Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east. He looked, and behold, a well in the field, and, behold, three flocks of sheep lying there by it. For out of that well they watered the flocks. The stone on the well’s mouth was large. There all the flocks were gathered. They rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again on the well’s mouth in its place. Jacob said to them, “My relatives, where are you from?”
They said, “We are from Haran.”
He said to them, “Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?”
They said, “We know him.”
He said to them, “Is it well with him?”
They said, “It is well. See, Rachel, his daughter, is coming with the sheep.”
He said, “Behold, it is still the middle of the day, not time to gather the livestock together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
They said, “We can’t, until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well’s mouth. Then we water the sheep.”
While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. It happened, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.
It appears to be me that the well was a great place for young couples to meet in those days. That’s where Abraham’s servant found Rebekah and now we see that Jacob meets Rachel at one too.
It is interesting that Jacob’s mother, Rebekah watered Abraham’s servant’s camels years ago but this time Jacob removed the stone from the well and watered his uncle’s flock for Rachel. My understanding is that in that culture, women did the watering, so it makes sense that the men were the ones to move the stone when it was watering time. Jacob must have been feeling pretty strong that day and it might have been somewhat impressive to Rachel too. Now Jacob’s kiss was probably just a simple greeting. Laban was about to kiss Jacob soon after, so it is obvious that this was a common gesture, but Jacob really was emotional over finding his relatives. I think he was probably pretty homesick and longed to be back around his family again, especially his mother. It’s unclear whether or not Jacob was supposed to move the stone yet. He just walked up and took over. This is what we would expect of a young man who decides to take matters into his own hands. We will see that Jacob did have a lot to learn.
This was sure to be an interesting time because Laban and Jacob had a common personality trait. They were both dealers. Remember, that Laban, when Abraham’s servant left with his sister, tried to get them to stay for ten days but the servant refused to deal. It was sure to get more interesting this time and we find out it doesn’t take long for them to get started.