~~~~~Lesson: Genesis, Chapter 30 (reading below lesson)
For a chapter of the bible that is basically a genealogy, there is a lot of discussion material.
We have two sisters married to the same man, the elder sister not as pretty and not as loved.
God responds by giving her children and striking the beautiful, loved sister barren.
In desperation, she offers her servant (an acceptable, if not common practice) in order to have "children".
Leah stops bearing children and follows Rachel's step of giving her husband her servant.
Rachel bargains away a night with Jacob for some mandrakes (which were thought to help conception both in ancient times up through the middle ages) and Leah has MORE children.
At last, Rachel's prayer is answered and she gives birth to a son, who becomes his father's favorite.
Does Rachel deserve to be struck barren? Is maybe her behavior towards Leah unfriendly...does she take advantage of her being the "loved" and "beautiful one"?
Is the use of mandrakes to induce pregnancy all right?
Rachel did show fortitude in keeping praying to God all those years for a son? Is that why God rewarded her? Were her prayers heartfelt or simply desperate?
Reading: Genesis, Chapter 30
Jacob's children are vitally important as they go on to become the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob will later take the name Israel before he dies.
Jacob, as you remember has two wives, Leah and Rachel. In addition, Leah has a servant, Zilpah, and Rachel has a servant, Bilhah. I will pick selected lines out of this section, as it is a long section. If the line starts with '-----' that is ME writing, NOT the bible
When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he made her fruitful, while Rachel remained barren.
-----Leah then bore Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.
When Rachel saw that she failed to bear children to jacob, she became envious of her sister. She said to Jacob, "Give me children or I shall die!" In anger, Jacob retorted, "Can I take the place of God, who has denied you the fruit of the womb?" She replied, "Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Have intercourse with her, and let her give birth on my knees, so that I may have offspring, at least through her."
-----Bilhah bore Dan and Naphtali. When Leah saw that she wasn't having more children yet, she gave Jacob HER maidservant, Zilpah. Zilpah bore Gad and Asher.
One day, during the wheat harvest, when Reuben was out in the field, he came upon some mandrakes which he brought home to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Head, "Please let me have some of your son's mandrakes." Leah replied, "Was it not enough for you to take away my husband, that you must now take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well, then!" Rachel answered. "In exchange for your son's mandrakes, Jacob may lie with you tonight."
----Leah then gave birth to Issachar, and later to Zebulun, and then to a daughter Dinah.
Then God remembered Rachel; he heard her prayer and made her fruitful.
-----Rachel gave birth to Joseph. Years later, right before her death, she will birth to second son, Benjamin.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong