Gen. 29:1-3  Jacob comes to a well

            Gen. 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." 

            As Jacob 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 gathering places. 

            The 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. 

            Often, 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.

            Since, 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.

            There 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.

            "And a 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. 

            "And 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. 


Gen. 29:4-8  God's Providence in guiding Jacob

            Gen. 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." 

            In the 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. 

            "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.  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.