Monday, January 10, 2011
Following the theme of feeling sorry...I feel sorry for Leah. Her story just makes me sick. She's taken advantage of by her father, who unlawfully gives her away as a bride. As a side note, I was always told growing up that Leah was ugly. If you read closely, the Bible never says that. All it says is that she had delicate eyes. I'd have to go to the Hebrew to double check this, but at least in English, delicate and ugly are two very different things. The point of this part of the story isn't that Jacob doesn't love her because she's ugly. Jacob doesn't love her because he's in love with her sister. That's it. Jacob isn't the shallow loser here. He's as much of a victim as Leah is. Laban is the bad guy in this story, Leah the powerless woman.
What really breaks my heart, however, is how desperately she wants Jacob to love her. Did they get married for reasons we would value? Certainly not, but she seems to care for him never-the-less. With each child she bears (all sons up to this point in the story) she hopes that Jacob will finally value her. He never does, and by the time she has her last son she names him Judah ( which means something like "Praise God"). At first glance it looks like she is thanking God, but flip the coin and we find something else. She's giving up on her marriage. "I might as well turn to God since my husband will never notice me," is what she seems to be saying. Leah's story is a sad, sad story, and it's all because of a greedy father. Once again, bad parenting is timeless.
Stopping point: Genesis 29