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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Summary of Genesis 30:14-24:

Reuben gathered mandrakes for Leah. Rachel asked for some and Leah refused. Rachel told Leah she could sleep with Jacob then that night in exchange for mandraks. Jacob slept with Leah and she had another son named Issachar, meaning “reward.” Zebulon, meaning “honor” was born to Leah next. She also had a daughter named Dinah. God listened to Rachel and gave her a son as well named Joseph, meaning “may he add.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

6) We are not told this. This is speculation. As the head of the household, Jacob could end all of this mess at any point. He is weak and does not. I have no empathy for him. The kids we do not know. They are obviously impacted by their respective mother’s strained relationships, but we are not told how. Probably sibling rivalry and jealousy, but that’s common in every household tody.

7a) God listened and opened her womb.

b) God is in control and sovereign.

8 ) I learned early on to depend on God because humans in my life have let me down so often. As my husband starts a new career, we all are depending on God to help make up the shortfall in income.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

We see the desperation of both women here. Leah is still desperate for Jacob to love her, and Rachel is desperate for children. God is the only one we should be desperate for. He is our everything. In Him lies the answers to everything we seek.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Leviticus 18:18  woudl forbide the marrying of sisters. The Israelites will finally learn here that this is not a good idea.

The mandrake (called love apple in Hebrew) is mentioned in the Bible here and in Song of Songs 7:13. It is common in Israel and often grows as a weed. It is a member of the nightshade family, which contains the tobacco plant, as well as common vegetables, such as potatoes and tomatoes. It resembles a human so it was regarded with superstition in ancient times. It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to promote fertility, which is why Rachel was willing to trade time with her husband for it. While the mandrake is common in Israel, it is rare in Paddan-Aram where they lived. This shows that both women are relying on a superstitious plant to solve their problems, rather than turning to God.

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We can gather from the text that Jacob had not been sleeping with Leah all that much since she accuses Rachel of stealing her husband. Rachel uses or prostitutes Jacob to get what she wants here. Both are trading sex and love, which should never be done. God is soveign though here again. He gives both women children, the one who gave the mandrake and the one who bargained for them, too.

The Bible warns of believing superstitions in our life. (Ex. 22:18Rev. 22:15)  Do you have any superstitions?

Issachar adn Zebulun are sons nine and ten for Jacob. Leah was done having children at this point.

God is often credited (rightly so) as opening and closing wombs in Old Testament times (Genesis 25:21), (Genesis 29:31), (1 Samuel 1:5).

Finally, Joseph is born to Rachel, Jacob’s 11th son.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26:11

Summary of passage:  Isaac was forty when he married Rebekah.  Isaac prayed when he discovered Rebekah was barren and God granted her twins.  The Lord told her she carried two nations, one will be stronger and the older will serve the younger.  Esau was the first born (his name may mean hairy.  He was also called Edom which means red for he was red-headed).  The second born was Jacob who came out clasping Esau’s heel (his name means he grasps the heel or he deceives).  Isaac was 60 years old at their birth.

Esau became a hunter while Jacob stayed home.  Isaac loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob more.

Esau sold his birthright for a meal, implying he despised his birthright.

A famine came into the land and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar (different guy than Abraham’s Abimelech.  Remember, Abimelech is the name they give to rulers).  The Lord appeared to Isaac and told him to not go to Egypt but to stay here. He will bless him and give all this land to his descendants.  He repeats the oath He gave to Abraham.  He will bless all nations because Abraham was faithful and his descendants will be as numerous as the stars..

Isaac, however, lied who Rebekah was, saying she was his sister just like Abraham had done in Egypt out of fear of being killed.  But Isaac got caught in his lie and was chastised by Abimelech who orders no one to touch or molest Isaac or Rebekah.


5)  He prayed

6)  Isaac loved Esau because he brought him wild game to eat.  It’s a shallow reason.  Yes, providing food is important in life but to love your son just because he does this is not loving the heart.  It’s loving for actions and not for who the person is.  You love the entire person and not because of what they can do for you.  Sad, really.

7)  God commanded Isaac not to go to Egypt during the famine.  He promised him He would be with him and He would bless him.  He confirmed the oath He gave to Abraham, saying He will give all his descendants all these lands.  He will make Isaac’s descendants as numerous as the stars and all the nations will be blessed because Abraham obeyed and kept God’s laws.

8a)  He lied about who his wife was.

b)  I don’t think he could have.  Abraham’s sin was committed before he was born so Isaac would only have heard stories told and he would have seen first-hand the pain that Hagar had brought to all.  Sin is a personal choice, an act of Free Will.  Parents can no more prevent their kids from sinning than they can prevent themselves if they so choose.  We have no control.  Abraham could have told Isaac not to lie, etc but Isaac chose to follow his way instead.

[Note:  Commentaries I read said Abraham could have set a better example and that the sins of the father are often found in the children because of the sinful environment in which they grew up in.  I, however, reject this.  Abraham sinned before Isaac was born and we all have our own choices to make.  I’m sure Abraham told his son the story and not to do what he did.  Personal responsibility and Free Will reign here.]

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Tell them honestly what you have done and implore them to make better choices.  Show them the consequences of your sin and do not hide it. Kids need to know there are consequences for sin.  Don’t sugar-coat anything and live an honest, repentant life.

Conclusions:  We don’t know what Isaac knew about Egypt but we do know the pain Hagar and Ishmael caused so we can assume Isaac knew this as well and he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and let fear reign.  Like I said yesterday, fear is a motivating factor that often causes us to sin but God can help us trust Him and not let fear take over.

Sin is a personal choice, something we are all responsible for.  No one else is to blame. Isaac sinned just like his father.  For Isaac is human just like Abraham.  We can help our kids understand what sin is and what are the consequences and that they have a choice: to follow God or to follow themselves or the devil.

Sin is inevitable; but with Jesus sin is wiped away.