Genesis 30:14–18 (ESV)
Jacob’s Children (Part 4)
14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange
for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”
So he lay with her that night. 17 And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has given me my wages because
I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.
What is a mandrake
and what is going on? The mandrake, related to the potato, was thought to be both an aphrodisiac and a fertility aid. The story reveals the continuing tendency of this family to resort to magic and trickery rather than to God. God had the last word:
Rachel remained barren; Leah gave up the mandrakes, but she conceived. The Jerry Springer Show continues. My what a tangled web we weave!
I pray: O Lord, it is amazing how poor that believers will scoop… but we realize today that we are no different. Help us to trust in your saving faith. Amen.