Summary: This story is so fucking ridiculous. Basically the telling of Jacob and his wives and how God messes with all of them. On top of that, the regular sexism of the age is made so dastardly prominent that I believe I had a permanent scowl on the entire time I was reading these passages. Let’s dive in.
28:10– so Jacob has left and he has a premonition or a dream or God visits him or something. It says in 12 that he dreamed, but then Jacob really felt some type of way because he calls that random place where it got dark it the ‘gateway’ to heaven. And it seems he made that decision on his own. Anyway, this is mostly wish fulfillment so that the goatmen listening know that they are special, or to convert so that they can become one of the special ones. Moving on.
20:17-18 – I’m always lookin’ into the order things are explained because usually the order has some logical explanation. So it is expressed that Rachel was prettier than Leah, and the next verse we have Jacob loving Rachel, which puts to mind that the reason he loves Rachel more than Leah is because Rachel was prettier than Leah, and that seems very likely.
20:25– How are these men being tricked so easily? I know Jacob is a bit young so couldn’t he hear the difference between Leah and Rachel? Did Leah not speak or make a sound? Had candles not been invented yet? And why is Laban such a jackass? Why does Jacob have to work another seven years, and why would he agree to that? And is that all a woman is worth- seven years? And what does/do Rachel and/or Leah think about this?
:31– Why is Rachel barren if God can, at any time, make her not barren? Didn’t he see the misery coming? Leah has, what, five sons by the time Rachel throws her maid at Jacob so that she can ‘have a family through her’. How does that work exactly? Is her maid not a person, so it counts as hers because the maid is hers? Is this an Unsullied sort of thing? Because that was the exact kind of thinking that brought these boys along.
Speaking of boys, the preference of boys over girls is never explained. And there is no good reason for it. Some have said in the past (who am I kidding, they say it now) that is because boys are bigger and stronger and whatever, which is why so many people mourn the loss of ‘big strong manly men’ today, because it’s better to be that than anything else. And winning wars that we don’t need to have, that’s important too.
30:26 – So Laban knows he could get the good stuff through Jacob and convinces him to stay and Jacob fixes the sheep population so that he gets the big and strong sheep. I’m not sure how the branches work- maybe the whiteness of the inner wood rubs off on the babies? Anyway, there’s no way this plan would backfire.