Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jacob, Rachel and Leah

Just one of those random questions that pop up in my head.

Jacob was tricked into marrying the 'wrong' sister, Leah.

I get that the bride was veiled, etc. But...come the actual wedding night, shouldn't he have realized he was bedding the wrong woman? I don't think she kept the veil on the whole night...

The only explanation I've seen put forth for this is that Jacob was drunk (and I mean really, really drunk - like, nine sheets to the wind drunk) by the time consummation came around. That his father in law, Laban, got him purposefully drunk so he wouldn't notice.


  1. Yes, that makes sense. I've wondered, too, how Jacob couldn't have known that! Hellllooooo!

  2. Perhaps Jacob was too caught up in prayer and fulfiling his work demands? I always wondered, but figured I'd look dumb if I asked. After all, at my church sweetie, when I asked about the Trinity, my pastor became a bit annoyed. He tried to explain it like an egg with a yolk, outer white shell, and inner yellow filling, but I could tell he was caught off-guard. After that, I said never again. Love you lots.

  3. Susanne,

    I know! I'm doing a *slow* read of the Bible and I just sort of went, oh, hey, wait a second...

    Drunken wedding night makes a lot of sense.

    I think most people would notice if they were going to bed with the wrong person.

  4. Lisa,

    Sure, that sounds better than drunk as a skunk, but I have my doubts.

    Jacob knew the sisters one from the other, enough that he asked for the hand of Rachel, the younger sister. Whether or not he ever saw her entire face, I'm certain they spoke. They were sisters, not identical twins. And he knew enough the next morning to know that he'd been duped.

    Until given a better option, I'm going with the too drunk to notice theory.

    Hah. I was the terror of, well, pretty much every pastor I ever ran into. I didn't really take 'because it says so in the Bible' well.

    I was actually forbidden from teaching bible classes to the younger children at the church I grew up in because the pastor thought I was teaching them to be too questioning. *suppresses evil megalomaniac laughter*

  5. It is actually possible he hadn't fully seen them or talked to them...I don't know what modesty standards there were then, how much they would have mixed. Another commenter noted that he knew them enough to ask for Rachel, but I don't think that actually had anything to do with knowing her. This was Jacob's family, I've read several commentaries suggesting that Jacob and Rachel were supposed to marry, that this had been set since they were children. Leah was Esau's, but he backed out of his responsibility and went for other women. This explanation makes sense to me at least as a possibility. He didn't necessarily know either sister well. Combine that with typical wedding/party drinking and assuming they might not have gone to the consummation/unveiling till after dark (and hey, maybe she insisted on no lights or low lights their first night. How much light do oil lamps or whatever they had give, anyway?), I think it makes some sense that he wouldn't have realized it was a problem.

  6. Sanil,

    That was me, actually, that said he knew enough to ask for Rachel. But you're right. It's possible, even likely, that it was an arranged marriage.

    Your explanation does make a lot of sense, and it is a bit nicer than falling off his chair drunk. :)

    Do you have links to these commentaries, or are they books? I'd like to read them if you do.

  7. Forbidden! Ugh, and they really expect us to just grab on to our faith when they're basically slapping us in the face. Too questioning, well you know, that is one of my FAVORITE things about you dear! Love you and no worries, you are far too good for them!

  8. Lisa,

    Yup. Banned, even. :)

    Though to be fair, I was an obnoxious child. :)


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