Not Rachel's week, or a week of years of servitude for her, but Leah's week, or the week of seven days of feasting for her marriage; for a marriage feast used to be kept seven days, according to the Jewish writers (t), and as it seems from Judges 14:17; and the Targum of Jerusalem fully expresses this sense,"fulfil the week of the days of the feast of Leah;''and to the same sense the Targum of Jonathan, Aben Ezra and Jarchi:

and we will give this also; meaning Rachel that stood by; and the sense is, that he and his wife, if he had any, or his friends about him, would give to Jacob Rachel also to be his wife, upon the following condition:

for the service which thou shall serve with me yet seven other years; which shows the avaricious temper of the man.

(t) T. Hieros. Moed Katon, fol. 80. 4. Pirke Eliezer, c. 16, 36.

Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. Fulfil the week] Laban’s proposal is that when the week’s marriage festivities for Leah are over, Jacob shall take Rachel as his second wife, on condition that he gives his services for another period of seven years. Nothing would justify the interruption of the seven days’ marriage ceremonial.

Marriage with two sisters was evidently free from objection in the primitive days of the Israelites; and, perhaps for that reason, it is introduced into the prophetical symbolism of Jeremiah 3:6 ff. and Ezekiel 23. But, in the Levitical law, marriage with two sisters simultaneously is forbidden; Leviticus 18:18.Verse 27. - Fulfill her week, - literally, make full the week of this otis, i.e. of Leah, if Leah was given to Jacob on the first night of the festivities (Calmer, Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch, Lange, Ainsworth); but id Leah was married at the close of the seven days, then it must refer to Rachel s week (Bush, Murphy) - and we (including Laban's wife and eldest son, as in Genesis 24:50, 55) will give thee this also (i.e. Rachel) for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. Almost every motive that is mean, base, and despicable appears in this behavior of Laban's; if he attached little value to his daughters' affections, he had a keen appreciation of Jacob's qualities as a shepherd. But when Jacob asked for his reward at the expiration of this period, and according to the usual custom a great marriage feast had been prepared, instead of Rachel, Laban took his elder daughter Leah into the bride-chamber, and Jacob went in unto her, without discovering in the dark the deception that had been practised. Thus the overreacher of Esau was overreached himself, and sin was punished by sin.
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