Genesis 29:31

(31) Leah was hated.--We must not soften this down too much; for plainly Leah was not the object of love at all. It was her fruitfulness which gave her value in her husband's eyes, and when this ceased, Jacob utterly neglected her (Genesis 30:15).

Verse 31. - And when the Lord saw - literally, and Jehovah saw. As Eve's son was obtained from Jehovah (Genesis 4:1), and Jehovah visited Sarah (Genesis 21:1), and was entreated for Rebekah (Genesis 25:21), so here he again interposes in connection with the onward development of the holy seed by giving children to Jacob s wives. The present section (vers. 31-35) is by Davidson, Kalisch, and others assigned to the Jehovist, by Tuch left undetermined, and by Colenso in several parts ascribed to the Elohist. Kalisch thinks the contents of this section must have found a place in the earlier of the two documents - that Leah was hated, - i.e. less loved (cf. Malachi 1:3) - he opened her womb (cf. 1 Samuel 1:5, 6; Psalm 127:3): but Rachel was barren - as Sarai (Genesis 11:30) and Rebekah (Genesis 25:21) had been. The fruitfulness of Leah and the sterility of Rachel were designed not so much to equalize the conditions of the sisters, the one having beauty and the other children (Lange), or to punish Jacob for his partiality (Keil), or to discourage the admiration of mere beauty (Kalisch), but to prove that "the origin of Israel was to be a work not of nature, but of grace" (Keil).

29:31-35 The names Leah gave her children, expressed her respect and regard, both to God and to her husband. Reuben, or See a son, with this thought, Now will my husband love me; Levi, or joined, expecting, Now will my husband be joined unto me. Mutual affection is both the duty and comfort of the married relation; and yoke-fellows should study to recommend themselves to each other, 1Co 7:33,34. She thankfully acknowledges the kind providence of God in hearing her. Whatever supports and comforts us under afflictions, or tends to our deliverance from them, God must be owned in it. Her fourth son she called Judah, or praise, saying, Now will I praise the Lord. This was he, of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. Whatever is the matter of our rejoicing, ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. Fresh favours should quicken us to praise God for former favours; Now will I praise the Lord more and better than I have done. All our praises must centre in Christ, both as the matter of them, and as the Mediator of them. He descended after the flesh from him whose name was Praise, and He is our praise. Is Christ formed in my heart? Now will I praise the Lord.And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated,.... Not properly and simply hated by Jacob, as appears by his doing the duty of an husband to her, but comparatively; she was less loved than Rachel: and there are many things to be said for it; she was not beautiful as Rachel was; she was not Jacob's choice, as she was but imposed upon him through deceit, and he was forced to marry her, or he could not have Rachel his beloved wife: but the Lord had pity on her, and that she might have a share in her husband's affections:

he opened her womb; or gave her conception; as Onkelos paraphrases it:

but Rachel was barren; bare no children as yet, and for many years after, Genesis 30:22.

Genesis 29:30
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