"Endogamic marriages (i.e., within the circle of one’s relatives) were preferred by ancient tribes. The chosen suitor for a girl was her cousin; it was actually forbidden for the eldest daughter to marry outside the family." (The Jewish Encyclopedia)
Since the human race was younger, birth defects not as likely
When Isaac needed a wife, they went to the family to find one; Esau had married Canaanite women, and the his parents hated it. So Jacob was following the ethic of the culture and probably hoped that Rachael would too!
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Revd. Martin Dale on Jun 2, 2004
Story: St. Augustine - so the story goes - was struggling to understand the doctrine of the Trinity. So he decided to go for a walk on the beach, where he saw a little boy digging a hole in the sand with a seashell. The boy then ran off to the ocean, filling the shell, and rushed back to pour it ...read more