Rachel: Our Matriarch of Compassion

The third matriarch of the Bible is Rachel. In Jewish tradition, whenever we mention the four matriarchs, we list them in the following order: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah. While Leah technically was third in line the woman who the patriarch Jacob married first and who became mother to six of his sons it was Rachel who Jacob had chosen first to be his wife.

As Scripture tells us, Jacob loved Rachel (Genesis 29:18). Jacob sought Rachel’s hand in marriage from her father, Laban. And while Jacob accepted Leah after he had been deceived by Laban and given Leah in place of Rachel, Jacob’s most beloved wife remained Rachel.

Scripture tells us that Rachel was barren (Genesis 29:31). The Hebrew word for “barren” that appears in this verse is akara. This word can also be read as ikara, which means “the main” or “the most important.” Although Jacob had four wives, Rachel never lost her status as his ikara, his favorite


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