Mandrakes, Genesis 30:14-18

Ruben finds some mandrakes for Leah

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.



14 割 麦 子 的 时 候 , 流 便 往 田 里 去 , 寻 见 风 茄 , 拿 来 给 他 母 亲 利 亚 。 拉 结 对 利 亚 说 , 请 你 把 你 儿 子 的 风 茄 给 我 些 。
15 利 亚 说 , 你 夺 了 我 的 丈 夫 还 算 小 事 吗 ? 你 又 要 夺 我 儿 子 的 风 茄 吗 ? 拉 结 说 , 为 你 儿 子 的 风 茄 , 今 夜 他 可 以 与 你 同 寝 。
16 到 了 晚 上 , 雅 各 从 田 里 回 来 , 利 亚 出 来 迎 接 他 , 说 , 你 要 与 我 同 寝 , 因 为 我 实 在 用 我 儿 子 的 风 茄 把 你 雇 下 了 。 那 一 夜 , 雅 各 就 与 她 同 寝 。
17 神 应 允 了 利 亚 , 她 就 怀 孕 , 给 雅 各 生 了 第 五 个 儿 子 。
18 利 亚 说 , 神 给 了 我 价 值 , 因 为 我 把 使 女 给 了 我 丈 夫 。 于 是 给 他 起 名 叫 以 萨 迦 ( 就 是 价 值 的 意 思 )

Background reading


14 During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?” “Very well,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.
17 God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.[a]
Genesis 30:14-18

Footnotes: Genesis 30:18 [a] Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for reward.

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