This Let’s Learn entry is Part 2 of exploring relationships mostly about complications in love or of drama of a sexual nature that occurs in the Bible from the book of Genesis. To explore Part 1, please click this link
1) A love struck Jacob strikes a deal with his future father-in-law
Jacob who has arrived in Padan-aram to his uncle Laban’s house agrees to work for Laban and instead of wages asks for his daughter Rachel’s hand – he agrees to a term of seven years labor. For Jacob those seven years ﬂew by and seemed to him a few days! Oh to be in lost in love and to feel years fly by like its a few days!!!
 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be ?  And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.  Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.  And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.  And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.  And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
2) Cheated in love
Jacob has worked for seven long years to obtain Rachel as his wife and finally the wedding ceremony takes place. Evening comes along and Laban performs a switcheroo sending his other daughter Leah instead of Rachel to Jacob. Jacob goes in unto Leah thinking it was Rachel because it wasn’t until morning that Jacob realized that he had laid with Leah! When Jacob asks Laban why he was deceived and that he performed hard labor for Rachel for these seven years, Laban coolly replies that in their country it’s not the custom to give the younger before the older! He asks Jacob to be with Leah for a week and then he would give him Rachel also for an additional seven years. Once Jacob gets Rachel after a week of being with Leah, he shows more love to Rachel than Leah. When God sees that Leah was hated he opened Leah’s womb but Rachel was barren
 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulﬁlled, that I may go in unto her.  And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.  And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.  And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.  And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?  And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the ﬁrstborn.  Fulﬁl her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.  And Jacob did so, and fulﬁlled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.  And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.  And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.  And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
3) Unrequited love
Leah yearns for her husband Jacob – every time a son is born to her she thinks she will get Jacob’s love – whereas Jacob favors her sister Rachel. But after the fourth son Judah is born, Leah leaves bearing children – it could mean she left sleeping with Jacob and hoping for his love
 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon my afﬂiction; now therefore my husband will love me.  And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.  And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.  And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the Lord : therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
4) Fertility plant is exchanged for a night of sex
Rachel finds out that Reuben, Leah’s son has found mandrakes and she desperately wants it since she believes it will help get her pregnant. Leah asks her sister Rachel whether it’s a small matter that she had taken away her husband and now she wants to take from her son’s mandrake also. Notice that Leah accuses Rachel of taking away “her husband” even though both sisters are Jacob’s wives and moreover Jacob was tricked into having Leah as his first wife. Leah and Rachel strike a deal – Rachel goes onto give away Jacob to Leah for one night in exchange for the mandrakes. It doesn’t say how Jacob felt about given away as a hire for sex for one night by Rachel in exchange for a fertility enhancing plant, but since he conceded maybe it wasn’t such a big deal? He was already used to being given away to lie with their maids in order to bear more children and what was one night with Leah who was also his wife!
 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the ﬁeld, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.  And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.  And Jacob came out of the ﬁeld in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
5) Holding out hope for a husband’s love
Leah has borne six sons for Jacob but he continues to show his love towards Rachel. However Leah still holds out hope that Jacob will come and make his dwelling with her since she has given him six sons!
 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the ﬁfth son.  And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.  And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.  And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.  And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
6) The rape of Dinah
Dinah, the daughter of Jacob has arrived with the family to Canaan and she is new to the land. She travels around visiting the daughters of the land. Shechem a prince of the land is smitten when he sees Dinah, he takes her and rapes her. He also loves her and wants her for himself and tells his father Hamor that he wants Dinah as his wife. Jacob and his sons get very angry and grieve about the act of their sister being defiled in this manner. Her brothers go about taking revenge on the entire town in the worst way – more about this revenge can be read in Genesis 34
 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.  And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and deﬁled her.  And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.  And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.  And Jacob heard that he had deﬁled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the ﬁeld: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.  And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.  And the sons of Jacob came out of the ﬁeld when they heard it : and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
7) The son and the father’s concubine have sexual relations
Reuben who is Jacob’s oldest son sleeps with his father’s concubine Bilhah. While Bilhah is a concubine does not have wife status, she is still someone who is in a motherly position for Reuben. She has borne Jacob’s children and her sons and Reuben are half-brothers. It says Jacob/Israel heard this but the chapter is maddeningly silent on what his immediate reaction to the news was. We will see later on in Genesis 49 when Jacob is on his deathbed and he blesses each son, Reuben is told that he will not excel because he defiled his father’s bed
 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:  Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
8) Onanism aka withdrawal aka pulling out aka spilling seed
Tamar is married to Judah’s oldest son Er who is slain by God for his wickedness. It is customary for the brother of the one who died to marry his sister-in-law and sire a son in his older’s brother’s name. So Judah’s middle son Onan is given Tamar to wife. Onan did not want to raise a son in his brother’s name so he has intercourse with Tamar but pulls out and spills seed on the ground. Because Onan was refusing to raise seed for his brother, this displeased God and He slew Onan as well. Onan’s name is now infamous where the act of pulling out or withdrawal during sex is termed as Onanism
 And Judah took a wife for Er his ﬁrstborn, whose name was Tamar.  And Er, Judah’s ﬁrstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord ; and the Lord slew him.  And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.  And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.  And the thing which he did displeased the Lord : wherefore he slew him also.
9) Tamar resorts to extreme measures – disguises herself as a harlot/prostitute
Tamar is Judah’s widowed daughter-in-law and she sees that his third son Shelah was grown and she was not being given to him to be his wife. Tamar resorts to an extreme measure to bear child by disguising as a harlot in order bear a son through her father-in-law himself! We see that in those days, a veil covering the face would identify a woman as a harlot!
 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.  And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.  When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face
10) Tamar is suspected of being a whore – the punishment was being burnt alive
After disguising herself as a harlot and laying with her father-in-law Judah, Tamar becomes pregnant. Judah was unaware that the harlot that he slept with was his daughter-in-law. When he hears the news that Tamar is pregnant by playing the whore, Judah asks for her to be brought to be burnt! Tamar who hatched the plan of sleeping with her father-in-law by appearing as a harlot to him had also obtained his signet and bracelets as a pledge. When she is called for by Judah, she sends him the pledges and states that she is pregnant by this man. Judah now realizes that Tamar was more honorable than him in that he did not make her the wife of his third son Shelah to bear seed. Judah never sleeps with Tamar after that
 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?  And he said, I will send thee a kid from the ﬂock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it ?  And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.  And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.  And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand: but he found her not.  Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.  And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot ﬁnd her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place.  And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.  And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.  When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.  And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
11) Workplace sexual harassment committed by a woman
Joseph worked for Potiphar and Potiphar’s wife eyes Joseph and asks him to sleep with her. Joseph flat out refuses and says that his master who has committed everything in his house to him except for his wife and how could he do this great wickedness against his master and sin against God. Potiphar’s wife wouldn’t let this go, she harasses him everyday to be with her or sleep with her
 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.  But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;  There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?  And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
12) Potiphar’s wife cannot handle rejection too well, cries sexual assault!
Potiphar’s wife has been constantly harassing Joseph and making passes at him. Joseph has given his refusal to these passes and has also rejected her demand to sleep with her. Potiphar’s wife can’t take the hint and we can see her anger towards Joseph for refusing her by what she does to him when she finds him alone in her house when he came in to do his business. She grabs his garment wanting to lie with him, he flees the place leaving the garment in her hand. Potiphar’s wife hatches a revenge plan, she calls the men of the house and says that this Hebrew man tried to sleep with her and when she cried with a loud voice he fled leaving his garment behind. She feeds her husband Potiphar the same lies, he believes his wife and gets very angry with Joseph. Joseph gets thrown into prison based on a false accusation! Potiphar’s wife is one evil character!
 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.  And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and ﬂed, and got him out.  And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was ﬂed forth,  That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:  And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and ﬂed, and got him out.  And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.  And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:  And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and ﬂed out.  And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.  And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
– By SAP for almondtreerod.com