Works of art by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Hendrick ter Brugghen, and Ghislaine Howard
Commentaries by Heather Macumber
Bible passage (Revised Standard Version)
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22So Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24(Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.) 25And in the morning, behold, it was Leah; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born. 27Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to wife. 29(Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maid.) 30So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also”; and she called his name Simeon. 34Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons”; therefore his name was called Levi. 35And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord”; therefore she called his name Judah; then she ceased bearing.