OceanSide church of Christ

 Previous Return to The Book of Genesis Next 


Genesis 30

Victor M. Eskew


I.          The Title of Genesis 30


A.   Jacob’s Sons and Jacob’s Flocks

B.   Jacob’s Increase (Gen. 30:43)

C.   Boys and A Bargain

D.   Seven Sons, One Daughter, and Much Cattle

E.   Desperate Housewives (Kevin Walker)


II.        The Key Verse of Genesis 30:  Genesis 30:25-26


And it came to pass when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.  Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go:  for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.


Why this verse?  Jacob notes that he has completed his labors for Laban.  He desires to be able to return.  He acknowledges that he has been given wives and children, many that were born in this chapter.  All that remains is for him to be paid so he can return home.  The details of his pay are found in the last part of the chapter.


III.      The Outline of Genesis 30


i.             MULTIPLE BIRTHS (Gen. 30:1-24)

ii.            MANY FLOCKS (Gen. 30:25-43)


IV.       The Lessons of Genesis 30


A.   Again, we are introduced to the consequences of polygamy and the evils of envy (Gen. 30:1).


And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.


B.   Unrealistic demands placed upon family members can bring forth anger (Gen. 30:1b-2).


…and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.  And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel:  and he said:  Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?


1.     See Colossians 3:21


Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.


2.    Vashti had an unrealistic expectation placed upon her.  We are not told of her emotional reaction, but it did bring harm to her marriage with the king (Esth. 1:10-22).


C.   Do we see human inventions versus faith in God as Rachel suggests that Jacob go in unto her handmaid, Bilhah? (Gen. 30:3)


And she said, Behold my maid, Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I also may have children by her.


D.   The conflicts that one finds in polygamous marriages are referred to as ‘wrest-lings” in Genesis 30:8.


And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed:  and she called his name Naphtali.


1.     Wrestlings:  strivings, to be twisted together with

2.    Instead of a harmonious lock of hands as they walked the path of life, there was the entwining of their bodies as they waged war one with another.

3.     Two verses:

a.    Galatians 5:15


But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.


b.    James 3:14-16


But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.


E.   Genesis 30:13 indicates that at least Leah was in search of happiness.


And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed:  and she called his name Asher.


F.    Foolish deals are often made to satisfy the desires of one’s heart.

1.     Rueben had found mandrakes in the field (month of May) and had brought them to his mother.

2.    Mandrake

a.    A fruit

b.    BDB:  a love-apple, as exciting sexual desire, and favoring procreation

c.    In the love story, the Song of Solomon, mandrakes are mentioned (SoS 7:13). 


The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my love.


d.    “The Abbee Mariti describes it as growing ‘low like a lettuce, to which its leaves have a great resemblance, except that they have a dark green colour.  The flowers are purple, and the root is for the most part forked.  The fruit, when ripe in the beginning of May, is of the size of a small apple, exceedingly ruddy, and of a most agreeable odour’” (TSK, e-sword).

3.     Rachel longed for the mandrakes that she thought could make her able to conceive.  To have them, she exchanged Jacob’s going in unto Leah (Gen. 30:15b).


…And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee tonight for they son’s mandrakes.


G.   Not only did Leah personally bear Judah, through whom the Messiah would come, she also bore Jacob’s daughter, Dinah (Gen. 30:21).


And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.


H.   Two times the text states:  “and God hearkened…”

1.     The first time it involves Leah (Gen. 30:17).


And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.


2.    The second time it involves Rachel (Gen. 30:22).


And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.


I.     Long, difficult labors eventually come to an end (Gen. 30:25-26).


J.    Godly people can bless the lives of others (Gen. 30:27).


And Laban said, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry; for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.


K.   Man’s wisdom combined with faith in the providence of God can produce incredible results (Gen. 30:28-43, esp. v. 43).


And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maid servants, and men servants, and camels, and asses.