14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.

15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.

17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.

19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.

21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.

This incident of Rachel trading a night with Jacob for Reuben’s mandrakes is very similar to Esau giving up his birthright for Jacob’s mess of pottage. All Rachel wanted was to have a nice fruit, but she ended up extending her sister’s branch beyond her own.

It’s also interesting to note that previously Leah “had left bearing,” but now she was fertile once more. I can’t help but think that this would have been a particularly hard thing for Rachel to witness. Her sister that had initially been able to have children finally came into the same state of no longer being able to, only to have that ability returned to her out of the blue. Leah had twice received that which Rachel longed for even once!

But this humbling experience was the last one Rachel had to endure before finally receiving her own blessing. And while she would never bear as many sons as her sister, she would give birth to the choicest of them all.

2 thoughts on “Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 30:14-15, 17, 19, 21

  1. So enjoy these posts, and wondered if you are considering collecting them to publish, a whole devotional book on Genesis, for example, as I sometimes hesitate to read the posts, knowing I’m going to want to think about them outside the distraction of an online environment.

    Appreciate the poetry of the fruit metaphor. Yes, to this reading, and for another: R. Fohrman of Aleph Beta used Jeremiah’s “Rachel weeping for her children” passage to suggest the Sale of Jacob was a way for everyone to replay the wedding night: Leah gets a chance to choose Jacob, Jacob a chance to choose Leah, and Rachel a chance to choose to give her permission to this arrangement–all three people having been denied agency the first night.

    That idea doesn’t cancel the point about unintended consequences and extended grief. But it does hint at the chance to rewrite the past in the present for a better future. Blessings.


    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Heather. Honestly, I hadn’t given any thought to what I might do with this collection. This has just been my way to share my personal scripture study, but maybe I should consider something.

      And thank you for sharing that insight from R. Fohrman. I’d never thought of this scene as a replay of the original wedding night, but I think that’s a very compelling take on it. Overall, I’ve been noticing a lot of symmetry going on in the story of Jacob and his family.

      God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

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