Rachel in the Bible, who was she? What lessons can we learn from her?
Before we take a look at the lessons to learn from Rachel in the Bible let’s have a look at who she was.
who is Rachel in the Bible?
Rachel was the daughter of laban, the younger sister of Leah, the beloved wife of Jacob, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.
Here is how Rachel’s story began
Jacob ran away from home
Jacob had craft fully collected his brothers birthright as well as his blessing.
Esau on the other hand had purposed to kill him. Rebecca got hold of the news and sent Jacob to Padan-aram her brother, Laban’s house (Genesis 27:42-45)
Jacob meets Rachel at the well
When Jacob got to Padan-aram, he asked after his mothers family from the shepherd’s tending their flock.
They referred him him to Rachel who was by the well at the time to water her Father’s flock.
Jacob single handedly removed the heavy stone used in covering the well and watered Rachel’s flock.
He went further to kiss her and then announces his kinship ( how he is related to her father Laban).
Rachel runs home to tell her father about the recent happening, Laban runs out to meet his nephew, Jacob.
Thus welcoming him into the family.
Jacob asks for Rachel’s hand in marriage
After staying at the Laban’s for a month, Jacob feelings grew for Rachel.
Jacob relates his intentions and feelings to his Uncle, Laban.
His uncle accepts, But Jacob wasn’t buoyant enough to pay her bride price at the time, so he agreed to Laban’s idea of him serving for 7 years to have accumulated enough money to pay for Rachel’s bride price.
Laban deceives Jacob
Upon completion of the seven years, it is now time for Jacob to receive the reward for his service.
He asks for his bride. A wedding ceremony was conducted with the bride beautifully dressed, with a veil hovering over her face.
The party ends, the groom leaves for his apartment patiently waiting for his bride.
The Bride is being led by her Father to the room of the Bridegroom. The Bridegroom being half drunk performs his marital right to the supposed woman of his dreams.
It’s morning, Jacob is so excited to be awake with the woman of his dreams by his side.
Alas! This isn’t true! Jacob must have thought.
This is Leah! What is she doing on his matrimonial bed, a night after his wedding?
Different thoughts must have popped Jacob’s mind when he saw Leah that morning.
Jacob paced down to Laban’s room demanding an explanation to what had just transpired.
Laban explains that it was a taboo in their land for the younger to be married before the older.
Just imagine you were in Jacob’s and Rachel’s shoes, how would you have felt?
This is a betrayal by a bride’s Father to both the Bride and her Husband.
To be honest, this was heartbreaking, deceit, wasted years and wasted effort.
Jacob agrees to serve another seven years
After the whole drama had ended, Jacob loved Rachel and still wanted her.
Laban agrees to give Rachel to Jacon on the Jacob that he will serve another seven years to be able to pay her bride price.
Jacob agrees, and the journey continues.
Jacob marries Rachel
Finally, the long-awaited day came, Jacob married his beloved. It must have been the most beautiful moment for both parties. A new journey begins
Rachel couldn’t conceive
They are married, Rachel feels she should be pregnant, but it isn’t forthcoming.
The comparison with her sister, Leah, started.
Rachel gives out her handmaid to Jacob to be a surrogate mother.
Jacob disagrees at first, then gave in to her demands later. From being a maid, Bilhah became a concubine.
Bilhah conceived two sons, Naphtali and Dan.
When Leah saw this, she also gave out her handmaid to Jacob.
The question is, was Leah happy that Rachel couldn’t birth a Child?
The maid, Zipah was blessed with a son whom Leah gave the name, Asher.
Reuben brings Mandrakes home
As the war between both sisters continues, Reuben, Leah’s son is seen with mandrakes root he brought from the field.
Rachel saw the mandrakes and requested for some.
Leah wasn’t going to give her the mandates without a deal.
For Rachel to get the mandrakes, she must allow Leah spend the night with their husband Jacob.
They strike a deal, everyone gets what they want.
Now, why was Rachel so particular about the man drakes?
Mandrakes is a root that is an aphrodisiac and helps boost fertility.
Rachel becomes pregnant
Finally, Rachel is pregnant, she falls into labour and gives birth to a son and names the Son, Joseph.
But she wanted more babies.
It’s time to leave Padan-aram
Jacob heard God calling him, so he felt it was time to leave Padan-aram to Canaan.
