It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How could he not have known? a Reflection on Genesis 29:15-28

Jacob tricked his blind father into giving the wrong son the blessing. Jacob's uncle tricked him into accepting the wrong bride. One big difference: Isaac was blind; Jacob, not. At the wedding, Leah may have been veiled; in the tent, later, it would have been dark. But, still, wouldn't Jacob have recognized her voice? Well, his father hadn't recognized his.

James L. Kugel, in How to Read the Bible, gives us this quote from the rabbinic text Genesis Rabba 70:19.

All night he kept calling her "Rachel" and she kept answering him, "Yes." But "in the morning, behold! It was Leah" [Gen 29:25]. He said to her, "Liar and daughter-of-a-liar!" Leah answered: "Can there be a schoolmaster without any pupils? Was it not just this way that your father called out to you 'Esau' and you answered him [by saying 'Yes']? So when you called out [Rachel], I answered you the same way."

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