In the biblical scripture reference below, would it be correct to say that Jacob is more driven by sexual urges than the overall need to be married for companionship? The reason I'm asking is because Jacob tells Laban that he wants to "go in to [Rachel]her." It does Not say give her to me as a wife. Moreover, it's even more shocking that during the marriage day's evening, Jacob "went in to [Leah]her", which is really comical because How can any guy Just Not recognize who their sexual partner is during sex. That is incredibly funny. LOL!!! Is my interpretation correct?

 Genesis 29:21-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is completed, 
that I may go in to her.” 22 Laban gathered all the men of the place and made
 a feast. 23 Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to
 him; and Jacob went in to her. 24 Laban also gave his maid Zilpah to his 
daughter Leah as a maid. 25 So it came about in the morning that, behold, it 
was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not 
for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?”
  • The premise of the question is incorrect. Jacob said to Laban - Give me my wife. It is a perfectly honourable request. As for the circumstances, the narrative states the fact of the deception without giving the intricate details. – Nigel J Mar 25 '18 at 3:25

There are a lot of implicit, but no explicit reasons why Jacob didn't recognize Leah. Some possibilities:

1.) The feast Laban prepared

Throughout history, many men have been known to get themselves quite intoxicated as they enter into their wedding night. Did Jacob do no less? Was he so out of his mind drunk he couldn't tell the difference between Leah and Rachel?

2.) Was Leah an identical twin to Rachel?

Jacob was a twin, and the occurences of twins within families is high throughout history and the world. Perhaps Leah having "tender eyes" (one translation) suggests the only difference between her and Rachel had to do with either her eyesight, or how her eyes looked physically. If this is so, in the dark, Jacob would not be able to see the remarkably small difference between the two sisters, if they were otherwise identical.

3.) Is it merely a plot device?

Consider: Jacob deceives his father Isaac into thinking that he is Esau, so as to take the blessing, under Rebecca's guidance. Jacob pretends to be someone else to get away with chicanery, so Rebecca's brother does the same to Jacob, showing how easy it is to dupe someone who is already given to duping others. In the first scenario, it's on account of Isaac's blindness that he can't tell it's not Esau, but Jacob. In the second account, Jacob is so "blind" he doesn't even realize it's not Rachel but Leah in his bed on the night of the wedding.

In this way, the plot device serves as a comical turn of events to show that Jacob, but, more importantly us as the readers, that we reap what we sow, and just like Jacob, we more often than not, end up getting what we deserve, especially when we try to pull one over (that is, lie/deceive - a morally reprehensible sin) on another person.

Jacob tricking Isaac was the catalyst that set Jacob up to be tricked by Laban (ostensibly through Leah). This much at least, I believe, is explicit. The rest is a bit of a guessing game, though, if I had to choose, I would go with option 3 as the likeliest.

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  • +1. Interesting speculation in your #3. Also, since the phrase "tender eyes" is, at best, a translator's guess, I suggest three things: 1) Leah had strabismus (cross-eyes); 2) she had, unlike perhaps the majority of Middle Eastern women--then and now--pale blue eyes, which turned Jacob off; or 3) she simply could not see well and consequently was always squinting! There are other possibilities, of course, one of which is that Leah was just plain homely. Her younger sister, OTOH, was beautiful and built! All this is based on part speculation and part observation from the text's clues. Don – rhetorician Mar 25 '18 at 0:13
  • 'A plot device'. Do you think this is a novel, or do you think this is fact recorded in holy scripture. ? – Nigel J Mar 25 '18 at 20:07
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    According to The Apostolic Bible Polyglot, the Jewish scholars who translated this word into Greek, chose the word ασθενείς for Leah's eyes, which translates to weak or sick. Furthermore, the consummation occurred in the dark of night (no electricity and an oil lamp would be pretty dim) under the influence of a generous quantity of wine, so the success of the switch should not be that surprising. – Dieter Mar 25 '18 at 22:16
  • Nigel J, I don't think it's an either/or proposition. If we take the idea that God is the author of all creation, and that He has a destiny for all that which He has created, within which He forms a path upon which we are to trod, to be in His will, then in a real sense, the story of Jacob is both Holy Scripture, but also a novel, one which, however, has a Divine Author doing the writing. There is therefore, a story within a story. The story of the Bible and the life of Jacob, and the story we are supposed to being reading between the lines, if you will, about what Jacob's story means. – The Votive Soul Apr 10 '18 at 9:51

According to the law as Laban states, Leah, as the eldest daughter, must be married off first, before Rachel. Presumably Rachel knew this also, but apparently she didn't inform Jacob about this, she kept silent and went along with the "gag" which is what it turned out to be for Jacob, when he woke up and realized he'd gone into Leah, and was now married to her. But since Jacob "thought" he was marrying Rachel, wanting to and intending to marry Rachel, didn't that constitute his marrying Rachel? Apparently, not. He went into Leah, so that's who he got himself married to . Was this unethical on the part of Laban, and also Rachel? Maybe, but apparently there was some justification on the part of Laban. Some have said that Jacob got so drunk during what he thought was his marriage ceremonial party to Rachel that he couldn't tell them apart "when the rubber met the road". I'll go along with that.

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