Women in the Bible: Rachel

Rachel is an interesting character. She’s the wife of Jacob and also his first cousin. We read about her in Genesis 29-31 & 35.

For some reason, I’m drawn to Rachel, but I don’t know why.

We know she’s beautiful. For Jacob, it’s love at first sight. But there’s calamity when her dad pawns off her sister, Leah, on Jacob, her unsuspecting betrothed. Though she does marry Jacob, too, the sisters spend their lives vying for his attention.

Jacob favors Rachel, but doesn’t completely ignore Leah, either. While Rachel has Jacob’s affection, it’s Leah who keeps getting pregnant. Their competition heats up and the sisters each offer their maids to their husband to make more babies, first Rachel and then Leah.

Later in one of the oddest moves ever, Rachel trades a night with her husband for food. I guess she was really hungry. As a result Leah has another son.

Eventually Rachel gets pregnant, too, and has Joseph. Instead of being satisfied over finally having a child, she immediately asks God for another son.

Rachel’s story ends a few years later when she dies giving birth to her second son, Benjamin. It’s a tragic end to a tragic life.

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