At times, I have a very difficult time with Scripture from a human standpoint. One of the issues I have is with the marriage of one man to multiple women, polygamy. The whole idea quite disgusts me, as a woman for sure. But, in my more in depth studies of God’s Word lately, I can see that even though these surface issues bother me from a human standpoint, I realize that God is actually showing us a typology of Himself and of Jesus within every story throughout Scripture. So, what we need to do is examine every story to see what typology is being shown.
Typology: the study and interpretation of types and symbols, originally especially in the Bible.
Today we will look at the story of when Jacob marries both Leah and Rachel and see how this story might be a typology of Jesus.
The story from Genesis 29
“15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak,[a] but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave[b] his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.” ” Genesis 29:15-30
If we look at Jacob as a typology of Jesus, we see that God’s desire is to marry His bride, for she is chosen and beautiful in His sight. This would be representative of Israel as God’s desire was to enter into a covenant relationship with His chosen people… His first choice for a bride. He worked 7 years for her, or in God’s timing, a full work week, so at the end of the 7th year, or workweek, Israel would finally be His. However, we see this wasn’t the case. Israel had rebelled and rejected Him, so in a type of way, He, as Jesus, was forced to marry another bride first, the Church. It was never His original choice to marry her, but now became His first wife. Though she wasn’t originally chosen, she is very important in the story, because this wife becomes the mother of 7 children, which represents the 7 churches of Jesus, represented by the 7 lampstands in the throne room of God. After His marriage to the Church, He was then able to marry His original bride, Israel, after working the additional 7 years, which would be referred to as the Great Tribulation. We see that this second bride, Israel, wasn’t able to mother many children because of her rebellion and disbelief and so the first bride produced much more fruit.
So, there will be two weddings at the time of the end. The Church will be officially married to Jesus at the Rapture of the Church. Second, Israel’s eyes will be opened up and she will see Jesus for who He is, their Savior, and thus there will be a second wedding when they finally come back to their first love.
Leah was the first daughter married, as represented by the church. We see that she represents faith before the law. Abraham had righteousness accredited to him by faith, because he believed God, above the law. Abraham would be considered the father of faith.
Rachel, the second marriage, represents the law, or those of Israel under the law of Moses. The law came after the faith of Abraham through the 2nd covenant, which was the actual law given to Moses. Moses is considered the father of the law.
Father God, Thank you for not only wanting a covenant relationship with Israel, but that you also have considered the Gentiles as your own too, through faith in Jesus Christ. We are entirely grateful for including us in your plans, to save us, and redeem us to yourself. In Jesus’ name. Amen.