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  #1  
Old Sep 27, '11, 2:07 pm
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Luvz2travel Luvz2travel is offline
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Default What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

It's just one of those things I've always wondered about that's never really explained. Was she just trying to annoy her father Laban for all the misery he caused or was there more to it?
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  #2  
Old Sep 27, '11, 2:16 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

The commentaries I referenced said that Rachel took them

1. for the dowry her father had not paid to her husband Jacob. Whether this was right or wrong on her part is questionable.

2. to take away the occasion of sin from her father (the sin of idolatry)

3. or that she herself wished to kept them because she was an idolatress.

The first explanation is the most likely since the idols would have been made of precious metals such as gold or silver.
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  #3  
Old Sep 27, '11, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

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Originally Posted by Della View Post
The commentaries I referenced said that Rachel took them

1. for the dowry her father had not paid to her husband Jacob. Whether this was right or wrong on her part is questionable.

2. to take away the occasion of sin from her father (the sin of idolatry)

3. or that she herself wished to kept them because she was an idolatress.

The first explanation is the most likely since the idols would have been made of precious metals such as gold or silver.
1) Interesting I would have never though of that but it makes sense. I figured the passage must have some sort of cultural sigificance or meaning because why even mention it. It's never really explained.

2) Honestly after all she had been through with him I can't imagine she had that much affection for him. After all he basically made a habit of lying and selling his daughters made her wait seven years to marry as well as caused her sister and her to become sort of enemies and then threatened their children. Can't see liking a dad who would do all that to his own kids and grandkids.

3) I don't see that.
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  #4  
Old Sep 27, '11, 3:27 pm
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

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Originally Posted by Della View Post
The commentaries I referenced said that Rachel took them

1. for the dowry her father had not paid to her husband Jacob. Whether this was right or wrong on her part is questionable.

2. to take away the occasion of sin from her father (the sin of idolatry)

3. or that she herself wished to kept them because she was an idolatress.

The first explanation is the most likely since the idols would have been made of precious metals such as gold or silver.
When I read the passage about the taking of the idols, I considered #3 most likely of these. Alternately, I suppose:

4. She wanted some memento from home.

As for why she concealed them, I think that she was either:

A. ashamed for her sin of theft

B. unrepentant and intent on keeping them

As for the significance of the story, consider what Jacob said when Laban caught up with them. Jacob said that whoever took the idols would die. A relatively short time later, Rachel died.
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  #5  
Old Sep 27, '11, 8:18 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

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When I read the passage about the taking of the idols, I considered #3 most likely of these. Alternately, I suppose:

4. She wanted some memento from home.

As for why she concealed them, I think that she was either:

A. ashamed for her sin of theft

B. unrepentant and intent on keeping them

As for the significance of the story, consider what Jacob said when Laban caught up with them. Jacob said that whoever took the idols would die. A relatively short time later, Rachel died.
She certainly hid them from both her father and her husband, but I think it was the dowry she was thinking of. Dowries were an ancient custom that no decent father would begrudge his daughter. Both acted badly, but it was the father's example that influenced Rachel here. If he had been an honest man and had dealt fairly with her, her sister and son-in-law she wouldn't have stolen from him. Jacob didn't want trouble over it with his father-in-law so he made that promise, but he had no hand in Rachel's death. To say she died directly because of the theft is possible, but I wouldn't go that far. Life was hard then and death came early for a lot of people who never did any wrong.
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  #6  
Old Sep 28, '11, 7:53 am
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

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Originally Posted by Della View Post
She certainly hid them from both her father and her husband, but I think it was the dowry she was thinking of. Dowries were an ancient custom that no decent father would begrudge his daughter. Both acted badly, but it was the father's example that influenced Rachel here. If he had been an honest man and had dealt fairly with her, her sister and son-in-law she wouldn't have stolen from him. Jacob didn't want trouble over it with his father-in-law so he made that promise, but he had no hand in Rachel's death. To say she died directly because of the theft is possible, but I wouldn't go that far. Life was hard then and death came early for a lot of people who never did any wrong.
Interesting points. Though like you I don't think she died as a result of the theft I think it had more to due with the dangers of childbirth women endured at the time. She died after Benjamin was born.
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  #7  
Old Sep 28, '11, 9:35 am
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

I am aware that the pain of childbirth was the mode of Rachel's death. There are often many layers of meaning in biblical stories, however. Jacob's pronouncement that the idol-thief would die was a curse. Just because Jacob and Laban couldn't find the thief doesn't mean the thief would escape the announced punishment.
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Old Sep 28, '11, 10:00 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

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I am aware that the pain of childbirth was the mode of Rachel's death. There are often many layers of meaning in biblical stories, however. Jacob's pronouncement that the idol-thief would die was a curse. Just because Jacob and Laban couldn't find the thief doesn't mean the thief would escape the announced punishment.
True, but we can't say definitively that Rachel's death was due to her taking her father's idols. God is not bound by pronouncements made by human beings trying to soothe things over, as Jacob was doing with Laban. God may have honored Jacob's words, or she may simply have died due to natural causes. We can't know for certain, but we can draw lessons from these events, of course.
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  #9  
Old Sep 29, '11, 7:17 am
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

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True, but we can't say definitively that Rachel's death was due to her taking her father's idols. God is not bound by pronouncements made by human beings trying to soothe things over, as Jacob was doing with Laban. God may have honored Jacob's words, or she may simply have died due to natural causes. We can't know for certain, but we can draw lessons from these events, of course.
Usually in the bible though when someone died to atone for a sin or because of a curse it's mentioned in the bible. I don't remember any specific notation around Rachel's death that it was a direct consequence to a Jacobs curse or her theft or even for some other sin. I haven't read the passage in awhile though. When Abigail's husband died for example it was mentioned why he died, Lot's wife who turned to salt and then there King Saul as well. I find it hard to believe too that she would allowed to die over a theft from a man who had sold her, and threatened more then once to kill her whole family.
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  #10  
Old Sep 29, '11, 8:32 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: What was the significance of Rachel hiding her fathers household idols?

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Usually in the bible though when someone died to atone for a sin or because of a curse it's mentioned in the bible. I don't remember any specific notation around Rachel's death that it was a direct consequence to a Jacobs curse or her theft or even for some other sin. I haven't read the passage in awhile though. When Abigail's husband died for example it was mentioned why he died, Lot's wife who turned to salt and then there King Saul as well. I find it hard to believe too that she would allowed to die over a theft from a man who had sold her, and threatened more then once to kill her whole family.
I agree that there is no direct connection, which is why I wouldn't say Rachel paid with her life for her theft. I will say, though that theft is wrong even if we have been wronged by the person from whom we are stealing, so she shouldn't have done it. Laban set his daughters a poor example and so they, in turn, acted as he had done. Children learn how to interact with others from their parents, after all. Laban was a devious man who spoiled the lives of his family. Poor Rachel had a tough life. I don't envy her. Although she was the favored wife her line was lost while Leah's continued, culminating in Jesus Christ.
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