Rachel has not had any children with Jacob, and becomes jealous of her sister Leah who has had four sons with Jacob. To rectify this Rachel gives her maidservant, Bilhah, to Jacob to marry and have children with. Bilhah has two sons with Jacob. Leah notices that she is no longer having children, so she gives her maidservant, Zilpah, to Jacob also. Zilpah has two sons with Jacob. Leah then has two more sons and a daughter with Jacob, and Rachel finally has a son.
Jacob then sets about in separating from servitude to Laban, and in doing so convinces Laban that he should receive sheep and goats that will be easily distinguishable from Labans. Before the separation of the flock, Laban gives the majority of the animals that would go to Jacob go his sons, leaving few for Jacob. Jacob, however, bests Laban by breeding better animals for himself and weaker animals for Laban from the remaining flock.
Again with this chapter we get to add to the list of biblically supported non-traditional marriage styles. Although this one just compounds on Jacobs marriage from the previous chapter, I think it should still stand on its own. I think it should’ve noted here that I do not have a problem with any of these marriage styles. The caveat to that is that everyone in the relationship must have entered the relationship of their own accord, be happy, and accepting of the relationship situation. Given these parameters, I don’t have a problem with consenting adults entering into relationship configurations of their choice.
In this chapter we see Jacob use a folk technique to cause the offspring of the animals to be streaked, speckled and spotted. This technique was one of providing visual stimulation to the parent animals while they mated. This is just flat out wrong and contrary to what we know of how genetics influence appearance. While such information was not available to those writing the bible, it is a huge strike against the idea that it is infallible. It is also a strike against the notion that it was all divinely inspired. What use would it be for God to include this bit of crap breeding technique? It would have been much better for humanity to have instead written something more along the lines of breeding the strong with the strong to produce strong offspring, or that breeding the speckled with the plain produces varying degrees of speckled animals. Or at least not included anything on that and just say that Jacob bred stronger animals for himself. This is crap science on the bibles part.
Lessons I Learned:
- Don’t trust 2000 year old books for biology advice.