The Book of Genesis

Chapter Thirty

Jacob’s Full Quiver

Lesson Verse: Ps 127:4,5         


I.         Lesson Introduction


A.      Marriage is a wonderful thing

B.       But most of the time, it becomes a nightmare – all because of one problem: the flesh

C.       Marriage is usually the coming together of two imperfect human beings

D.      With Jacob, it is far worse than even that

E.       Jacob ends up with four wives, 13 kids, and a brother in law that keeps Jacob hemmed in no matter what he does.

F.       All throughout this, watch as the Lord frustrates, and breaks Jacob!

G.       In spite of all the hassle, Jacob will end up with Twelve Tribes of people that will shine as a symbol of God’s mercy and grace throughout all time!


II.       Lesson


A.      Going from Bad to Worse


1.        Rachel’s Scheme


a.       No children when Leah had four already – empty life in a marriage without kids. Barrenness is usually seen as a failure of the person, just like ugliness, and dumbness – but it is God!

b.       Envy (Pr 27:4; Jam 3:14-16)


1)       Privately contrives and works the ruin of another

2)       Abel could not stand before the envy of Cain (1Jn 3:12); nor Joseph before the envy of his brethren; nor Christ before the envy of the Jews, his bitter enemies; and, where it is, there is confusion and every evil work, #Jas 3:14,16.

3)       An envious man is worse than an angry and wrathful man; his wrath and anger may be soon over, or there may be ways and means of appeasing him; but envy continues and abides, and works insensibly.


c.       Making Demands


1)       Rachel makes her children her goal


a)       Not her walk with God – most important

b)       Or her relationship with her husband – more important


2)       Makes Jacob her god – which is very dangerous and very stupid (Cf 29:31)


d.       Schemes – determines to use her servant, Bilhah


1)       USING people is age-old

2)       She is acting just like Sarah did (Gen 16:1-5)

3)       Hammurabi ordered that this method was acceptable when dealing with barrenness – what a joke!

4)       “Bearing on the knees” – Bilhah will deliver her child while leaning on my knees – I will be as close to delivering that baby as possible – as the midwife!


2.        Jacob’s Stupidity (30:4


a.       Like sheep to the slaughter

b.       He is very carnal – couldn’t care less about right or wrong, especially when he can have more sex!


3.        Rachael’s Reaping


a.       Gets Dan – Judged. The tribe of Dan never is right with God

b.       Naphtali – My Wrestling. It is in the area of this tribe that Christ ministers (Mt 4:!3)

c.       But she still is not a true mother – only a fraud. All of her children are “by proxy”


4.        Leah’s Jealousy (30:9-13) Gets into the act. She had her heart right, but gets lured into sinning again


a.       Two can play that game – competition gets stiff

b.       Uses Zilpah

c.       Jacob doesn’t have a problem with it at all – more sex

d.       Gad – a troop

e.       Asher - Happy


5.        Manipulation


a.       If all that wasn’t enough, the two sisters fight on an almost daily basis

b.       Mandrakes – aphrodisiac (SS 7:13)

c.       Rachael ends up giving up a night with Jacob (what a loss) so that they can use the Mandrakes for another night with Jacob that might be more favourable (superstitious, and not at rest).

d.       God hearkens unto Leah


1)       Leah is the better woman here

2)       She is at least trusting the Lord a bit more

3)       Rachel is schemeing, and manipulating


e.       Issachar – God hears me

f.        Rachel still has no children

g.       Leah gets pregnant again, and again


1)       Zebulun - dwelling

2)       Dinah – Judgment – this is God’s final stamp of approval on my life


h.       Women today STILL fight to have children


1)       By luring men into bed just so they can get pregnant

2)       By getting their husbands to pay incredible prices to have special procedures (test-tube pregnancies, etc) so they can get pregnant

3)       Pay incredible money to adopt children


B.      God Remembers Rachel (30:22-24)


1.        At this point, there are now 10 boys, a girl, and four wives sitting at the dinner table. Rachel is mortified to put it mildly. All the other three women have produced babies. Her good looks are no consolation to her any more

2.        The Importance of Prayer – no scheming


a.       Rachel had to learn that no amount of scheming will pay off

b.       Rachel is forced to give up and ONLY pray – the beautiful one, has finally been humbled!

c.       THEN and only then did God give her a child

d.       And what a child he was!

e.       Joseph


3.        The Importance of Joseph


a.       His name means, “Adding”

b.       As if to say, this is God’s doing, and isn’t all God will do!

c.       She prophecies that God will give her even another son besides Joseph. And she will


C.      Laban’s New Contract (30:25-36)


1.        Jacob has had enough of Laban’s “hospitality” – wants to go home with his family

2.        But Laban needs Jacob around (30:27)

3.        Negotiates cattle for work – at first only gave Jacob his daughters

4.        Speckled and spotted cattle and sheep


a.       All Jacob wants are the misfits of the flock – the peculiar sheep and goats

b.       At the end of the next 7 years, Jacob just wants to be paid with all the non-plain (black or white) sheep or goats, or cows.

c.       Any non-spotted cattle found in his herd would be considered stolen (30:33)

d.       Laban separates the speckled from the herds, and leaves them to be cared for by Jacob’s sons. While Jacob continues to care for Laban’s herds


D.      Jacob’s Revenge (30:37-43)


1.        Green poplar rods (30:37


a.       Branches of Poplar and Hazel trees

b.       Peeled white streaks

c.       Sets them up in the watering troughs

d.       When the animals are in heat and conceiving, they will be facing the rods

e.       This is a superstition, yet Jacob gets results


2.        Sets only the strongest animals in front of the rods

3.        Puts the speckled and spotted back into the cattle for breading amongst the plain cattle


III.     Applications


A.      God blesses not because of our scheming, but because of His plans

B.       Manipulating your mate is a disaster, and God will force you to live with your “mistakes” (like living with two, and then four wives).


IV.    Conclusion and Study Questions