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|Results from: Answered Bible Questions, Answers, Unanswered Bible Questions, Notes Ordered by Verse|
|1||Why did Rachel want the mandrakes?||Gen 30:14||prayon||8265|
|Mandrakes were an aphrodesiac. Rachel wanted Rueben's mandrakes in attempt to make her more fertile. Is this correct?|
|2||Why did Rachel want the mandrakes?||Gen 30:14||userdoe214||8274|
You sure ask a lot of interesting questions.
It is very possible that the plant spoken of produces hormones similar to those used today to boost a woman's fertility. The context doesn't seem to make that interpretation impossible.
But as an aphrodisiac it's a different issue. My dictionary refers to a mandrake as follows:
A short-stemmed Old World plant of the nightshade family with narcotic properties.
I've been suspicious that Jacob might have begun to loose interest in sex due to the family strife of 4 wives and being passed back and forth like some prize bull. Maybe the drug in the mandrake so cloud his mind from his present unhappiness so as to regain what we might call his amorous feelings.
But if you just read the text, and leave out the psychobable I just conjured up, I have the feeling it was something closer to a drug deal on one of our big city street corners, but instead of money being the medium of exchange, it's sex (with a chance at another heir).
|3||Why did Rachel want the mandrakes?||Gen 30:14||Makarios||8289|
|Another excellent question, prayon!
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible comments, "MANDRAKE- 'love apples,' cf. root, 'love'.- Although other plants have been suggested, the mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), of the Solanaceae or Potato order, is most probable. It is a common plant in all parts of South Palestine. Its long and branched root is very deeply imbedded in the earth, and an old superstition survives today that he who digs it up will be childless- but at the same time the effort of pulling it up will cure a bad lumbago. When the last fibres give way and the root comes up, a semi-human scream is supposed to be emitted. Occasionally the root resembles a human figure, but most of those exhibited have been 'doctored' to heighten the resemblance. The leaves are dark green, arranged in a rosette, and the flowers dark purple. The fruit, which ripens about May, about the time of the wheat harvest, is somewhat like a small tomato, and orange or reddish in colour: it is called by the natives baid el-jinn, 'the eggs of the jinn.' It has a heavy narcotic smell and sweetish taste. It is still used medicinally, but is known to be poisonous, especially the seeds. The mandrake was known to the ancients as an aphrodisiac." (pg. 576, Hendrickson, 1909, 1994)
The MacArthur NKJV Study Bible adds, "This odd and desperate bargain by Rachel was an attempt to become pregnant with the aid of the mandrakes, a fable which failed to understand that God gives children (vv. 6,17,20,22)."
The Nelson NKJV Study Bible comments, "Mandrakes are a special type of herb that the peoples of the ancient Middle East regarded as an aid to conception. Their aroma was associated with lovemaking (Song of Solomon 7:13). Reuben's discovery of the mandrakes led to another squabble between Leah and Rachel. In the end, Leah hired Jacob for a night with her."
Zondervan's NASB Study Bible comments, "Rachel, like Jacob (vv. 37-43), tried to obtain what she wanted by magical means."
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