And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
All Commentaries on Genesis 29:11 Go To Genesis 29
Caesarius of Arles
We have frequently mentioned to your charity, dearly beloved, that blessed Jacob was a type and figure of our Lord and Savior. Moreover, how Christ was to come into the world to be joined to the church was prefigured also in blessed Jacob when he traveled into a distant country to choose a wife. Therefore blessed Jacob, as you have heard, went into Mesopotamia to take a wife. When he had come to a certain well, he saw Rachel coming with her father’s sheep—after he recognized her as his cousin, he kissed her as soon as the flock was supplied with water. If you notice carefully, brothers, you can recognize that it was not without reason that the holy patriarchs found their wives at wells or fountains. If this had happened only once, someone might say it was accidental and not for some definite reason. Blessed Rebekah who was to be united to blessed Isaac was found at the well; Rachel whom blessed Jacob was to marry was recognized at the well; and Zipporah who was joined to Moses was found at the well. Doubtless then we ought to understand some mysteries in these facts. Since all three of those patriarchs typified our Lord and Savior, for this reason they found their wives at fountains or wells, because Christ was to find his church at the waters of baptism. Moreover, when Jacob came to the well, Rachel first watered the flock, and then he kissed her. It is true, dearly beloved, unless the Christian people are first washed from all evil by the waters of baptism, they do not deserve to possess the peace of Christ. Could not blessed Jacob have kissed his cousin upon seeing her, before the flock was watered? Doubtless he could have, but a mystery was involved: for it was necessary for the church to be freed from all iniquity and dissension by the grace of baptism and thus to merit peace with God.