• St. Paul Lutheran Church

One Man, One Woman

Why did God permit polygamy? In this devotion, Pastor David explains the story of Jacob marrying Rachel and Leah and how this goes against the Christian standard of marriage.



Genesis 29:14-30

14 Then Laban declared, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”


After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are my relative, should you work for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”


16 Now Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18 Since Jacob loved Rachel, he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”


19 Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to another. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, yet it seemed but a few days because of his love for her.

21 Finally Jacob said to Laban, “Grant me my wife, for my time is complete, and I want to sleep with her.”


22 So Laban invited all the men of that place and prepared a feast. 23 But when evening came, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant.


25 When morning came, there was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob said to Laban. “Wasn’t it for Rachel that I served you? Why have you deceived me?”


26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. 27 Finish this week’s celebration, and we will give you the younger one in return for another seven years of work.”


28 And Jacob did just that. He finished the week’s celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban also gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.


30 Jacob slept with Rachel as well, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.