Genesis 29:34
And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.
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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. This time will my husband be joined unto me in more sincere and fervent affection.

And she conceived again, and bare a son,.... A third time, as soon as she well could after the former birth:

and said, now this time will my husband be joined to me; in greater affection and stronger ties of love, and cleave unto her:

because I have born him three sons; which she considered as a threefold cord, binding his affections to her, which could not be easily broke:

and therefore was his name called Levi; which signifies "joined"; from him the Levites sprung, and had their name.

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34. joined] From the root lavah, “to join.” In Numbers 18:2; Numbers 18:4, this word lavah is especially used of the attachment of the sons of Levi to the service of Jehovah, as the priestly tribe. According to many scholars, the name denotes the tribe par excellence of the Leah group; which, owing to some great disaster, was broken up, and the name survived only in the guild of Priests and their assistants. See on chap. 34 and Genesis 49:5-7. On the meaning of Leah, see note on Genesis 29:16.

Verse 34. - And she conceived again (say, in the third year of her marriage), and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, - לָוָה, to join, is the root from which comes לֵוִי. (Levi), her son's name - because I have borne him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi - Associated, or Joined. Genesis 29:34Leah's First Sons. - Jacob's sinful weakness showed itself even after his marriage, in the fact that he loved Rachel more than Leah; and the chastisement of God, in the fact that the hated wife was blessed with children, whilst Rachel for a long time remained unfruitful. By this it was made apparent once more, that the origin of Israel was to be a work not of nature, but of grace. Leah had four sons in rapid succession, and gave them names which indicated her state of mind: (1) Reuben, "see, a son!" because she regarded his birth as a pledge that Jehovah had graciously looked upon her misery, for now her husband would love her; (2) Simeon, i.e., "hearing," for Jehovah had heard, i.e., observed that she was hated; (3) Levi, i.e., attachment, for she hoped that this time, at least, after she had born three sons, her husband would become attached to her, i.e., show her some affection; (4) Judah (יהוּדה, verbal, of the fut. hoph. of ידה), i.e., praise, not merely the praised one, but the one for whom Jehovah is praised. After this fourth birth there was a pause (Genesis 29:31), that she might not be unduly lifted up by her good fortune, or attribute to the fruitfulness of her own womb what the faithfulness of Jehovah, the covenant God had bestowed upon her.
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