The Baby Competition
Gen 30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
She did not ask for one child, but children, as to catch up with her sister Leah.
Gen 30:2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
It wasn't Jacob's fault, "am I God?" Rachel envied Leah, because she had four sons. Jacob thought too highly of the beauty of Rachel, having worked 14 years for her. Leah he would not have worked one day for. God saw this and favored Leah with children.
Gen 30:3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
As Sarah used Hagar to bring forth a child, now Rachel repeats that foolishness. Bilhah would be as a surrogate mother, even placing the slave on her own knees as she gave birth; that is desperate and lacking faith and to me extremely selfish, not caring about the comfort of the birthmother.
Gen 30:4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
Gen 30:5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.
Gen 30:6 And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.
Dan, meaning "judgment." Because of her own envy, she viewed this child born of the flesh as a victory and a vindication for her!
Gen 49:16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
Gen 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
Gen 30:7 And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.
Gen 30:8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
Naphtali, wrestlings or twisting together. She wrestled with Leah and has prevailed, having a son by her handmade. Rachel was a doing God's work for him, like grandmother Sarah.
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Gen 49:21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
Gen 30:9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.
1 Cor 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
Keeping up with the Joneses? A baby war, who will have the most children? So Leah gets on the band wagon. If Rachel can cheat by using her handmaid, so will I. Poor (innocent?) Jacob, kept so busy by his feuding wives.
Gen 30:10 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son.
Gen 30:11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
Gad, indeed. Gad means, troop or good fortune.
Gen 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
Num 32:1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle;
Num 32:5 Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.
Num 32:6 And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?
They sent troops over the Jordan to fight with their brethren, but they took land on this side of the Jordan.
Gen 30:12 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son.
Gen 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
Asher, meaning "happy"; Leah is more concerned about the status the child will bring her (all the daughters will call me blessed) than about the child himself.
Deu 33:24 And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.
Deu 33:25 Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
Gen 49:20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
We have a baby competition between Leah and Sarah. Sarah used her own schemes to bring forth children and Leah who had four sons, would get caught up in this competition. Leah had not let Judah (praise) be her focus. She was looking to God in praise and then she looked around and was caught up into a personal rivalry. Jealousy and envy took over their thoughts. Children were born as chess pawns, to gain favor with the world, for personal glory and to gain affection and approval. Satan controls the world where beauty is prized above godly character. Status, personal favor and power, are more important than a clean heart. They were joined to Jacob, one body, as the church is to be one body.
1 Cor 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1 Cor 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Cor 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Daughters of the world starve themselves to gain approval. They have sex, because of pressure from others, peer pressure and their desire to be loved. No longer are children the prize, abortions sometimes are done to gain a lifestyle of devotion to the god of self and pleasure. I have the right to control my body, which means that they can destroy the life of a child. Usually they are out of control, doing what is not pleasing to God. Rights also require responsibilities just as freedom requires sacrifice.
Gen 30:14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes.
Mandrakes (a root, called "love-apples" in Hebrew) were thought (and still are among some peoples) to increase fertility in women. Because Leah has the mandrakes, she knows Jacob will have relations with her, believing there is a greater likelihood she will become pregnant. (Guzik)
Gen 30:15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.
No way was she going to share her mandrakes with that other wife. Whether or not mandrakes are for fertility, God would give Leah more children.
Gen 30:16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
The mandrake roots have long been used in magic rituals, today also in neopagan religions such as Wicca and Germanic revivalism religions such as Odinism. (It is alleged that magicians would form this root into a crude resemblance to the human figure, by pinching a constriction a little below the top, so as to make a kind of head and neck, and twisting off the upper branches except two, which they leave as arms, and the lower, except two, which they leave as legs.)(Wikopedia)
The herb had another property, however, for the root contains hyoscine a powerful alkaloid with the ability to cause hallucinations, delirium and, in larger doses, coma. Mandrake's use as a surgical anaesthetic was first described by the Greek physician Dioscorides around AD 60, and its use as a tincture known as mandragora, or in combination with other herbs such as opium, hemlock and henbane is described in documents from pre-Roman times onwards. It was the presence of this alkaloid, as well as the shape of the root, that led to the mandrake's association with magic, witchcraft and the supernatural.
Mandrake roots became highly sought after in their native Mediterranean habitat, and attempts to protect them from theft are thought to have been the source of the second mandrake myth, which stated that a demon inhabited the root and would kill anyone who attempted to uproot it. Later elaboration of this legend attributed the herb's lethal power to a shriek or a groan emitted by the mandrake as it was uprooted, and suggested that death could be avoided either by a loud blast on a horn at the critical moment or by sealing one's ears with wax. (Mandrakes and Myths JRS)
There was a comic book character named Mandrake the magician, who worked by hypnosis to create an illusion. Babies are not illusions, nor are they things, but living human beings created by God.
Gen 30:17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
Gen 30:18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.
Issachar, meaning "reward"; Leah saw this son as a reward from God because she was "generous" enough to offer her maid to Jacob.
Gen 49:14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
Gen 49:15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
Gen 30:19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.
Gen 30:20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.
Zebulun, meaning "dwelling." In the pain of her heart, she is still waiting for her husband to truly love her and live with her, and she is hoping the sheer quantity of sons will win his heart to her!
Gen 49:13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
Gen 30:21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
Dinah, meaning judgment. God having judged and favored Leah over Rachel. She had seven brothers to avenge her enemies. Dan, from Rachel's handmaid also meant judgment.
Two wives fighting one another in a baby making competition. With so much strife and anger it would take a tole on the children. One husband and one wife.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.