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|NASB||Genesis 30:14 ¶ Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."|
|Genesis 30:14 ¶ Now at the time of wheat harvest Reuben [the eldest child] went and found some mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."|
|Bible Question: Mandrakes were an aphrodesiac. Rachel wanted Rueben's mandrakes in attempt to make her more fertile. Is this correct?|
Bible Answer: Dear Prayon,
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).
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