Genesis 30:17
And God listened to Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob the fifth son.
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Genesis 30:17. God hearkened unto Leah — And she was now blessed with two sons, the first of whom she called Issachar, hire, reckoning herself well repaid for her mandrakes; nay, (which was a strange construction of the providence,) rewarded for giving her maid to her husband. The other she called Zebulun, dwelling, owning God’s bounty to her, God has endowed me. Jacob had not endowed her when he married her; but she reckons a family of children a good dowry.30:14-24 The desire, good in itself, but often too great and irregular, of being the mother of the promised Seed, with the honour of having many children, and the reproach of being barren, were causes of this unbecoming contest between the sisters. The truth appears to be, that they were influenced by the promises of God to Abraham; whose posterity were promised the richest blessings, and from whom the Messiah was to descend."Reuben" was at this time four or five years of age, as it is probable that Leah began to bear again before Zilpah had her second son. "Mandrakes" - the fruit of the "mandragora vernaIis," which is to this day supposed to promote fruitfulness of the womb. Rachel therefore desires to partake of them, and obtains them by a compact with Leah. Leah betakes herself to prayer, and bears a fifth son. She calls him "Issakar," with a double allusion. She had hired her husband with the mandrakes, and had received this son as her hire for giving her maid to her husband; which she regards as an act of generosity or self-denial. "Zebulun." Here Leah confesses, "God hath endowed me with a good dowry." She speaks now like Rachel of the God of nature. The cherished thought that her husband will dwell with her who is the mother of six sons takes form in the name. "Dinah" is the only daughter of Jacob mentioned Genesis 46:7, and that on account of her subsequent connection with the history of Jacob Genesis 34. Issakar appears to have been born in the sixth year after Jacob's marriage, Zebulun in the seventh, and Dinah in the eighth.3-9. Bilhah … Zilpah—Following the example of Sarah with regard to Hagar, an example which is not seldom imitated still, she adopted the children of her maid. Leah took the same course. A bitter and intense rivalry existed between them, all the more from their close relationship as sisters; and although they occupied separate apartments, with their families, as is the uniform custom where a plurality of wives obtains, and the husband and father spends a day with each in regular succession, that did not allay their mutual jealousies. The evil lies in the system, which being a violation of God's original ordinance, cannot yield happiness. God hearkened unto Leah, notwithstanding her many infirmities. Hence it appears that she was moved herein not by any inordinate lust, but by a desire of children. cir. 1747 And God hearkened unto Leah,.... To the prayer of Leah, as the Targum of Jonathan, for more children: the desire of these good women for the company of their husband was not from lust, or an amorous desire in them, but for the sake of having many children, as appears by giving their maids to him; and the reason of this was, as Bishop Patrick well observes, that the promise made to Abraham of the multiplication of his seed, and of the Messiah springing from thence, might be fulfilled; and is the true reason of Moses's taking such particular notice of those things, which might seem below the dignity of such a sacred history:

and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son; the fifth he had by her, but the ninth in all, that were born unto him.

And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
Verse 17. - And God hearkened unto Leah, - i.e. unto Leah's prayers (Onkelos, Jerome, Rosenmüller, Murphy), which Calvin thinks doubtful - quis enim putaret, dum odiose sorori suae negat Lea fructus a puero collectos, et hoc pretio noctem mariti mercatur, ullum esse precibus locum. The historian employs the term Elohim to show that Leah's pregnancy was not owing to her son's mandrakes, but to Divine power (Keil, Lange) - and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son - or, counting Zilpah's, the seventh; while, reckoning Bilhah's, this was Jacob's ninth child. Zilpah's Sons. - But Leah also was not content with the divine blessing bestowed upon her by Jehovah. The means employed by Rachel to retain the favour of her husband made her jealous; and jealousy drove her to the employment of the same means. Jacob begat two sons by Zilpah her maid. The one Leah named Gad, i.e., "good fortune," saying, בּגד, "with good fortune," according to the Chethib, for which the Masoretic reading is גּד בּא, "good fortune has come," - not, however, from any ancient tradition, for the Sept. reads ἐν τύχῃ, but simply from a subjective and really unnecessary conjecture, since בּגד equals "to my good fortune," sc., a son is born, gives a very suitable meaning. The second she named Asher, i.e., the happy one, or bringer of happiness; for she said, בּאשׁרי, "to my happiness, for daughters call me happy," i.e., as a mother with children. The perfect אשּׁרני relates to "what she had now certainly reached" (Del.). Leah did not think of God in connection with these two births. They were nothing more than the successful and welcome result of the means she had employed.
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