Rachel had much to weep about
Who was Rachel
Rachel was planned to be married to Jacob, but her father Laban switched Leah on the wedding night hidden under the face veil, and Jacob didn't realize it until the next. We can only guess how this could be pulled off.
After this deception, Jacob was allowed to marry Rachel also. But Leah will always be the first wife. This would be the first of many tears. God, for many years, allowed Leah to bear children. but Rachel was barren, more tears. Many years later God "opened her womb", and Rachel had two children of her own, but with the second child, Rachel died in childbirth, more tears. From this point forward she will watch from heaven, what is happening to her people, and weep at all sad events she observes.
Rachel's story starts with Jacob stealing his brother Esau's blessing by pretending to be Esau And getting the blessing promised to Esau. Esau wanted to kill Jacob, so Jacob fled to Haran, where his uncle Laban lived. Upon reaching Haran he met Rachel at a well and fell deeply in love with Rachel. Jacob then asked her father, Laban, for permission to marry Rachel. Laban and Jacob made an agreement for Jacob to work for Laban for 7 years for the right to marry Rachel. After 7 years of service, on the wedding night Laban switched daughters and Jacob woke to find out that Laban deceived Jacob, by switching daughters. and realized that he was married to Leah. After 7 days of the honeymoon, Jacob got to marry Rachel, but this set up many years of tears for Rachel Because she became a source of conflict between her and Rachel. Also, God closed Rachel's womb for many tears because Jacob "hated" Leah, his first wife. Finally, many years later she bore Joseph then Benjamin, but she died in the childbirth of Benjamin, more tears, never getting to hold her newborn son.
Rachel is now and forever in Heaven, looking down. Being in Heaven with GOD cannot be compared to anything else. But the Bible tells us that she weeps for the trouble that she sees.
Jerimiah 31.15-16 commentary - not your ordinary
Jer.31.15-16 "Thus sayeth the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children because they were not. 16 Thus sayeth the LORD; Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears: for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD; because they shall return again to the land of Isreal."
The Bible has many traditional levels of interpretation, I would like to dig deeper. What this does is paint a bigger picture, in hopes of finding jewels that God has "hidden for us to find" and to better relate to how God has chosen to reveal.
I believe you will be amazed at how much is one text. First Jerimiah 31.15 shows us Rachel, the mother of all Hebrews is not in "soul sleep", but is actively watching from heaven and praying for us. Why single out Rachel? Why not the other patriarchs, Moses, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob to say the least? An answer could be her 'work'. She was definitely praying but the word "reward" sounds like a curious word for the answer to her pleading. Compassion, care, or comfort seem more likely words. Reward implies payment for an action. In Nehemiah 9.9, God heard their "cries ", but it is not mentioned as a reward. One way to dig deeper is to follow the word or wording. In Jerimiah 31.16 the words ' shall be rewarded ' in Hebrew a compound word of the Hebrew words ' yesh ', -shall be, Strongs (h3426) and 'Sakar'-rewarded, Strongs (h7939). Note that it is similar to the name Issachar.
In Genesis 30 there is an interesting story of the two wives of Jacob, Rachel and Leah who made a deal, for Rachel to let Leah, "have Jacob for the night"
¶And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me your son's mandrakes. Here Rachel was supposed to have Jacob that night but Leah 'hired' (h7939) Jacob by exchanging the right of the night for the mandrakes.
¶And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that you have taken my husband? and would you take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel answered, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes. I guess these mysterious mandrakes must have been special.
¶And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
That night Leah conceived. That sounds like a huge reward.
And Leah said, God hath given me my hire/reward (h7939) -- and she called his name Issachar. His name means - my reward. In Hebrew the letters Issachar are the same as "shall be rewarded" in Jer. 31. Why the reward? On the first marriage night, Rachel was forced out and switched with Leah, by her father. This caused Rachel a lot of years of tears, hurt, and resentment. When in Gen.30 Rachel made the exchange with Leah, Rachel was giving up all the anger and saying " I'm giving Jacob to you straight up and willingly, no trickery. She was forgiving those who hurt her and that act of forgiveness is the heart of God, which was rewarded.