Jacob and Rachel
The story of Jacob and Rachel begins with Jacob going to Haran in search of a wife. He stopped at a well just outside the city where shepherds watered their flocks. He inquired for his mother's people, and the shepherds pointed to where Rachel was coming with her flock to the well. He hurried the shepherds away, so that he remained alone to help Rachel water her sheep and tell her who he was. Rachel welcomed him gladly with a kiss and ran to tell her father Laban, who was brother of Rebekah. Jacob had fallen at first sight, deeply in love with Rachel, and decided to remain in Haran.
Laban brought Jacob to his home where he met Rachel's older sister Leah. Jacob thought little of her, for his heart was already gone out to Rachel. Jacob promptly offered to serve Laban seven yerars for the younger sister's hand. The father consented and the years sped by. When however, the time was completed, Laban had the wedding held at night, and cunningly substitued Leah for Rachel in the ceremony. In the morning, when Jacob learned of the deceit, he was enraged, but Laban pacified him by giving him Rachel to also be his wife. In return he had to serve yet another seven year in repayment. Thus both daughters were wedded to Jacob.
Jacob deeply loved Rachel, and it came as a blow to him when she died giving birth to their second son, whom Jacob called Benjamin. In his grief, Jacob erected a monument to Rachel. For many hundred years this pillar stood above her grave on the highway south of Jerusalem, near Bethlehem.
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