Genesis 29:26

Hebrew Bible

25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me? Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked me?” 26It is not our custom here,” Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn. 27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week. Then we will give you the younger one too, in exchange for seven more years of work.”

Onkelos Genesis 29:26


25 And it was in the morning, and, behold, she was Leah! And he said to Laban, What is this that thou hast done to me? Was it not for Rahel that I served thee? and why hast thou been false with me? 26 And Laban said, It is not so done in our place, to give the younger before the elder. 27 Fulfil this week, and I will give thee also that, for the service that thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

 Notes and References

"... Genesis 29:26 ... Not “the younger one before the older,” but “the younger one before the firstborn.” The man who has taken away the firstborn privilege of his brother now suffers because of the firstborn privilege of his beloved’s sister! Here, by the way, is a case in which translation makes a difference. The Targum, the Septuagint, and some recent translations all make it “the older,” not “the firstborn,” thus unfortunately missing this point and unwittingly hiding it from their readers. Several scholars have discussed this irony in various terms. Now, is this reference to Leah as the firstborn a chance detail based on a coincidence of language, or is it an essential development in the structure of the story? The evidence that I observed in the rest of the narrative indicates that it is indeed an essential, designed development ..."

Friedman, Richard Elliott The Hidden Book in the Bible (p. 45) Harper San Francisco, 1998

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