What Do the Well Where Jacob Met Rachel and the Empty Tomb Have in Common?
- Emma Danzey Contributing Writer
- Updated Jan 26, 2022
As I read in Genesis 29 the words were jumping out at me. I love a good gem when digging in the Scriptures. As I have been enjoying the Bible Recap and been reading through Genesis, I saw that there is a mention multiple times of something very significant as Jacob went to the well of the people to the East to find a wife. Little did he know that His actions would point towards what Jesus was coming to do years later. What do the well where Jacob met Rachel and the empty tomb have in common?
The Rolling Stone
Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep in John 10. We are described as sheep. In His parable, He says that He is the Door to get into the flock. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” As we look at Genesis 29, see how many parallels are included for the shepherd and sheep.
Genesis 29:2b-3 says, “But a large stone covered the opening of the well. The shepherds would roll the stone from the opening of the well and water the sheep when all the flocks were gathered there. Then they would return the stone to its place over the well’s opening.”
As the well is described, there is a stone covering the water for the sheep in the flocks. The stone literally had to be rolled away. This means that in order for the sheep to survive, they were helpless to remove the stone and drink water without the stone being removed. This caused me to think about Jesus, our Living Water. We would be unable to enter eternity reunited with God because of our sins. However, Jesus died and was placed in a tomb with a stone barricading the entrance. The stone was rolled away and He rose from the dead, bringing salvation to all who believe and accept Him.
Matthew Henry from Christianity tells us, “The angel came, rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power, but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharge, obtained from heaven. He did not break prison, but an officer was sent on purpose to roll away the stone and open the prison door, which would never have been done if He had not made a full satisfaction.”
In pondering the words of Henry and the Scriptures, Jacob and God’s covenant with His people could not be fulfilled in the people, but only in the work of the Savior Jesus. Jacob and the angels were the ones to reveal His glory to the people of God. However, both were on a mission of revealing the True Savior Jesus.
Genesis 29:7-8 says, “Then Jacob said, ‘Look, it is still broad daylight. It’s not time for the animals to be gathered. Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.’ But they replied, ‘We can’t until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we will water the sheep.’”
Does this at all sound familiar? Broad daylight at a well stands out to me. In John 4 the Samaritan woman went to get water from none other than what was known as Jacob’s well at the heat of day, broad daylight. John 4:6-7a says, “Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon. A woman of Samaria came to draw water.”
The Samaritan woman came at noontime to get water in the heat of the day, likely because of her shame from sins. Jesus met her there. Not only this, but Jesus and the woman had a conversation about her need for Living Water.
John 4:10-11 says, “Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him, and he would give you living water.” “Sir,” said the woman, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this ‘living water’?”
Just like Jacob was talking with the people about giving water for the sheep, later at one of Jacob’s wells, Jesus, the Good Shepherd would tell the Samaritan woman (a sheep) of the Living Water which He offered.
Jesus goes on in John 4:13-14 “Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.’”
A Promise Fulfilled
Genesis 29:10 says, “As soon as Jacob saw his uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel with his sheep, he went up and rolled the stone from the opening and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep.”
The first thing that Jacob did when he saw the woman who God provided (who would help fulfill his calling to multiply into a great nation) was go up and roll the heavy stone away. Jacob was going to do whatever it took to care for this woman and her flock. The others waited until all the sheep were there, but Jacob took action in an act of faith. In a similar way, no one could have paid the debt to our sin. As the Jewish people were waiting like these men, Jesus died for our sins and rose. The fact that Jacob rolled a stone away to provide water for the sheep is absolutely stunning in the tying together of Scripture from the Old Testament to the New.
We, like the sheep at the well need water to live. Our Good Shepherd Jesus, the Living Water, provides us with eternal life. The Lord’s rescue plan that was started through the Patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. As Jacob rolled that stone to get to the water, Jesus’s stone would one day be rolled away and His resurrection completed on behalf of the sins of the entire world. People as sinful as the Samaritan woman who drank at one of Jacob’s wells also taste of this Eternal security which is found only in our precious and perfect Savior, Jesus Christ.
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Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.
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