Genesis 29:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 29:27, NIV: "Finish this daughter's bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.'"

Genesis 29:27, ESV: "Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.”"

Genesis 29:27, KJV: "Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years."

Genesis 29:27, NASB: "Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me, for another seven years.'"

Genesis 29:27, NLT: "'But wait until the bridal week is over, then we'll give you Rachel, too--provided you promise to work another seven years for me.'"

Genesis 29:27, CSB: "Complete this week of wedding celebration, and we will also give you this younger one in return for working yet another seven years for me.""

What does Genesis 29:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob has confronted his uncle, Laban, for an act of incredible deception. After working his agreed-upon seven years for the right to marry Laban's younger daughter, Rachel, Jacob has discovered the morning after his wedding night that Leah, the older sister, has been secretly switched in. He is now legally—in that culture—married to a woman he does not love, and has been cheated out of his agreement with Laban. This incident sees Jacob on the receiving end of the kind of manipulation (Genesis 25:29–34) and deception (Genesis 27:15–19) he himself had practiced.

What had Jacob planned for his future? Did he imagine that after completing his seven years of work for Laban, he would marry Rachel and return home to his own family in Canaan? If so, that dream came to an end when he discovered Laban's treachery. In response to Jacob's angry questions about why Laban switched Leah for Rachel, he has responded that the local custom is for the older daughter to marry first (Genesis 29:26). This, of course, is a ridiculous excuse, so farcical that it makes more sense as a deliberate insult than an actual answer. Even so, it would have been especially stinging to Jacob, whose prior acts cheated his older twin brother, Esau (Genesis 27:41).

Now Laban "offers" to allow Jacob to marry Rachel after he completes the week-long wedding celebrations with Leah. However, Jacob will need to work another seven years for her afterwards. In short, he's married to Leah no matter what, but he can marry Rachel almost immediately if he'll go into debt for her.

Laban comes across to us as a manipulative, almost cartoonish villain. He solves the problem of getting Leah married and the problem of not losing Jacob's free labor all in one tidy scheme. He gets everything he wants at Jacob's expense.

Jacob did have options, of course. He could have refused to marry Rachel and left Laban's household. He could have refused the marriage to Leah, though if it was legally binding, that might have ruined his chances to marry Rachel. Or, more reasonably, he could have simply demanded Rachel and told Laban that he wasn't going to be cheated into extra work. But, Laban seems to have known from the beginning that Jacob loved Rachel and was likely to continue to serve him in order to marry her.