The oldest son of Leah, Reuben, finds some Mandrakes the roots of the plant are used to help women conceive. He found them in late spring – early summer May-June, The time of Pentecost or Shavuot which was when the wheat harvest was.
There was sister rivalry for Jacob’s affection between the two sisters Leah the older and Rachel the younger and much loved of Jacob. At this point Leah had given Jacob four sons and about to add one more while Rachel was still barren a great disgrace to a woman in this culture.
All during this time Jacob and his family were working for Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, who lived in the area of Haran, North west Mesopotamia, which was a long way from Jacob’s homeland a long way south in Canaan or Israel.
Rachel was one of daughters of Laban and a younger sister to Leah.
Outcome of the Mandrakes found by Reuben
30:14 Some time later, during the wheat harvest season, Reuben went out and found some mandrakes in the field and brought them back for his mother Leah. Then Rachel told Leah, “Please give me your son’s mandrakes.”
15 In response, Leah asked her, “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Now you also want to take my son’s mandrakes!”
But Rachel replied, “Okay, let’s let Jacob sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 When Jacob came in from the field that evening, Leah went to meet him and told him, “You’re having sex with me tonight. I traded my son’s mandrakes for you!” So he slept with her that night.
17 God heard what Leah had said, so she conceived and bore a fifth son for Jacob. 18 Then Leah said, “God has paid me for giving my servant to my husband as his wife.” So she named him Issachar.[a]
Footnotes: [a] Genesis 30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for reward.
Other modules in this unit:
- Jacob steals Isaac’s blessing, Genesis 27:1-29
- Jacob dreams about a ladder and angels at Bethel, Genesis 28:10-22
- Jacob marries Rachel the daughter of Laban, Genesis 29:15-30
- Laban meets Jacob, Genesis 29:1-14
- Leah the older sister of Rachel, Genesis 29:1-30
- Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, Genesis 29:29 :30:1-30
- Zilpah, servant of Leah, Genesis 30:9-13
- Reuben finds some mandrakes for Leah, Genesis 30:14-18
- Jacob had twelve sons, Genesis 29:31-30:24 and 35:23-26
- Jacob flees with his family from Laban, Genesis 31:1-55
- Esau’s descendants, Genesis 36:1-43
- Joseph’s Dreams, Genesis 37:1-11
- Joseph is put down a well, Genesis 37:12-36
- Tamar and Judah, Genesis 38:1-30
- Joseph runs from Potiphar’s Wife, Genesis 39:1-20
- The Cup that held the wine for the King of Egypt, Genesis 40:1-23 and Genesis 41:1-13
- The chief Baker to the King of Egypt, Genesis 40:1-4, 40:16-22 and 41:1-13
- Joseph’s brothers first trip to Egypt for food, Genesis 42:1-38
- The Second Journey to Egypt, Genesis 43:1-34
- A silver cup belonging to Joseph was put in a Sack, Genesis 44:1-34
- Jacob moves to Egypt in a cart, Genesis 46:1-47:12
- Two Sons, Genesis 47:28-48:1-22
- Manasseh Joseph’s older son, Genesis 48:1-22 and 49:22-26
- Ephraim Joseph’s younger son, Genesis 48:1-22 and 49:22-28
- 12 sons of Jacob which he blesses before he dies, Genesis 49:1-28
- Death of Jacob at one hundred and forty seven years old, Genesis 49:29-33
- Death of Joseph at one hundred and ten years old, Genesis 50:22-26
- 300 year gap between Joseph and Moses, Genesis 50:22-Exodus 1:22
- Life of Moses
- Time Line for the book of Genesis
- Background Information – Genesis Part Two
- Resources – Genesis Part Two