Genesis 29:18 (NASB)

Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

And why not fewer years?

  • Laban was somewhat avarice and bargained. Only the conclusion of the bargaining is recorded. See biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/29-18.htm
    – Dottard
    Mar 30, 2020 at 10:31
  • Dottard Correct Laban was greedy, he bartered for both of his daughters., Although he played the part of the benevolent uncle, he reduced his blood relationship with Jacob to a service contract. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he replied: "I am will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel." What would seven years in wages amount to? Mar 30, 2020 at 11:55
  • A LOT of money indeed
    – Dottard
    Mar 30, 2020 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


The answer may be simply that the seven years totaled up to a reasonable value of Jacob's labor which he was willing to "pay" eventually for Rachel and ultimately for Leah. I'm not sure if the exact value may be calculated today so that we may know if the value he was placing on Rachel was more than or equal to the standard rate that was expected for a bride. Whatever the "value" was for those years of work, it was acceptable to Laban. Dickering over the value of a bride may have been an insult to the bride. The "seven" years may have been more reflective of how much Jacobs ability to work was worth.

  • Glen : It is a very good answer +1, Seven years wages and most likely a 12 hour day, the then wages amounted to 50 shekels of silver. Perhaps you can research and find todays values for a worker. Apr 1, 2020 at 14:47
  • The median wage for a laborer is $14.47/hr. payscale.com/research/US/Job=Laborer/Hourly_Rate
    – Glenn123
    Apr 1, 2020 at 23:24
  • Take that $14.47 12hrs/day seven days/week*52weeks*seven years = $442,434.72. Sounds like a lot of money. I would hope that Laban provided Jacob with essentials like food, clothing.
    – Glenn123
    Apr 1, 2020 at 23:57
  • Glenn ::Yes, it is an awful lot of money, he was in love. But more so he could have refused. Laban was obliged to provide food and shelter. Jacob did not refuse for a very important reason. Why? Apr 2, 2020 at 9:10

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