Genesis 29:33
And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said, Because the LORD has heard I was hated, he has therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
29:31-35 The names Leah gave her children, expressed her respect and regard, both to God and to her husband. Reuben, or See a son, with this thought, Now will my husband love me; Levi, or joined, expecting, Now will my husband be joined unto me. Mutual affection is both the duty and comfort of the married relation; and yoke-fellows should study to recommend themselves to each other, 1Co 7:33,34. She thankfully acknowledges the kind providence of God in hearing her. Whatever supports and comforts us under afflictions, or tends to our deliverance from them, God must be owned in it. Her fourth son she called Judah, or praise, saying, Now will I praise the Lord. This was he, of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. Whatever is the matter of our rejoicing, ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. Fresh favours should quicken us to praise God for former favours; Now will I praise the Lord more and better than I have done. All our praises must centre in Christ, both as the matter of them, and as the Mediator of them. He descended after the flesh from him whose name was Praise, and He is our praise. Is Christ formed in my heart? Now will I praise the Lord.Leah bears four sons to Jacob. "The Lord saw." The eye of the Lord is upon the sufferer. It is remarkable that both the narrator and Leah employ the proper name of God, which makes the performance of promise a prominent feature of his character. This is appropriate in the mouth of Leah, who is the mother of the promised seed. "That Leah was hated" - less loved than Rachel. He therefore recompenses her for the lack of her husband's affections by giving her children, while Rachel was barren. "Reuben" - behold a son. "The Lord hath looked on my affliction." Leah had qualities of heart, if not of outward appearance, which commanded esteem. She had learned to acknowledge the Lord in all her ways. "Simon" - answer. She had prayed to the Lord, and this was her answer. "Levi" - union, the reconciler. Her husband could not, according to the prevailing sentiments of those days, fail to be attached to the mother of three sons. "Judah" - praised. Well may she praise the Lord; for this is the ancestor of the promised seed. It is remarkable that the wife of priority, but not of preference, is the mother of the seed in whom all nations are to be blessed. Levi the reconciler is the father of the priestly tribe. Simon is attached to Judah. Reuben retires into the background.

Reuben may have been born when Jacob was still only eighty-four, and consequently Judah was born when Jacob was eighty-seven.

- Jacob's Family and Wealth

6. דן dān, Dan, "judge, lord."

8. נפתלי naptālı̂y, Naphtali, "wrestling."

11. גד gād, Gad, "overcoming, victory." בגד bāgād, "in victory or" equals גד בא bā' gād, "victory cometh." גוּד gûd, "press down." גדוּד gedûd, "troop."

13. אשׁר 'ǎashēr, Asher, "prosperity, happiness."

18. ישׂשכר yı̂śāskār, Jissakar, "reward." The second Hebrew letter (ש s) seems to have been merely a full mode of writing the word, instead of the abbreviated form ישׂכר yı̂śākār.

20. זבלוּן zebulûn, Zebulun, "dwelling." There is here a play upon the two words זבד zābad, "to endow" and זבל zābal, "to dwell," the latter of which, however, prevails in the name. They occur only here as verbs.

21. דינה dı̂ynâh, Dinah, "judgment."

24. יסף yôsêph, Joseph, "he shall add." There is, however, an obvious allusion to the thought. "God hath taken away (אסף 'āsap) my reproach." Double references, we find, are usual in the giving of names (see Genesis 25:30).

This chapter is the continuation of the former, and completes the history of Jacob in Haran. The event immediately following probably took place after Leah had borne two of her sons, though not admitted into the narrative until she had paused for a short time.

32-35. son … his name Reuben—Names were also significant; and those which Leah gave to her sons were expressive of her varying feelings of thankfulness or joy, or allusive to circumstances in the history of the family. There was piety and wisdom in attaching a signification to names, as it tended to keep the bearer in remembrance of his duty and the claims of God. The Lord hath heard, i.e. perceived or understood; hearing being oft put for understanding. And she conceived again, and bare a son,.... As soon as she well could. The Jews (x) have a notion, that Leah brought forth her sons at seven months' end:

and said, because the Lord hath heard that I was hated; or less loved than her sister:

he hath therefore given me this son also; to comfort her under the trial and exercise, and engage her husband's love the more unto her:

and she called his name Simeon: which signifies "hearing", and answers to the reason of her having him as she concluded.

(x) Pirke Eliezer, c. 36.

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
33. heard] Heb. shama; cf. Genesis 16:11.

Simeon] Heb. Shimeon. The meaning of this name is very likely that of an animal, “the hyaena”; cf. the Arabic sim‘, the hybrid offspring of the hyaena and the female wolf.Verse 33. - And she conceived again, and bare a son (probably the following year); and said, Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated (the birth of Reuben had obviously not answered Leah's expectations in increasing Jacob's love), he hath therefore given me this son also (She faith and piety of Leah are as conspicuous as her affection for Jacob): and she called his name Simeon - i.e. Hearing, because God had heard that she was hated (ut supra). "Fulfil her week;" i.e., let Leah's marriage-week pass over. The wedding feast generally lasted a week (cf. Judges 14:12; Job 11:19). After this week had passed, he received Rachel also: two wives in eight days. To each of these Laban gave one maid-servant to wait upon her; less, therefore, than Bethuel gave to his daughter (Genesis 24:61). - This bigamy of Jacob must not be judged directly by the Mosaic law, which prohibits marriage with two sisters at the same time (Leviticus 18:18), or set down as incest (Calvin, etc.), since there was no positive law on the point in existence then. At the same time, it is not to be justified on the ground, that the blessing of God made it the means of the fulfilment of His promise, viz., the multiplication of the seed of Abraham into a great nation. Just as it had arisen from Laban's deception and Jacob's love, which regarded outward beauty alone, and therefore from sinful infirmities, so did it become in its results a true school of affliction to Jacob, in which God showed to him, by many a humiliation, that such conduct as his was quite unfitted to accomplish the divine counsels, and thus condemned the ungodliness of such a marriage, and prepared the way for the subsequent prohibition in the law.
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