I was about to “move on” from this story of Jacob meeting Rachel at a well; I’ve gotten rather a lot out of it and I hope any readers have as well. Then suddenly I realized my new “discipline” of always really checking the footnotes.
So let’s see: 29.1 says “People of the east” of the Syrian-Arabian desert northeast of Canaan, compare with…” and gives a list. I’m not sure where Canaan is/was (or this desert for that matter) so fun with maps to start! Canaan was the name of one of Noah’s sons? Canaan means “purple” and the people in Canaan made a purple dye? Footnotes are interesting, even at this very surface level. I didn’t realize how far from “home” Jacob traveled to find Rachel. Or that the network of kinship extended over such distances.
Jacob was in Beer-sheba when he started his journey (got kicked out, however you want to look at it). And I didn’t realize this was a “real place”. I know that sounds silly, but I get very into scripture and imaging “then” and forget about “now”.
Let’s all take a moment to pray for peace; among nations, among people, among family and kin.