Verse 31 says, When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.
|YHVH - Hashem - the name of the LORD|
I know I've said poor Leah numerous times. But the LORD is faithful to her. From her come the two tribes that are foundational to God's plan. Judah and Levi - the kingship and the priesthood.
Leah experiences a pause in childbearing after she has Judah. Judah means praise. We see a picture here. Sometimes we simply need to stop what we are doing and praise the Lord.
Chapter 30 opens with the exact opposite sentiment from Rachel. She is pitching a fit in verse 1:
|Zilpah and Bilhah - Did they have any choice?|
Reuben find some mandrakes and Rachel asked Leah for them. Mandrakes were considered a fertility herb, And were also known as love apples. In fact the Hebrew word for mandrake is the same is beloved in the song of Solomon: dodi. It’s the same root word as David, which means beloved.
|Mandragora (mandrake) roots|
(Um, first of all, what the heck does Reuben want with them??)
Leah names him Issachar, which means wages. She reckons that her new baby is her payment for giving Zilpah to Jacob.
Seven babies = completeness for Leah.
Whew, that was a whirlwind. In just 28 verses, Jacob has twelve children with four different mothers. Busy guy.
Jacob now has many kids, but he does not have the covenant land which was promised. He needs to get back to the land!
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