Chivalry of a sort it was – Jacob doing up his shirt sleeve and rolling away the stone from the well’s mouth so that Rachel could feed her father’s sheep.

But Jacob was smart indeed. His cunning held both his good and his mean streaks. He was careful to inquire of the herders who arrived at the well before Rachel did. During the waiting time, he learned about their watering routine. He even tried to get them to leave, but that would have violated their communal ways of doing things.

What Jacob really wanted was a moment alone with Rachel. Since that would not happen right away, he tried using his gentlemanly side to win her over; and that he succeeded in doing. With a kiss he introduced himself as a relative and that brought joy to both Rachel and her family. They welcomed him into their home, his uncle being ever so glad to see him.

I wrote before that I don’t think Jacob’s cunning was restricted to him. It lived in the family. If Jacob was a schemer, Laban was also trickster. Seven years passed like lightning as Jacob worked for Laban so he could marry Rachel, the love of his life- love at first sight, it would seem. But alas! It was Leah who was given to him in marriage. I think that would have turned him sour. It should be no surprise that Jacob would not love Leah the way he loved Rachel. In Montserrat they say, “What start bad a morning, can’t come good a evening!”

If you have doubts that God wrote the Bible (using humans of course!) just follow the intrigue and examine the lies and schemes recorded therein. People wanting to document their story often omit some unsavoury details. In God’s scheme, the good, the bad and the ugly are recollected- all for our instruction.

Lord, thy word abideth,
And our footsteps guideth;
Who its truth believeth
Light and joy receiveth.

O that we, discerning
Its most holy learning,
Lord, may love and fear thee,
Evermore be near thee. Amen

Henry W. Baker, 1821-1877

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