Sorry if the undertones of this particular strip are more “adult-themed” than usual, but I think the events in Genesis chapter 30 are meant to be a little disappointing and perhaps slightly shocking to us. Not because of the cultural acceptance of such practices during that time, but because Jacob went along with it, much like his grandfather Abraham.
If you haven’t been following the story in your Bible (which I highly recommend), allow me to set the scene for you. Jacob is tricked by his uncle into marrying Leah, when he thought he was marrying her younger sister Rachel. He gets to marry Rachel too, but she seems to be barren. Leah, on the other hand, quickly pops out four boys (see previous strip), which means that Jacob’s legendary devotion to Rachel only extended so far.
As Rachel observes this, she gets more and more jealous, even blaming Jacob for her infertility. So desperate is she for children, she takes her maidservant Bilhah, and gives this woman to Jacob. Bilhah has two boys by Jacob, and Rachel claims them as her own (whaaaaa??!!).
Meanwhile, Leah has stopped having children and thinks that Rachel might be on to something, so she gives her maidservant Zilpah to Jacob. They have two boys together, and Leah is still winning the headcount.
Now, I don’t pretend to know what Jacob should have done in this situation, and obviously God was using this “extra-fidelity” to build the nation of Israel, but you would think that someone would have pointed out the similarities in poor decision-making of only two generations before. And so the theme continues…