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Genesis 29.31 - 30.24

posted 24 Feb 2014, 04:17 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
When the Eternal One saw how Leah was unloved, He made her fertile, but Rachel remained barren. 32 Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Reuben.

Leah: Because the Eternal One has been compassionate to me in my painful predicament, allowing me to bear this child, surely now my husband will love me.

33 In time, she conceived again and gave birth to another son.

Leah: Because the Eternal One has heard I am unloved, He has given me this son too.

So Leah named the second son Simeon. 34 Then she conceived for the third time and gave birth to her third son.

Leah: Surely now my husband will be more attached to me, because I have given him three sons.

Leah named the third son Levi. 35 And once again, she conceived and gave birth to her fourth son.

Leah: This time I will praise the Eternal One!

So Leah named this son Judah. After Judah, Leah didn’t have any more children for a while.

30 When Rachel realized she couldn’t have Jacob’s children, she grew envious of her sister and complained to Jacob.

Rachel: I’ll just die if you don’t give me children!

Jacob became angry with Rachel.

Jacob: Am I God? He’s the One responsible for you not getting pregnant, not me!

Rachel: Here’s my servant, Bilhah. Sleep with her so she can be a surrogate for me. I’ll have my children through her.

What Rachel suggests is not at all improper for her time. As you may recall, Sarah and Abraham had a similar situation with Hagar (16:1–4). Custom allows for these kinds of arrangements, just as technology today allows for an infertile woman to have a child through a surrogate. Any child born to Bilhah is regarded as Rachel’s, because she has the right to name the child. As we have seen, the naming of a child carries great significance.

So she gave Jacob her servant Bilhah to be another one of his wives, and Jacob slept with her. Bilhah conceived and gave birth to Jacob’s son.

Rachel: God has absolved me. He has heard my plea and has given me a son after all!

So this is why Rachel named her son Dan. Rachel’s servant Bilhah soon conceived again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob.

Rachel: I have had to wrestle with my own sister as I’ve wrestled with God, but I have prevailed.

So Rachel named this son Naphtali.

When it seemed Leah was not going to have any more children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob to be a wife as well. 10 So Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob.

Leah: 11 Good fortune has arrived!

This is why she named him Gad.

12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 13 Leah named him Asher to express her joy.

Leah: I am so happy! All of the women can see how happy I am!

14 When it came time to harvest the wheat, Reuben went out and found some mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel heard about this and approached her sister.

Rachel: Would you please give me some of the mandrakes your son found?

Leah: 15 You know it is no small matter that you’ve stolen the attentions of my husband. Now you want my son’s mandrakes too?

Rachel: Then he can sleep with you tonight in exchange for some of your son’s mandrakes!

16 So when Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him.

Leah: Tonight you must sleep with me because I have hired you for a good price—some of my son’s mandrakes.

So he slept with her that night. 17 God listened to Leah and showed her His favor, and after many years she again conceived and gave birth to her fifth son for Jacob.

Leah: 18 God has paid me my wages, since I gave my servant to my husband.

This is why she named her son Issachar.

19 And God’s favor didn’t stop with him; Leah conceived again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob.

Leah: 20 God has given me a plentiful gift. Now my husband will surely honor me, because I have given him six sons.

This is why she named her sixth son Zebulun. 21 And at last after that, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel. He heard her prayer and made her fertile. 23 She conceived and gave birth to her first son.

Rachel: God has taken away my shame.

24 She decided to name him Joseph.

Rachel: May the Eternal One add to me another son!