The Twelve Tribes of Israel
And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
- Rachel appears to be an Academy Award winning actress, a drama queen
- No one ever died from not having a child.
- Rachel had the promises through Jacob, not Leah.
- Her own father is the reason Leah is with Jacob in the first place
- No person deserves anything from God, but Rachel thought she did.
- Leah was blessed not because of her own merit, but by God's merited grace to have children
- Prayer would have been a better answer
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
(1 Samuel 1:11)
And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
(1 Samuel 1:20)
Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
- One time Jacob gets this correct.
- A man can only pray that his wife have a child. God opens the womb
- God is withholding, not Jacob.
And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may
also have children by her.
- Where have we seen this one before?
- She shall bear upon my knees, meaning it shall be my baby when born, not hers
Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
- God in His infinite Mercy is allowing this once again.
- But, there are always consequences to everything
- Not having learned, or having NOT learned, from his grandfather, he hearkens unto his wife
And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.
- Dan does not turn out to be a great bargain here
- She will be satisfied with at least ONE child?
And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son. And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name
- But wait! There's more!
- This is really about her sister having children more than herself not having them
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son.
- First Rachel was barren, and now Leah
- But wait! There's even more!
- Bilhah now cannot give children to her, sort of like God is trying to tell her to stop
- She cannot stop herself, trusts in the flesh, and continues with Plan B, instead of asking God to give her children
And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
- There are many more to come
And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son.
- One was apparently not enough from the second handmaiden as well
- To those who covet, there never really IS enough
And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
- She is blessed of God, but her handmaid gives birth to the child and not her
- The point is, is she really happy? Is she done yet?
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.
- Mandrakes were a sign of love and fertility in Jewish culture
- 100% of the plant is poisonous, it is called the "love plant"
- You can pinch parts of the plant and it pinches the root to make shapes, which they would do to make the shapes of fertility, etc.
- Reuben wants to see if this works on his mother, apparently
- Used a lot in Wicca, magic and pagan rituals. It is hallucinogenic as well
- The plant's history is loaded with magic spells, potions, incantations and songs from the dark ages and before/after
- The entrance of pagan rituals into Jewish life to get children, win wars, foretell events, etc. never stopped
(Song of Solomon 7:13)
The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
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.
- "Hand over the mandrakes and no one gets hurt"
- They trade the mandrakes for Leah to have her husband "back"?
- Rachel thinks perhaps that getting the mandrakes will mean that she gets pregnant and Leah will not
- Perhaps Jacob was spending time with Rachel and not Leah for some time
If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both
the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
- Rachel has the mandrakes, Leah has the man back
- Imagine you are told that you are hired for a poisonous plant used in fertility rituals?
And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
- Even the enemy can allow people to be deceived. No doubt that this conception showed Leah that mandrakes worked
And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she
called his name Issachar.
- Leah thinks that this is because of the trade of mandrakes for Jacob
And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called
his name Zebulun.
- Perhaps these births mean to her that Jacob will once again return to her.
DOWRY, n. [See Dower. This word differs not from dower. It is the same word differently written, and the distinction made between them is arbitrary.]
- The money, goods or estate which a woman brings to her husband in marriage; the portion given with a wife.
- The reward paid for a wife.
- A gift; a fortune, given.
And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
- There is no saying for Dinah.
- The meaning of the name Dinah is God Has Judged
And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
- This is not a healing of God's memory, but a saying that He is about to fulfill something after a long period of time
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that waswith him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.
And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
- God never said her being barren was a reproach
- God wanted her to just pray to receive His blessing of children
- Censure mingled with contempt or derision; contumelious or opprobrious language towards any person; abusive reflections; as foul-mouthed reproach.
- Shame; infamy; disgrace.
Give not thine heritage to reproach. Joel 2. Isa 4.
- Object of contempt, scorn or derision.
Come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we may be no more a reproach. Neh 2.
- That which is the cause of shame or disgrace. Gen 30.
And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
- Ironically, the first son of Rachel is the one who will be the most prominent in Godliness
Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve
thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
- Now that Rachel has given Jacob a son, it is time to move on. The woman he loved so much has born him a child
- Jacob is not at home here with Laban, in this place. Perhaps he also never felt less welcome
- Jacob is not in the land of his fathers, not in the promised land, but in Laban's land.
Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest
my service which I have done thee.
- He was asked to serve seven years, and it was agreed to. Then Laban asked seven more
- They are his children, his wives, he served Laban twice for them, and Laban knows this full well.
And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.
- There is never enough for a greedy person
- The reason he wants Jacob to stay is to get God's blessings through Jacob
- Working for Laban was fine when he was just Jacob, maybe one wife
- Working for Laban will not work when one has such a huge family to support
- Today people still want to use the Jews, hire the Jews, associate with the Jews because of the material blessings, knowledge, etc. they offer. They just do not acknowledge them as God's chosen people. Nothing ever changes.
And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
A raise from the boss after all of this time? Payment finally? How generous of Laban!
And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
- The physical blessings of God for Jacob's labor and even presence should be plain to Laban
For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?
- As was said earlier: Working for Laban was fine when he was just Jacob, maybe one wife
- As was said earlier: Working for Laban will not work when one has such a huge family to support
- Apparently Laban was not doing so well without his own personal slave
Matthew Henry Concise Commentary:
Note, Those that trust in God, in his providence and promise, though they have great families and small incomes, can cheerfully hope that he who sends mouths will send meat. He who feeds the brood of the ravens will not starve the seed of the righteous.
And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock:
- Jacob is about to rely on God and not Laban, knowing it is God who blesses the flocks
I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
- He already worked for the wages, they are in the flocks in front of him, so he will just merely take them
So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
- Jacob has been honest and hardworking for Laban
- He trusts in God to provide miracles for his wages, not Laban
- The important parts are both "in God" and "not Laban"
And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
- What choice does Laban have? Perhaps he thinks that his or Jacob's skills at animal husbandry are not good enough to give Jacob an edge here
- Either way, he knows he cannot argue and lose Jacob and that Jacob cannot stay forever as it is
- It is probable that Laban thought for sure he would take Jacob for more of a ride
And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
- The sons of Jacob did the separating and this was most likely because he did not trust Laban
- He had the boys separate a part of the flock and remove them far enough out of the sight of Laban because he had no real reason to trust him
And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
- He shaved them longitudinally, removing the bark
- This is by faith, expecting a miracle and it is not natural at all.
And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
- Again, this is all by faith, no magic
- No indication God told him to do this at all, but God in chapter 31 tells Jacob He blessed the animals in his favor (Genesis 31:10-12)
- This may have been a custom of shepherds in Canaan as well
And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.
- This is definitely divine intervention, since this does not happen naturally with flocks of anything
And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto
- Sometimes we have to just separate ourselves from even our relatives if they are acting ungodly, and our family as well
And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.
- A winning strategy is repeated here
But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
- Jacob the deceiver is also Jacob the achiever, making Laban the father of the feebler
And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.
- Fet accompli, since he needed to have enough wealth to leave, and his family with him