Genesis 30:20
And Leah said, God has endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Zebulun.—Leah is more than usually obscure in the reasons she gives for this name; for she plays upon two words, which probably both belonged to the Mesopotamian pato is: and as this was a Syriac dialect, we must look to that language for their explanation. The first is zebed; and here there is no difficulty. It means such presents as a father gives his daughter on her marriage, over and above those enumerated in the marriage contract. Of the second, zabal, there is no trace. Nor do the Syro-Arabic lexicons acknowledge in the word “Zebulun” such a sense as that of dwelling, given it in our margin. Bar-Ali explains it as meaning “salvation of the night, or a good dowry,” and Bar- Bahlul, “a dowry of the night,” both deriving it from zebed, a dowry, and lun, to pass the night. The derivation is wrong as far as concerns lun; for the word Zebulun is formed simply from zebed, the final d of which is changed into I for mere reasons of euphony. The Versions take the word zabal as mean ing, “to be with,” Vulg.; “to choose,” LXX.; “to cleave to,” Syriac. It occurs nowhere else, but the substantive zebul is not uncommon, and means dwelling, station.

As a woman’s value in the East rises with each son, Leah now hoped for more love from her husband. Nor does she seem to have been disappointed.

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.20. And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry—The birth of a son is hailed with demonstrations of joy, and the possession of several sons confers upon the mother an honor and respectability proportioned to their number. The husband attaches a similar importance to the possession, and it forms a bond of union which renders it impossible for him ever to forsake or to be cold to a wife who has borne him sons. This explains the happy anticipations Leah founded on the possession of her six sons. cir. 1746 No text from Poole on this verse. And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry,.... Having so many children; for though her husband could give her nothing at marriage, and her father gave her no more than one handmaid, yet God had abundantly made it up to her, in giving her so many sons: these are the heritage of the Lord, Psalm 127:3,

now will my husband dwell with me; constantly; and not come to her tent now and then only, as he had used to do:

because I have borne him six sons; this she thought would fix his affections to her, and cause him to cleave to her, and continue with her:

and she called his name Zebulun; which signifies "dwelling". These two sons of Leah, according to the Jewish writers (g), were born, Issachar on the tenth day of Ab or July, and lived one hundred and twenty two years, and Zebulun on the seventh of Tisri or September, and lived one hundred and twenty four years.

(g) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 4. 1.

And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. dwell] Heb. zabal, “he dwelt.” In this verse we have two explanations of the name “Zebulun.” In the first clause Leah says “God has endowed (zabad) me with a good dowry (zebed)”; cf. the names Zabdi (Joshua 7:1) and Zebedee (Mark 1:19). In the second clause the derivation is taken from the word zabal, “he dwelt.” Presumably both popular etymologies were current. The interchange of d and l sounds is well known; cf. δάκρυον = Lat. lachryma. Assyriologists suggest a derivation from the Assyrian zabalu, “lift up,” “exalt,” “honour.”

The two tribes of Issachar and Zebulun occupied adjoining territories.The Other Children of Leah. - How thoroughly henceforth the two wives were carried away by constant jealousy of the love and attachment of their husband, is evident from the affair of the love-apples, which Leah's son Reuben, who was then four years old, found in the field and brought to his mother. דּוּדאים, μῆλα μανδραγορῶν (lxx), the yellow apples of the alraun (Mandragora vernalis), a mandrake very common in Palestine. They are about the size of a nutmeg, with a strong and agreeable odour, and were used by the ancients, as they still are by the Arabs, as a means of promoting child-bearing. To Rachel's request that she would give her some, Leah replied (Genesis 30:15): "Is it too little, that thou hast taken (drawn away from me) my husband, to take also" (לקחת infin.), i.e., that thou wouldst also take, "my son's mandrakes?" At length she parted with them, on condition that Rachel would let Jacob sleep with her the next night. After relating how Leah conceived again, and Rachel continued barren in spite of the mandrakes, the writer justly observes (Genesis 30:17), "Elohim hearkened unto Leah," to show that it was not from such natural means as love-apples, but from God the author of life, that she had received such fruitfulness. Leah saw in the birth of her fifth son a divine reward for having given her maid to her husband - a recompense, that is, for her self-denial; and she named him on that account Issaschar, ישּׂשׂכר, a strange form, to be understood either according to the Chethib שׂכר ישׁ "there is reward," or according to the Keri שׁכר ישּׂא "he bears (brings) reward." At length she bore her sixth son, and named him Zebulun, i.e., "dwelling;" for she hoped that now, after God had endowed her with a good portion, her husband, to whom she had born six sons, would dwell with her, i.e., become more warmly attached to her. The name is from זבל to dwell, with acc. constr. "to inhabit," formed with a play upon the alliteration in the word זבד to present - two ἅπαξ λεγόμενα. In connection with these two births, Leah mentions Elohim alone, the supernatural giver, and not Jehovah, the covenant God, whose grace had been forced out of her heart by jealousy. She afterwards bore a daughter, Dinah, who is mentioned simply because of the account in Genesis 34; for, according to Genesis 37:35 and Genesis 46:7, Jacob had several daughters, though they were nowhere mentioned by name.
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