Today we begin Genesis Chapter 29.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here.
After Jacob’s spiritual encounter with God, he is now a changed man.
The circumstances haven’t changed.
He is still all alone and on the run with nothing but the shirt on his back.
However, the inner spiritual turmoil has now been replaced by an inner confidence and peace that only God can provide.
He heads back to Haran to seek out his mother’s family in Mesopotamia which was also the birthplace of Abraham.
Let us not forget that there are very strong ancestral ties between Mesopotamia and the promised Land of Canaan.
It should also not be overlooked that the scripture says he came into the land of the people of the East.
Remember, East always indicates something of spiritual significance.
There is an interesting contrast between Jacob and his predecessor Eliezer, Abraham’s servant who made the same journey a while back.
Eliezer was traveling with an army of men and was loaded with all kinds of wealthy gifts that he would use to wow over Rebecca’s family.
Jacob on the other hand was like an escaped fugitive with zero wealth on him.
We are told that Jacob happened upon a well where there were already a group of shepherds watering their flocks.
A few words about the central importance the well played in ancient times.
First, it took a tremendous amount of time and manpower to build a well and make it functional.
Second, since water was essential to both the people and the animals they cared for, the well naturally became a meeting place for the local town folk.
Third, men in the Bible usually find their wives at wells.
Fourth, there was always a huge rock that covered the mouth of the well to keep out dust and animals from crawling or even falling inside.
We are told that Jacob moved this rock all by himself.
He must have had close to supernatural strength to be able to pull off such a feat by himself.
Normally, it would take a small group of people to remove the well covering.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
Now he had to go through Samaria.
So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey,
sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water,
Jesus said to her,
“Will you give me a drink?”