Part 1

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: WOMEN OF THE BIBLE
Photo: Hadas Parush / Flash90

Whenever I think of Rachel, I realize that there must be some interesting aspects of her story that were not recorded. Jacob had married another woman, and not just any other woman, but her own sister! And… after seven years, sorry 14 years, she is able to finally realize her love for Jacob and marry him. How was it for both Rachel and Jacob to wait so long? The Bible doesn’t tell us.

There is a misconception among most readers of this story as regards the amount of time Jacob waited to marry Rachel. English translations record that after Laban had tricked Jacob by giving Leah to him as a wife instead of Rachel, Laban asked Jacob to wait only a week and then he could marry Rachel, though he would have to work for Laban an additional seven years.

Native Hebrew speakers, however, assume that Jacob was only able to marry Rachel after that additional seven years of work was completed. This discrepancy is the result of a mistranslation of the word shvu’a (שְׁבֻעַ) in Genesis 29:27 as shavua...

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