Jacob's bride

Thoughts and questions from the first book

Moderators: Tom Tighe, ILCAdmin

Post Reply
Tom Tighe
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:27 pm

Jacob's bride

Post by Tom Tighe »

The description of Leah and Rachel in Gen 19:17 is always funny to me. Then NIV says " Leah's eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance." That seems like an apples to oranges comparison. I once heard a Rabbi say that a more literal translation was that Leah was "hard to see" meaning hard to look at (not pretty), but the kind english translators pushed the description toward "hard of seeing" or poor eyesight, eventually becoming "eyes were delicate." The passage makes more sense as not pretty vs. beautiful.

So if the sisters appearance was so strikingly different, how come Jacob didn't notice until the morning after the honeymoon?
emma2525
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2023 8:41 am

Re: Jacob's bride

Post by emma2525 »

Tom Tighe wrote: Thu Jan 12, 2023 3:58 pm The description of Leah and Rachel in Gen 19:17 is always funny to me. Then NIV says " Leah's eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance." That seems like an apples to oranges comparison. I once heard a Rabbi say that a more literal translation was that Leah was "hard to see" meaning hard to look at (not pretty), but the kind english translators pushed the description toward "hard of seeing" or poor eyesight, eventually becoming "eyes were delicate." The passage makes more sense as not pretty vs. beautiful.

So if the sisters appearance was so strikingly different, how come Jacob didn't notice until the morning after the honeymoon?

Every bride is beautiful, I wish brides today would wear an embroidered wedding dress like the ones from this url. I imagine the brides wearing this kind of wedding dress during the days of Leah and Rachel in the Bible.
Hello! It's interesting that you find the description of Leah and Rachel in Genesis 19:17 amusing. Regarding your question, it's important to note that the Bible doesn't give us any indication that Jacob didn't notice the difference in appearance between Leah and Rachel. However, it's possible that in the dim light of the tent, he may not have been able to see them clearly enough to discern the difference in appearance. Additionally, it's possible that the wedding custom of the time allowed for the bride to be heavily veiled during the ceremony, making it difficult for Jacob to see his bride's face. Ultimately, we can't know for certain why Jacob didn't notice the difference until the morning after, but it's clear that he was surprised and disappointed when he did.
Tom Tighe
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:27 pm

Re: Jacob's bride

Post by Tom Tighe »

Hi Emma,
I appreciate your thoughts and inputs on this topic and think it was clever to insert a link to your business in the quoted comment. My comment was really more about the translation from Hebrew to English and how well it captured the idea trying to be conveyed. But if the sisters were so dissimilar for it to be noted in the very limited description of Jacob’s life, I would think it would be noticeable on the wedding night, even if behind a veil or in the dark.
Post Reply