Surely, the much-loved wife of Jacob, and mother of Joseph, Israel’s saviour, and also Benjamin, could not have been an ordinary woman even though she shone with reflected glory.From the many references to Rachel we have the following facets of her life and character—It would seem as if Rachel had all the loveliness of her aunt, Rebekah.That meeting between Jacob and Rachel was of God, and it was His providence that ordered the first glimpse of each other at the well.
George Matheson draws our attention to the interesting fact that the meeting of Jacob and Rachel is “the first courtship in the Bible growing out of a cousinly relationship—in other words, as having its roots in a previous friendship.” Jacob, a poet by nature, dazzled by Rachel’s beauty, broke out into a deep love before marriage—a thought to ponder in these days when young people are being told that pre-marital experiences are quite in order, to test whether they are suited for each other.
Jacob was to prove that the typical trial of love is waiting, and he had to wait many a year before the one whom he loved, as soon as he saw her, became his wife.
The Hebrew form of Rachel’s description (Genesis ) suggests that she was “beautiful in form and beautiful in look.” That God does not look upon the outward appearance merely is evidenced by the fact, of which Ellicott reminds us, that “it was not Rachel, with her fair face and well-proportioned figure, and her husband’s lasting love, that was the mother of the progenitor of the Messiah, but the weary-eyed Leah.”While, as the younger daughter, it was Rachel’s task to go to the well and draw water for her father’s sheep, it was no mere coincidence that she went that day when Jacob arrived.
She might have been sick or indisposed, and if Leah had had to go for the water that day, what a different story might have been written of Jacob, as well as of the history of Israel.
Leah bore Jacob six stalwart sons, Rachel was the mother of only two: but the sons of Rachel were dearer to him than the sons of Leah.” Jacob is outstanding among male lovers in the Bible for the true, romantic, abiding love he bore for Rachel.