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Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive. Bible

“Leah’s eyes were weak.” The Hebrew word we translate as “weak” is rak (#07390 רַךְ), and it is unclear in this context how to translate it. It can mean “weak,” and describe Leah in a bad light, or it can mean “tender, soft” and describe at least one nice thing about her, but nevertheless she was overshadowed by her gorgeous sister Rachel. The translations differ: “weak; ordinary” (CJB; HCSB; ESV; NAB; NASB; NIV); “tender; delicate” (ASV; KJV; NET; YLT). Of the two choices we went with “weak.” Women were modestly dressed in the biblical culture and did not have much open contact with men, but before any marriage the women of the family of the prospective groom would get to sit with and inspect the prospective wife, and in this case it seems obvious that Leah’s family was anxious to avoid that and get Leah married, which they did by deceiving Jacob. This turned out to be hard on both Leah and Jacob.


Commentary for: Genesis 29:17