And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.…
The cultivation of the beautiful is, indeed, the first step towards civilization; but it is no more than a means of education; it has accomplished its purpose when it has contributed to awaken the interest for thought and truth; the Greeks were an element in the development of mankind; but their mission ceased when they had opened the minds of men for the reception of abstract ideas; and the sentence which a Greek sage wrote over his door: "nothing ugly must enter," was to be superseded by the Biblical maxim: "deceitful is gracefulness, and vain is beauty; a woman who feareth the Lord, she alone deserveth praise" (Proverbs 31:30). While the first woman was merely " she who gives life" (Eve); the daughter of Lamech, seven generations later, was the "beautiful" (Naamah); this was certainly a progress; but many centuries were required to elapse before men ceased to regard beauty both as the test of worth, and a proof of special Divine favour. To contribute towards this important lesson is the end of this portion; for, "when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren"; by the same act He taught Jacob wisdom, and procured justice to Leah. The latter was clearly aware of this turning-point in her life; for when she gave birth to a son, she exclaimed: "Surely, the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me." Nor does she seem to have been unworthy of being blessed with offspring; the love of her husband was the sole object of her thoughts and feelings.
(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.