We see Abraham’s family continue to increase in this week’s Portion, VaYetzeh. Jacob is hurriedly leaving his mother, his father and his very angry brother and heading to his Uncle Laban in Haran. This Son of Promise is leaving his home with only the shirt on his back. But during his first night away from home, he has a dream of a Ladder connecting Heaven and Earth: a picture of the Coming Mediator between God and man.
After many weeks of travel he arrives in Haran and meets his future wife Rachel at a well. Some 60 years earlier, Eliezer lavished gifts on Rebekah and Laban; but Jacob arrived empty-handed and must work 7 years for Rachel. For the younger sister to marry before the firstborn was unheard of; so Laban switched daughters on the wedding night. Obviously Jacob was not pleased when he realized in the morning that he had consummated his marriage with Leah. Word of warning guys: always check under the veil!
So Jacob worked another 7 years for Rachel (again!) and then an additional 6 years to earn enough livestock to feed his large family. By that time he had 11 sons (Benjamin was yet to arrive) and at least one daughter, and it’s time to head back to his family. So he packed all his belongings and departed at night – as secretly as possible, considering he has four wives, 12+ children, numerous servants and several hundred (or possibly thousand) head of livestock. He left the land of Haran and headed back to Canaan to rejoin his family … and reconcile with his brother.