beautiful woman with turban standing in a wheat field showcasing characteristics of Rachel in the Bible


The Old Testament of the Bible isn’t just an old book with stories. The examples of biblical characters have lessons that still hit home today. One of those examples is Rachel in the Bible. She’s a key figure in the book of Genesis and her life is a mix of virtues, struggles, and triumphs. We can learn much from the characteristics of Rachel in the Bible.

Rachel’s story has so much to teach us about love, devotion, and the challenges of infertility. In this blog, we’ll explore the characteristics of Rachel in the Bible and the lessons we can learn from her life.

Rachel was the daughter of Laban and the younger sister of Leah. She became the beloved wife of Jacob, but their journey together was filled with both joy and hardship. By studying her story, we can gain wisdom and understanding, and apply these lessons from Rachel in the Bible to our own journey of faith.

Join us as we delve into the lessons and characteristics of Rachel in the Bible, going through the Scriptures about her life, as well as her qualities and the lessons we can learn from her life. We’ll also examine the Rachel meaning in Bible.

As a bonus, you’ll also find free printables with all the characteristics of Rachel in the Bible, as well as the lessons we can learn from her (Rachel and Leah bible study Pdf).

What Scripture talks about Rachel?

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Before we can dive into the characteristics of Rachel in the Bible, we may need to get a peak view of her life as written in the Scriptures. Rachel’s story is actually the story of Leah and Rachel in the bible, as they both end up becoming Jacob’s wives.

Rachel is a prominent figure in the Bible. She was the younger daughter of Jacob’s uncle Laban, and she became Jacob’s second wife after he worked for Laban for seven years in exchange for her hand in marriage.

But there is more to the story of Rachel than that… Rachel’s life story can be found in the book of Genesis, all the way from chapter 28 to 35! The quantity of chapters shows the significance of Rachel in the Bible. Throughout these chapters, you’ll find the story of Jacob and Rachel in the Bible.

Since this is too much to copy here, I’ll provide the most important passages, showing God’s plan unfolding in the life of Rachel and Jacob. 

Genesis 28 starts with the story of Jacob: Jacob’s departure and the arrival of Jacob with his uncle Laban. Jacob had run away from his brother Esau.

“1 Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, ‘You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3 God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4 May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham!’ 5 Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.” Genesis 28:1-5 (ESV)

In Genesis 29, Jacob arrives at a well and talks with the shepherds when Rachel arrives and she finds out it is her cousin Jacob.

“9 Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd. 10 And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud. 12 He explained to Rachel that he was her cousin on her father’s side—the son of her aunt Rebekah. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban.” Genesis 29: 9-12 (NLT)

Next, we’ll see Laban’s nephew, Jacob, offering to work for seven years to marry Rachel, the younger daughter of Laban. Jacob’s deep love for beautiful Rachel makes this seem like just a matter of days.

“16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.’ 19 Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.’ 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.” Genesis 19:16-20 (ESV).

It is now time for Jacob to marry Rachel, the beautiful daughter of Laban. All seems well, but it becomes a turning point in Jacob’s life. During the wedding night, Rachel’s father lets her older sister Leah go into Jacob’s bed. When Jacob finds out he married Rachel’s older sister, he becomes furious. Genesis 29:21-25.

Rachel’s father Laban replies it isn’t the custom of the times Jacob to marry a younger daughter before the older daughter. Jacob agrees to work for another seven years for Rachel’s hand, provided he can marry her first. Jacob’s affection for Rachel’s beauty makes it again look like a short time. Genesis 29:26-30.

Where in the Bible does it say Rachel was barren?

Rachel’s barrenness is described in Genesis 29 verse 31:

“When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.”

This is followed by the painful story of Leah (Genesis 29 verses 31 to 35), who believes her husband will love her when she gives Jacob children.

In Chapter 30, we’ll see Rachel getting so frustrated she claims a child from Jacob (V1), to which Jacobe asks her whether he is God (V2). These two verses illustrate the frustration of both spouses.

The rest of the chapter describes Rachel giving her handmaid Bilhah to Jacob to get children on her behalf. She will then serve as a surrogate mother. This, again, shows Rachel’s desperate desire to become a mom. Leah does the same thing! Which makes this specific chapter pretty much the Jacob Leah and Rachel Bible lesson.

The two sisters even end up trading a night with Jacob, in exchange for mandrake roots!

The rest of Genesis 30 to 35 describes Jacob and his two wives and children leaving Laban’s house, and starting a life on their own. Eventually, Rachel will bear another child but dies during childbirth. The story of Rachel in the Bible is quite tragic.

In addition to reading about Rachel in the Bible verses, we can also learn something from Rachel’s name. Let’s have a look at Rachel meaning in Bible.

What does Rachel mean in the Bible?

Rachel’s name is of Hebrew origin and means “ewe” or “female sheep.” The name Rachel, derived from Hebrew, carries symbolic significance beyond its literal meaning. Ewes are associated with nurturing, protection, and gentle guidance within pastoral imagery, reflecting qualities attributed to Rachel in various interpretations.

Additionally, in biblical symbolism, the imagery of a sheep can represent submission, purity, and sacrifice, suggesting Rachel’s role in the broader narrative of faith and devotion within the biblical text.

Who loved Rachel in the Bible?

In the Bible, Rachel was loved by Jacob, one of the central figures in the Old Testament. Even though Rachel was the second wife of Jacob, she was the beloved wife of Jacob—his true love. It was love at first sight.

Jacob fell deeply in love with Rachel upon meeting her and agreed to hard work for her father, Laban, for seven years for her hand in marriage. A big bride price!