He related his plan to his Father-in-law.
The funny Father-in-law thinks he can outwit Jacob the second time.
He negotiates with Jacob over a particular colour of animals.
Here is how Jacob outsmarted him, Jacob was skilled in crossbreeding.
With this knowledge, the negotiation was to his favor.
Jacob leaves Padan-aram
While everyone was so excited about leaving Padan-aram, Rachel showed her excitement by stealing the household gods.
I think she did this as some sort of revenge to pay back all her father had done to her.
The Tephims which was was her Father’s most cherished possession was what she went for.
When Laban discovered that the household gods was gone pursued after Jacob.
When he caught up with Jacob, the news of the stolen gods did not meet Jacob well.
He must have thought ‘after all the wasted years, you still accused me of treachery’
This was the last straw for Jacob.
Hence, he said something rash. “whosoever had done such a thing, should die”.
Rachel deceives her father
It’s now time for Rachel’stent to be searched by Laban.
Rachel respectfully greets her dad in a sitting position with the excuse that she was menstruating.
The father couldn’t access her tent because of this, so he changed direction.
The curse had gone forth from Jacob’s. Rachel had the Tephims.
Rachel dies at Child birth
Laban returns home from the search, the journey into Canaan continues.
Rachel is pregnant again, she goes into labour and dies at childbirth
Jacob’s most cherished wife and companion is gone.
Sadly, she couldn’t journey further into Canaan.
Rachel in the Bible summary
She was the beautiful daughter of Laban, the most beloved wife of Jacob, the younger sister of Leah, and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.
Characteristics of Rachel in the Bible
What characterized the life of Rachel in the Bible? What lessons can we learn from her story?
Unforgiveness holds you a prisoner
Having a look at Rachel’s life, you will understand that her anger was justified.
She had every right to be angry with her father and sister.
What they did to her was very painful. She couldn’t let go, she carried that grudge with her, and this affected the relationship she shared with her sister.
The once happy Rachel became a shadow of herself.
It was her unforgiveness that led to the stealing of the household gods as some sort of punishment to her father.
As Christians, forgiveness should be something we freely give to others, same way Christ forgave us.
You became a slave to sin, the moment you choose not to forgive.
Are you finding it so hard to forgive someone who hurt you badly? This article should be of help to you.
Rachel was emotionally broken
Jacob loved Rachel, but the thought of her sister being wife with her husband as well as the mother of his children wasn’t something she took easily.
What finally made it sour, was when Leah could conceive, and she couldn’t.
Rachel must have been frustrated. She must have wondered why God chose to favour Leah in her place.
Rachel thought that Jacob’s love was wired to her bearing kids, but it was not so. He loved her dearly.
One thing I know about God is that he heals broken women. In fact, he is so interested in fixing broken things. When you find yourself in a situation like Rachel, the best thing to do is to seek God’s face, and read books that will help alleviate the situation.
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Revenge is not the best option
Rachel in a bid to pay back her father, stole the household gods. She must have thought it was the best way to take revenge on her Dad.
But the theft, brought a curse on her.
She could have left everything to God, the judge of all. She just wanted to do something about it.
Most often than not, revenge does not end well. As believers, we should seek other people’s hurt just because they did something bad to us.
But, rather, we should report them to God.
Avoid comparing yourself with others
Everything was going on well, until Rachel started comparing herself with her sister.
One thing comparism with others gives you is pressure, worry and anxiety.
You are unique the way you are, avoid comparison with others, rather, be grateful for what you have, and where you are.
Always wait for God’s time
Rachel was anxious about her inability to give birth. We all know Infertility isn’t easy. But blaming others for the problem isn’t the best approach to getting the problem solved. She took her anger out on Jacob. Jacob then referred her to God.
As Godly women, when we are faced with a situation that is out of hand, the best person to approach is God. He knows what is best for you per season.
Facts about Rachel in the bible
- Rachel means ‘ewe’ a female sheep. Her father Laban was a Shepherd, possibly that was where the name came from
- She died at an early age
- Rachel is the only matriarch that wasn’t buried alongside the matriarch of old. She was buried by the road side, not too far from Bethlehem.
- She is often referred to as the praying mother, and she is always celebrated on the 11th Chevran.
Today, we have learnt about Rachel in the Bible story, are there any other lessons you learnt from her that you will want to share with us? Kindly hit the comments.
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