What? All My Life, I Misread This Popular Bible Story?

Jacob's marriage

I’ve been on a one-year Bible reading plan, I still am. The last time I read through the Bible was in 2015, I’m doing it again in 2022. Are you on this journey too? I’ve come to note that there are portions of this unique book that you can only see by repetitive reading.  This is the disadvantage of knowing the storyline before reading the story; it makes it easy to miss vital details. I missed it in the story of Jacob’s marriage.

I know Jacob’s story. I heard it before I was old enough to read letters. Jacob’s marriage to Leah and then to Rachel has inspired so many sermons, fictional books, and even I have written a fictional storyline based on this intriguing story of the power of love.

I especially love this sentence about Jacob “Jacob worked seven years so that he could have Rachel, and the time seemed like only a few days to him, because he loved her”. You probably know this story too. At the end of those seven years, Laban deceived Jacob. He gave him Leah instead of Rachel.

Just last week, my Bible reading for the day centered on this story and as I reread, my eyes caught something that made me scream. I still find it difficult to believe that I am just realizing this timeline in Jacob’s marriage to the daughters of Laban.

As my custom is, I had already pictured myself in Leah’s shoes. I imagined the horror of watching my husband go to work every morning to pay for the wife he would rather have. I imagined her lonely for seven years while Jacob worked his head off to finally marry Rachel.

And when the story stated that immediately Rachel was married, God opened Leah’s womb because He saw that she was hated by her husband, I imagined how seven years of barrenness must have thrown her into deeper depression.

When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 

Seven years after enduring Leah, Jacob finally married the woman he always wanted, the one he truly loved.

 Right? Wrong.

If you’re yet to see the error added in the above story line, then grab your seat belt. You are about to dive into the truth you also missed.

Ok. No drama, I’ll just state it plainly.

On second thought, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

25 So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”

26 And Laban said, “It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years. – Genesis 29:25-27

Have you seen it yet? The timeline we missed all our lives. You should be screaming already. Here it is again in the next verse:

Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also.

Jacob married both girls, not seven years apart, but seven days apart. One week. We could say he married Rachel on credit because he paid for her after the wedding and not before.

 30 Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.

One week apart. That’s what I had missed about this story.

Did you miss it too? Even if you didn’t, I’d love to read your thoughts about this story of Jacob and the daughters of Laban.

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      • Omo, I can’t believe I didn’t know this too.
        It’s a lirru misconception that we all fell for

        Talking about being in Leah’s shoe, now I feel bad for her.

        Imagine being with your husband during your honeymoon, but his mind is not with you, all he wants to do is finish up and go get who he loves.


  1. Indeed I have never seen this. I probably have read that passage many times and still brought my thought along and never noticed. Thanks for pointing it out Ma’am.

  2. Haaa! To think that all these years, almost everyone thinks Jacob married Rachel after seven years! I had to read, reread and reread again. Knowledge they say is power!
    I can’t contain my shock when after comparing versions, I discovered the NLT elaborately mentioned that Jacob actually married Rachel after seven DAYS not YEARS.
    Thank you for the enlightenment!

  3. Wow!!
    Had to go re read other translations cos I wasn’t so clear on what “fulfill her week” really means.
    We’ve been telling the story with a little error in between
    MSG says; Enjoy your week of honeymoon and then we’ll give you the other one also.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I admit that when I first found this out I was bewildered. That was before I read this though but even now it’s still funny that for a greater part of my years I held on this misconception. This just shows the power of teachers cos that misconception started because someone taught it haha

    Well may God help us to read the Bible devoid of previous knowledge. With a mind ready to be filled and illuminated. Amen

    Well done

  5. Wow. Thank God for illumination!

    True! It’s so easy to miss vital details when you know the storyline before reading the story.

    This here got me laughing; I told my mum about this particular detail we’ve missed all our lives, and she was not ready to accept until she checked it out herself, and told me: ‘Do you know, I never thought of it this way?’ Wow!

    Allow me go call my friends to see this with me.

  6. All I can say is WOW!

    Aunty Mer, this light will definitely help me when studying next.
    I’m so glad I read through. Thank you so much ma’am.

  7. Hahaaahaaahaaa!!! Oh Glorious God, we bless you for illumination! Antie, God bless you for being meticulous. Chaaaiiii!!!

  8. Wow! This is AWEmazing!
    Thank you for the enlightenment Ma Mer.
    How could I have missed this over the years!

  9. We studied this chapter in church not quite long and it we were told after seven years. Thank you for sharing this ma it cleared my misconception and to think I even read this same chapter without noticing this wow.

  10. I was actually hooked on the story of Jacob and Racheal some years ago. The love seemed like a dream. From how he single handed opened a well that many strong men needed to come together to open… just because of her. First time meeting o. From there I could only imagine the horror he must have felt when he was given the wrong woman. It was the “this ain’t right” feeling that made me read again and I saw it. So yeah, I did find it before now and was blown away. I wanted to call my Sunday school teacher that day
    Still glad I came to read. Always a pleasure reading.


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