Genesis 29:17... huh?

(yeah, I went to church this morning. Gen. 29:17 was discussed.)

In some versions of the Bible, the aforementioned passage says that Leah was “weak-eyed,” and in my King James version it says that Leah was “tender-eyed.”

I’ve been wondering about that turn of phrase all day. What exactly is “weak-eyed” or “tender-eyed” anyways? Is the contention that Leah had bad eyesight? If so, so what (personally, I find a girl wearing glasses VERY sexy. Especially if she’s wearing nothing else, but that’s beside the point)? Why is that even worth mentioning?

I get the fact that Rachel was a hottie, and Jacob wanted her not Leah… but what’s the deal with ragging on the poor girl because she had bad eyesight? Am I missing something (as usual)?

And irony!

I clicked “submit” on my post, then shifted over to the other IE window I have open where I’m surfing porn… SNORT!

(no, she isn’t wearing glasses… or anything else! LOL!)

I always figured it meant she had a gentle, un-harpyish gaze to her.

Using the biblical verse comparison on GospelCom Bible Gateway, the translations given are: weak (footnote: “or delicate”), nice, pretty, weak, tender, delicate, tender, “weak and dull-looking”, tender, tender, tender, “didn’t sparkle”, weak (footnote: “or soft”). So it looks like the exact meaning is uncertain. I guess “tender” is the preferred word because it can mean either loving or delicate.

Does anybody know enough Hebrew to comment on the original (or are people refusing to answer Astroboy14 because he likes porn?)?

The best commentry I can find on the verse says:

From the Marsh Commentary.



Okay, Astrochingu (“chingu” is an inside reference for Korean speakers, but for those who are vaguely interested but too lazy to look it up, it means “friend”), your first mistake was going to church–most church folks tend to judge pretty harshly anyone who admits to surfing porn, but others, including Jesus, know that it’s just part of being a human, or at least part of being a libidinous, porn-surfing human.

The only things you’re missing are (a) the ancients didn’t recognize the hotness of girls that wear glasses, and (b) if you’re looking for religious books to make sense, you’re already far too lost for any religion to help you.

My take on it is that Leah was one of those “nice girl” types (who would have worn glasses, if she had been born a few centuries later) that you’d be happy to take home to Mother; Rachel was a hottie, with high heels, short skirt (either a tight night-club skirt, or a pleated, school-girl skirt, but either way, short), fishnet stockings and maybe a tattoo and a piercing, a little to much make-up, and maybe even a boob job, because how could anything that fine be real.

The weird thing to me is that even though Jacob wasn’t all that attracted to Leah, Leah bore him four sons. Was that spontaneous pregnancy, or immaculate conception? Or maybe, at the end of the day, those librarian types turn us on more than the hotties? To me, it just suggests that the whole collection of stories is a bunch of crap–but I don’t mean any disrespect by that, honestly. It’s just that I had three martinis for dinner, and nothing else yet. I’ll eat before I post again, I promise.

Uhh… glasses? in 600 BC? I don’t think so. A person with poor eyesight was severely handicapped in those days. Think about it - can’t recognize people, bumps into things, always making birthday cakes with salt instead of sugar… Not someone you would want for a wife. :wink:

As FriendRob said. Also it’s possible that poor eyesight made her squint, which is unattractive.

Huh. OK… thanks all!

And don’t worry, MrO… I went to church, but I was just along for the ride! I haven’t found Jesus or anything (nor has he found me, for that matter… I been hiding under the bed!).


Dang! They sure knew how to make shepard girls back then! Hubba Huuba!

Given that we’re talking about an event that supposedly took place several thousands of years ago, I think it is probably safe to assume that Leah’s glasses were non-existent, or at the least not very stylish.

The NIV (which claims to have been very rigorously researched in the translation) says:
*17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful.
*Or delicate

Which seems to be saying ‘Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel had a sexy bod.’

Quite a collection of opinions for GQ.

Touché. I’ll try to stick to factual answers in the future. No more attempts at humor. Very poor form in GQ.

By the way, did you have any factual answers, or were you just following my lead?:wink:

[sub]Darn! I did it again! Another attempt at humor! But honestly, I apologize for any offense. No sarcasm this time.[/sub]

That’s only your opinion.

The traditional Jewish interpretation of that is that Leah’s eyes were “tender” (probably meaning puffy and red, thus unattractive) from having cried a lot. The commentaries say that Laban’s two daughter’s grew up assuming that they’d be paired off with Isaac’s two sons, older to older and younger to younger. Leah therefore cried quite a bit because she did not want to end up marrying Esau. Naturally, in Jewish tradition, this is considered to her credit.

Ah! That makes sense.

Thanks cmkeller!

While you have provided a full and complete explanation of what was probably meant in the Torah (and the OP has essentially been answered), it may interest someone to know that in modern Hebrew “soft” or “tender” eyes (“Eina’im Rakot”) would almost certainly be meant as a compliment to the owner of these eyes. And, in fact, that’s the way I always read the chapter - something like “Leah had gorgeous eyes, but that’s about it; and Rachel was really stunning!”

Of course, I may have been wrong all along. YMMV

I just get really tired of this board in one respect: you can’t even mention religion without someone coming by to say, “You’re an idiot”. Thanks. I would have asked for your opinion on my religious beliefs, but considering that I didn’t feel like being told I was stupid by someone who has no idea what I really believe, or why, I didn’t ask.

The Hebrew word is “rak” (English transliteration, of course). It is Strongs number 07390, and is from the root “rakak”, which is Strongs 07401. It occurs 16 times in 16 verses.

Smith says that “tender eyed” means “blue eyed” and was considered a weakness. Guzik says that there is controversy over the meaning, but his opinion is that either the interpretation that her eyes were bad such that she couldn’t see well or that her eyes were dull (i.e., not as beautiful as Rachel’s) is plausible.

Interestingly, the name “Leah” means weary.

The term “immaculate conception” does not refer to a virgin birth, or to Jesus’ birth. It refers to the birth of Mary, by normal biological means, but with a soul “immaculate” of original sin.

Yes, I’m familiar with the concept. Again, it was an attempt at humor, offered to the wrong audience. I know Astroboy14 to have a good sense of humor; next time, I’ll email my lame jokes to him privately. I do find it a little odd that Leah managed to have four sons, but it seems that the only serious part of my post was eclipsed by the unspeakable offense I’ve caused by employing a little light-heartedness.

Assuming that you’re talking to me, I didn’t offer my opinion on your religious beliefs, because, as you say, I have no idea what you believe, and you didn’t ask anyway. I’ve apologized for hurting your feelings.

If anyone else wishes to berate me for my egregious post, could you please take it to the Pit? I don’t want to be further responsible for cluttering up this thread, and besides, as far as I know, I’ve never been pitted.