Following on the heels of my last post, an offer is made to Jacob, who had just been duped into consummating a marriage with Leah, to work another seven years for Rachel.
So taken in by Rachel’s beauty, Jacob unhesitatingly agrees.
So another seven years pass and finally Jacob acquires the true target of his heart’s desire.
Jacob is now 80 years old at this time.
We are told that since Jacob favored Rachel over Leah, the Lord closed Rachel’s womb but opened up Leah’s womb.
The Scripture uses the Hebrew idiom “weak eyes“.
In Middle Eastern cultures, beauty was believed to be reflected in the eyes.
“Strong eyes” meant having much allure and beauty while “weak eyes” meant plain or average.
In what appears to be a quite rapid succession, Leah gives birth to four children, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.
The birth of these children will be the start of the twelve tribes of Israel including the Jewish nation as it exists today.
One thing you should know about biblical names is that “the name is the nature“.
Names in the bible are NOT just generic labels to distinguish one person from another, which is how we use names today.
They actually reflected a certain attribute or event connected to that person.
Let’s take a look at the meaning of Leah’s four children’s names.
Rueben means, “Look, a son!“.
This is in response to not being the preferred wife in Jacob’s eyes.
Simon means “hearing” because God heard her prayer in requesting another son.
Levi means “joined together“.
This one is a bit more difficult to decipher but it basically expresses the hope that now that Leah has given Jacob up to three children, he will “enjoin” himself more closely to her.
Judah means “praise” because out of gratitude for her four sons she praised God.
Now two of these children are of particular importance when it comes to the nation of Israel.
Levi will become the set apart Levitical priests who would be responsible for ministering to the people when they came with their sacrifices as well as caring for the tabernacle and the holy things associated with it.
And from Judah, would eventually come the Messiah of Israel, the savior of the whole world.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
This is the genealogy of Yeshua the Messiah the son of David,
the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN GENESIS CHAPTER 30