Gen. 29:1-3 Jacob comes to a well
29:1 "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. 3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the
stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone
again upon the well's mouth in his place."
continued on his journey he had God's covenant promises resonating in
his heart and was no doubt comforted by them. When he came to the land
of the people of the east, he came to a well of water. Wells in that
day were very important for the livelihood of the people and of the
animals of those countries. This is still true in some countries
today. Man and animals cannot survive very long without water. Water
is essential to the maintenance of life. Wells, therefore, became
gathering places for the shepherds and their flocks. Also, the women
went out to draw water out of the wells for their families to drink, to
cook, and to wash clothes. The wells, for many people, were social
wells, in the scriptures, are often used to teach us spiritual lessons.
For instance, when the children of Israel came into the wilderness from
Egypt, they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and
seventy palm trees. It just so happened that the nation of Israel had
twelve princes and seventy elders to govern the people. This parallels
the twelve apostles and seventy elders the Lord used in the
establishment of the New Testament church.
oaths or covenants were made in the proximity of wells. The wells were
often named after the oath or covenant. The bible speaks of drawing
water from the wells of salvation. Our souls are watered by the gospel
of Jesus Christ that tells us of the covenant of redemption and the work
of Christ under the covenant of redemption to redeem us from our sins
and give us a hope of heaven's glory world.
all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable…, then
the above passage concerning a well must also be profitable to learn
about as well. The well was in a field. Now that is not surprising,
but it is also significant, because the "field" is often used as a
parallel to the "world" in which we live. We have a spiritual well for
God's born-again children in this wicked world in which we live. In
John chapter 4, the Lord spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well. He
told her in John 4:10: "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou
knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to
drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee
living water." He also told the woman in v. 14: "But whosoever drinketh
of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water
that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into
everlasting life." Christ is that well from which we drink spiritual
water springing up into everlasting life. Moreover, Christ is in us,
the hope of glory.
were three flocks of sheep by the well that Jacob came upon. Likewise,
we can see that God has a people among the Hamites, the Shemites, and
the Japhethites. Another way of looking at this is that God had a
people under the law covenant, he has a people under the grace covenant,
and he has a people embraced in the covenant of redemption.
great stone was upon the well's mouth." This great stone had to be
removed to enable the flocks to drink. Jesus was buried in Joseph's new
tomb. There was a great stone rolled across the front of the
sepulcher. It took several men to roll the stone over the opening, yet,
a mighty angel rolled the stone away. We feast on the spiritual waters
of knowing that Christ rose victorious over death, hell, and the grave,
having delivered us from our sins. Now, we know that Jesus could have
come out of that grave without the stone being rolled away. However,
the stone was rolled away that man may look upon the empty tomb.
thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the
well's mouth, and watered the sheep…" Truly, all of God's elect are
gathered around the work of redemption manifest by the empty tomb,
signifying the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
God's Providence in guiding Jacob
29:4 "And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they
said, Of Haran are we. 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."
above passage we see the providence of God leading Jacob to the place
and people he was to go to. Jacob's father and mother had told him to
go to Haran and find a wife among the daughters of Laban. Laban, of
course, was Rebekah's brother. Jacob's lot was to come upon a well
where men and flocks were gathered together. When he inquired of where
they were from, he was told they were from Haran. When he inquired if
they knew Laban the son of Nahor, they said "We know him." It just so
happened that the youngest daughter of Laban came out with the sheep at
that time. These are a lot of coincidences. Yet God often works in the
lives of others to arrange coincidences to accomplish his purpose.
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. 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." When Jacob asked the men to water the sheep the men told him
that they could not until all the flocks were gathered together and
"they" roll the stone from the well's mouth. This suggests that the
stone over the well was a very large stone and required multiple men to
roll it away.