15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?

16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

Jacob had asked to dwell with his uncle, but he was not a freeloader, and he was willing to work for his uncle’s gain, just like any other member of the family. This was very honorable of him.

Laban would not stand for that, though. He was not going to take advantage of Jacob’s kinship, and insisted he would pay wages for the work. This was very honorable of him, as well.

But Jacob was not interested in money. Instead he made clear his feelings for Rachel, and then made the bold suggestion that he serve Laban seven years so that he could marry her. This was a very interesting move on Jacob’s part. For all we know Laban would have consented to the wedding after only five years, or three, or even after no years at all! Jacob does not seem to be a very shrewd businessman by immediately throwing out such a lofty price, now does he?

But then, that wasn’t really the point. This was a question of romance, not business, and Jacob’s gesture reflects that. He is doing something dramatic and captivating, something that has immortalized his relationship to Rachel for thousands of years. What greater wedding gift could he bring than a love story that would last through all history?

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