Reply To: Who was Rachel in the Bible

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Rachel was the more beautiful of Laban’s daughters and the better loved of Jacob’s wives. She was the second wife of jacob. However, for the first several years of marriage, she was unable to become pregnant. This combination of circumstances led to the great rivalry between Rachel and her sister, Leah. Rachel and Jacob’s story was a case of love at first sight. So strong was Jacob’s affection that he offered to work seven years for Rachel’s father, Laban—according to the writer of Genesis, these seven years “seemed like only a few days” (Genesis 29:20). However, Laban famously tricked Jacob (who was no stranger to treachery himself), and when Jacob awoke the morning after his wedding, he discovered that his new bride was not Rachel, but her older and less attractive sister, Leah. In response to Jacob’s fury, Laban gave Rachel to him as well—in exchange for another seven years of labor. Jacob did not attempt to hide his favoritism. God, however, intervened by providing children for Leah while Rachel failed to become pregnant. This gave rise to a protracted competition in which Leah tried but failed to win her husband’s affection by giving him sons. Not until many years had passed did God finally open Rachel’s womb, enabling her to conceive and give birth to Joseph and later Benjamin—both of whom would become their father’s favorites, perhaps because it was Rachel who bore them.
In addition to her competitive streak, Rachel had a talent for deception that matched her husband’s. When the family fled from Laban (having grown their own flocks at Laban’s expense), Rachel stole her father’s household gods and managed to hide them from Laban when he came after them. Despite her deception and apparent idolatry, Rachel was remembered as one of the pillars of the Israelite nation .The prophet Jeremiah made Rachel the personification of the entire nation of Israel, describing hers as the voice that refused to be comforted just before the restoration of God’s people (see Jeremiah 31:15). Later Matthew quoted this prophecy when he described the slaughter of all of Bethlehem’s sons under the age of two (see Matthew 2:13–18).