Jacob’s love for Rachel is obvious – he’s ready to do whatever it takes to marry her, even if it’s a tough job. This shows his devotion and affection towards her. Their relationship forms a significant part of the narrative in the book of Genesis, highlighting themes of love, commitment, and perseverance.

We’ll also see this reflected in the characteristics of Rachel in the Bible.

What are the qualities of Rachel in the Bible?

As daughters of God, we can learn much from the women in the Bible. The Scriptures show powerful examples, such as in the life of Deborah, Queen Esther, or Ruth and Naomi. We can learn from these individual women in the Bible, as well as from the various female warriors in the Scriptures.

Even though Rachel in the Bible isn’t mentioned as a woman anointed and appointed by God, there are still valuable lessons to learn from her life and her characteristics. We can learn from the beautiful parts, as well as from the tragic parts. Let’s have a closer look at the characteristics of Rachel in the Bible.

6 Characteristics of Rachel in the Bible

  1. Rachel’s Beauty: Rachel is described as an attractive and beautiful young woman. Jacob was head over heels for her as soon as he laid eyes on the beauty of Rachel and was ready to Laban’s flocks for seven years just to marry her.
  2. Rachel’s Love and Devotion: Rachel’s love for Jacob was clear throughout her life. Despite the challenges they faced, including the presence of her sister Leah as Jacob’s other wife, Rachel remained devoted to him and cherished their relationship.
  3. Rachel’s Faith: Though Rachel’s faith is not explicitly mentioned in the Word of God, her actions and decisions suggest a firm belief in God and a willingness to trust in His plan. Despite her barrenness and the struggles she faced, Rachel never lost hope and continued to seek God’s favor. She showed faith by praying to God for a child and believing in His power to answer her prayers.
  4. Rachel’s Fertility: Rachel struggled with infertility for many years, which caused her to have a hard time and brought her great pain and frustration. However, she eventually gave birth to her first son Joseph, bringing her joy and fulfillment. The birth of her second son, Benjamin, eventually leads to Rachel’s death. why did Rachel die in childbirth? We actually don’t know. The exact reason for her death is not clarified, but it’s commonly understood that childbirth in ancient times was full of risks because of the lack of modern medical knowledge and technology.
  5. Rachel’s Jealousy: Rachel’s character also shows a sense of jealousy. When she could not conceive, the futility of her efforts to become pregnant made her envious of her older sister, Leah, who was able to bear children for Jacob. Their jealousy created a lot of tension and competition and resulted in sibling rivalry. Rachel and Leah in the Bible can teach us about combating comparison.
  6. Rachel’s Inner Strength: Rachel showed inner strength throughout her life. Despite facing hardships and the pain of infertility, she remained resilient and determined. Her strength was evident in her ability to support and love Jacob, even amid her own struggles. The inner strength of Rachel in the Bible is an inspiring aspect of her character, demonstrating her ability to overcome challenges and maintain her devotion to God and her loved ones.

In short, Rachel’s character in the Bible is a mix of many traits – beauty, fertility, love, loyalty, envy, and selflessness. We can use these facts about Rachel in the Bible as guidance for our own lives.

What can we learn from Rachel in the Bible?

What does the story of Rachel teach us?

Rachel’s story shows the life of Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, who become two of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen 35:24; 46:15–18). The birth of Benjamin was a confirmation that our God is the God who sees. He saw Rachel’s pain and eventually opened her womb to conceive.

Rachel died young and became an image of tragic womanhood. After the biblical times, “Mother Rachel” continued to be celebrated among Jews as a powerful intercessor for the house of Israel. Rachel is remembered as the classic mother who mourns and intercedes for her children.

Let’s have a look at the lessons we can learn from Rachel in the Bible.

5 Lessons from Rachel’s Life

  1. Love and Loyalty: Rachel’s unwavering love and loyalty to Jacob serve as an example of the importance of commitment and devotion in relationships. She prioritized her marriage and put her husband’s happiness above her own.
  2. Patience and Perseverance: Rachel’s journey of infertility teaches us the importance of patience and perseverance in times of difficulty. Despite her struggles, she remained hopeful and eventually experienced the blessing of motherhood.
  3. Dealing with Jealousy: Rachel’s experience with jealousy reminds us of the destructive nature of this emotion. It consumed her and led her to make doubtful decisions. It is crucial to address and overcome feelings of jealousy, as it can lead to resentment and harm in relationships.
  4. The Fragility of Life: Rachel’s untimely death reminds us of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing our loved ones. It serves as a reminder to appreciate every moment and make the most of the time we have.
  5. Rachel’s Legacy: Beyond her personal characteristics, Rachel also holds symbolic significance in biblical literature, representing themes such as love, devotion, and the fulfillment of divine promises. Rachel’s story serves as a metaphor for the journey of faith and the eventual realization of God’s blessings.

Rachel’s life teaches us valuable lessons about patience, love, dealing with jealousy, and the fragility of life.

Take-away characteristics of Rachel in the Bible

As we wrap up our journey through Rachel’s life in the Bible, we’re reminded of how her story still matters today. The characteristics of Rachel in the Bible can guide us and help us align our lives with God’s will and plan for our lives.  

Rachel’s character reflects beauty, fertility, love, devotion, and inner strength, creating a rich blend of virtues and struggles that deeply resonate with the human experience. Through her trials and triumphs, we learn valuable lessons about patience, perseverance, love, dealing with jealousy, and the fragility of life.

Rachel’s legacy is more than just words in the Bible, inspiring and giving hope to those who face life’s challenges with faith and resilience.

I pray you have been blessed with the story and insights of her life. May you receive God’s blessing and guidance to persevere through trials and may you be blessed with that one thing you thought was impossible.