Day 10

Genesis 30-31

Chapter 30

mandrakeI’m fascinated by the magical thinking in Gen 30. Verse 27 features uses the word ‘divination’ in many translations, although the KJV plays this down and sticks with ‘learned by experience’. A footnote to the Contemporary English version says that the original Hebrew word refers to fortune-telling or magic. Then verse 14-16 has Leah and Rachel fighting over mandrakes. What’s that about? I looked it up. Because mandrakes are hallucinogenic and the shape of their roots often resembles human figures, they have been associated with a variety of superstitious practices throughout history, including folk medicine and fertility rituals. (Well that would explain the fight.) They are today in contemporary pagan traditions such as Wicca and Odinism.

Then there’s the whole spotted/striped sheep/cattle thing….. yeesh! spotted sheep






Chapter 31

And what did Rachel steal from her father Laban in v 19? Whatever it is, is variously referred to as ‘idols’, ‘gods’, or ‘images’ depending on the translation. But further down in verse 30, Laban more consistently calls his missing items ‘gods’. Clever excuse she uses to avoid a search (v 35)

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