an east window

夜明けとなって、明けの明星が心の中に上るまで

ヤコブの妻レアの人生(1)妹ラケルとの複雑な関係

 先日、ヤコブの波乱万丈な生涯について記事を書いたが、彼には二人の正妻レアとラケルがいた。教会における説教などでラケルについて取り扱うことは多いが、レアについてはあまりない様に思える。しかし、彼女について聖書の記述を読むと、実に多くの教えがあるので、今回はヤコブにも増して葛藤と苦悩の中に生き抜いたこの一人の女性について共有してみたい。

 レアは、ヤコブの叔父にあたるラバンの長女で、ラケルは彼女の妹であった。この姉妹関係は、もともと一筋縄ではいかない非常に複雑なものだったようである。まず第一のその名前である。「ラケル」という名前の意味が「雌羊」であるのに対して、「レア」は「野生の雌牛」である。自分の娘に対して「雌牛」という名前を付ける親の感覚は私には理解できないが、当然レアの心の中でも、妹の名と比較して複雑な思いに悩まされることがあったことは想像できる。

 さらにレアの心に重くのしかかる問題があった。ラケルが美しい容姿に生まれてきたのに対して、レアには肉体的ハンディキャップがあったようである。

創世記29:17

レアは目が弱かったが、ラケルは美しくて愛らしかった。 

  口語訳で「弱い」と訳されている原語は、「柔らかい、潤んでいる、優しい」という意味もある。確かに新共同訳では「レアは優しい目をしていた」と訳されている。英訳を比較すると「tender, weak, delicate, blear, gentle, lovely, nice」などの形容詞に訳されているが、全てのバージョンが「but」という接続詞を使って、ラケルの美しい容姿と対比しているので、「弱い」というニュアンスの方が適していると思われる。

(KJ21) Leah was tendereyed, but Rachel was beautiful and wellfavored.

(ASV) And Leah's eyes were tender. But Rachel was beautiful and well favored.

(AMP) Leah’s eyes were weak and dull looking, but Rachel was beautiful and attractive.

(CEB) Leah had delicate eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and was good-looking.

(CJB) Le’ah’s eyes were weak; but Rachel was good-looking, with beautiful features

(CEV) Leah was older than Rachel, but her eyes didn’t sparkle, while Rachel was beautiful and had a good figure.

(DARBY) And the eyes of Leah were tender; but Rachel was of beautiful form and beautiful countenance.

(DRA) But Lia was blear eyed: Rachel was well favoured, and of a beautiful countenance.

(ERV) Leah’s eyes were gentle, but Rachel was beautiful.

(ESV) Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.

(ESVUK) Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.

(EXB) Leah had ·weak eyes [frail/tender eyes; C likely means unattractive], but Rachel was very beautiful.

(GNV) And Leah was tender eyed, but Rachel was beautiful and fair.

(GW) Leah had attractive eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and beautiful features.

(GNT) Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful.

(HCSB) Leah had ordinary eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful.

(JUB) Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

(KJV) Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

(AKJV) Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

(LEB) Now the eyes of Leah were dull, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.

(TLB) Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was shapely, and in every way a beauty.

(MSG) Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. 

(NOG) Leah had attractive eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and beautiful features.

(NASB)  And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face.

(NCV) Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was very beautiful.

(NET) Leah’s eyes were tender, but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.)

(NIRV) Leah had weak eyes. But Rachel was beautiful. She had a nice figure.

(NIV) Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.

(NIVUK) Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.

(NKJV) Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance.

(NLV) Leah’s eyes were weak. But Rachel was beautiful in body and face.

(NLT) There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face.

(NRSV) Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful.

(NRSVA) Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful.

(NRSVACE) Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful.

(NRSVCE) Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful.

(OJB) Leah had weak eyes; but Rachel was yafeh and lovely in form.

(RSV) Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful and lovely.

(RSVCE) Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful and lovely.

(VOICE) There was no brightness to Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful shape and was lovely to look at.

(WEB) Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive.

(WYC) but Leah was bleary-eyed, and Rachel was of fair face, and lovely in sight. (and Leah was blurry-eyed, but Rachel had a beautiful face, and was lovely to look at.)

(YLT) and the eyes of Leah [are] tender, and Rachel hath been fair of form and fair of appearance.

 ちなみにイタリア語訳においても、「delicati, deboli」という形容詞に訳し、「視力が弱い」というニュアンスに解釈されている。これはあくまで私の推測だが、ヤコブが井戸のところでラケルに初めて会った時、ラケルはたった一人で父の羊の群れを牧していたが、レアがその仕事に携わっていなかったのは、彼女の視力の問題があったからではないだろうか。

創世記29:9

ヤコブがなお彼らと語っている時に、ラケルは父の羊と一緒にきた。彼女は羊を飼っていたからである。 

 名前だけではなく、容姿においても、彼女が好きで選んだわけではなく、年頃の女の子であったレアが、妹に対して劣等感を感じていたことは十分想像できる。「なぜ妹は可愛くて、名前も愛らしいのに、私だけ、、、」。しかもそのアンバランスは、ヤコブという青年の登場で、さらに強調されてしまった。ヤコブは姉のレアではなく、妹のラケルの事を愛したのである。聖書には、短い箇所で二回もそのことを繰り返し表現し、しかもその愛が純粋で、誠実なものであったことを啓示している。

創世記29:17-20

17 レアは目が弱かったが、ラケルは美しくて愛らしかった。 

18 ヤコブはラケルを愛したので、「わたしは、あなたの妹娘ラケルのために七年あなたに仕えましょう」と言った。 

19 ラバンは言った、「彼女を他人にやるよりもあなたにやる方がよい。わたしと一緒にいなさい」。 

20 こうして、ヤコブは七年の間ラケルのために働いたが、彼女を愛したので、ただ数日のように思われた。 

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