Genesis 29.31-30.24

Title: 12 Sons

Text: Genesis 29.31-30.24

Introduction: Marriage – Gen 2.24; 4.23ff; 16.2ff; Esau took two wives, and then a 3rd; Jacob’s polygamy also results in disaster; not only were they two wives, but they were sisters to boot! You’ve got to kind of feel for Jacob; it wasn’t his fault, per se; Abraham kind of, too; 1 Cor 7 has a great emphasis on singular husband and singular wife. Ephesians 5 gives us the best Christian view;

This is ugly no doubt: tell me, what challenges were there? What relational difficulties. What good came out of this? The basis for the 12 tribes:

Leah would have 4: Rueben, Simeon, Levi, Judah

The Concubines would have 4: Dan, Naphtali, Asher, Gad

The Sisters would each have 2: Issachar & Zebulun; Dinah; Joseph & Benjamin (35.18)

Transition: Rd 29.30-35; what do you see?

1.     Rachel’s tension with Leah (29.31-35)

exp.: the focus isn’t Leah or Rachel; its on the Lord; Leah gets it right; rd 30.1; 29.31 – hated; Semitic comparison; 29.30 clarifies; Deut. 21.15-17; Now, Leah’s focus wasn’t right at first: look at their names and why she named them that:

Rueben – See, a son, now my husband will love me.

Simeon – heard; heard that I’m hated

Levi – attached; now my husband will be attached to me

Judah – praise; this time I will praise the Lord

This is good. It doesn’t seem so at 1st; What did the 1st three sons do to bring shame? However, Levi would be the priestly tribe and Judah would be the kingly tribe. That is, the Priestly line would pass down through the ages from Levi (think: Moses, Aaron, Mary) and The Kingly Line would pass through Judah (think: David, Joseph, who fathered Jesus)

Transition: We see from her 1st four statements and names that she desperately wants to be loved. Her problem isn’t so much that Rachel despise her, but more that her husband doesn’t love her.

2.     Rachel’s tension with Jacob’s (30.1-8)

exp.: rd v 1; If Leah was desperate for her husband’s love, Rachel was desperate for children. She had no greater desire. Middle Eastern society didn’t really pity barren women, but rather disdained or scorned them. People wouldn’t feel sorry for her, but rather would look down on her. Look at what this does to her relationship with her husband; rd v 2; It’s not my fault – only God gives children; So, she takes matters into her own hands (cf.: Sarah); rd 3-5; I wonder, do you think her focus is corrected? Her competition with her sister has forced her to do the foolish; Rd v6-8;

Dan – Judged; he has judged, he has heard, he has given

Naphtali – Wrestled; I’ve wrestled with my sister and won! Really?

Transition: Has she really won? Well, not to be outdone, which of course she isn’t, Leah, seeing she has ceased to get pregnant, gives her maidservant to Jacob. Poor Jacob.

3.     More Tension between Sisters (30.9-13)

exp.: rd v 9-11; is this all good for Jacob? Do you think he’s losing his mind between these sisters?

Gad – good fortune; rd v 12-13;

Asher – happy;

More tension between sisters and Jacob is suffering for it. We don’t see it in Scripture, but I wonder if there is tension between the maidservants, too? Your thoughts?

Transition: Well, 4 boys by Leah, 4 boys by the maid servants, but Rachel’s humiliation isn’t through!

4.     The Battle is not over (30.14-21)

exp.: rd v 14-15; What Reuben found was what was thought to be an aphrodisiac/fertility drug; The ancients thought that mandrakes helped with the whole process; Song of Solomon 7.13; In ancient times, people referred to mandrakes as ‘love apples’; Now, the Bible isn’t endorsing mandrakes as either an aphrodisiac or a fertility drug; however, these two ladies bought into the thought and used it against each other.

Rachel thought it would help her conceive; Leah thought to use it to her advantage

Transition:

5.     After all, Rachel still doesn’t get it (30.22-24)

exp.: rd v 14-15; What Reuben found was what was thought to be an aphrodisiac/fertility drug; The ancients thought that mandrakes helped with the whole process; Song of Solomon 7.13; In ancient times, people referred to mandrakes as ‘love apples’; Now, the Bible isn’t endorsing mandrakes as either an aphrodisiac or a fertility drug; however, these two ladies bought into the thought and used it against each other.

Rachel thought it would help her conceive; Leah thought to use it to her advantage;

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, Scripture, W.E.B.S.

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