1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east. 2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth. 5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him. 6 And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep. 7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them. 8 And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.
After being initiated into the Abrahamic covenant by God, Jacob arrives at Haran, his destination. Immediately there are many similarities between how his wife is found in this land, and how his father Isaac’s was.
In both cases Jacob and the servant of Abraham happened upon a well, almost immediately before the spouse-to-be arrived. And in both cases that lady was coming to water the flocks of her father. The good fortune in each of these experiences suggests divine intervention.
To Jacob this blessing from God seems particularly meaningful. As mentioned before, he has just come from a sacred introduction to his maker, in which God has promised to keep him and increase him, and right away Jacob is seeing the fulfillment of that.
One can’t help but wonder whether Jacob’s suggestion that the shepherds water their flock and take them grazing was a ploy to get them out of the way, allowing him to meet Rachel in privacy. Unfortunately, that tactic did not work, but as we will see tomorrow, he found another way to cultivate romance instead!