Genesis 29:17

Hebrew Bible

16 (Now Laban had two daughters; the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were tender, but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.) 18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.”

LXX Genesis 29:17


16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the bigger was Leia, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 And Leia’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was shape- ly in figure and lovely in appearance. 18 Now Iakob loved Rachel, and he said, “I will be subject to you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

Jubilees 28:5


4 And he went in unto her, and behold, she was Leah; and Jacob was angry with Laban, and said unto him: 'Why hast thou dealt thus with me? Did not I serve thee for Rachel and not for Leah? Why hast thou wronged me? 5 Take thy daughter, and I will go; for thou hast done evil to me.' For Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah; for Leah's eyes were weak, but her form was very handsome; but Rachel had beautiful eyes and a beautiful and very handsome form.

 Notes and References

"... Whether or not Jacob was actually deluded, interpreters were equally curious about why Laban had gone to the trouble of switching his two daughters in the first place. Most did not take Laban's own explanation (that the younger daughter was not be married off before the older) as truthful. Instead, they reasoned, Laban had been motivated by a crucial difference in his two daughters' appearances. For when they are first described, they are presented in these terms ... The significance of the word "soft" seemed to hold the key to understanding this whole incident. For if Leah's eyes were soft and (as the text goes on to add) Jacob preferred Rachel, then perhaps having "soft eyes" was some sort of defect, one that would make Laban have to resort to trickery in order to find Leah a husband. Thus, some interpreters concluded that she indeed had something wrong with her eyes ..."

Kugel, James L. The Bible as it Was (p. 220) Harvard University Press, 1998

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