I almost named this post, sibling rivalry. I read recently that children feel their relationship with the authority figure are unequal in amounts of attention, discipline and responsiveness. Favoritism. I talked about favorites in the family before, in “The So Fine” post. We first see jealousy between siblings in the bible between Cain and Abiyl. Yah loved them the same but Cain did something that displeased Yah. Cain brought Yah an offering (or gift) of fruit from the dirty ground instead of giving Yah his first fruit, his best. (Read Leviticus 19:23 and Deuteronomy 26:1-12 the law Yah made about our first fruits). While Abiyl pleased Yah and found favor because he gave Yah his first. He gave Yah the firstborn of his flock. Later, Yah gives this as a commandment to the Israylites. (Read Exodus 13:2, 12-13, Exodus 34:19, Leviticus 27:26, Numbers 3:12-13, Numbers 8: 16-17, Deuteronomy 15:19, Nehemiyah 10:36 and Luke 2:23). Cain became jealous and envious of Abiyl because Yah (the authority figure, Father) favored Abiyl. Abiyl was favored because of his heart. Cain was selfish and greedy towards Yah, keeping the good fruit for himself and giving Yah the dirty old fruit from the ground. Cain murders Abiyl. Always give Yah your best. The fallen angels, especially the devil are jealous of man because Yah loves us and he murdered us. 04-30-2016: I forgot to add to this post a scripture from the ‘when Yah visits you’ post. Hebrews 12:24 states that Yahoshua’s blood was a greater blood spill than Abiyl.
There were other cases of sibling rivalry in the bible (I’m not going to talk about every single one of them in this post) like Yoseph and his ten older brothers. Yahqob favored Rachyl and her children and the other sons knew this. The coat that Yahqob gave to only Yoseph did not help matters but added fuel to the fire. Yahqob himself grew up in a house full of favoritism. Yitshaq his father favored Esau the hunter of the family because he loved that game meat. While Rebkeyah favored Yahqob. Yahqob was a mama’s boy…mama baby…hanging out with mom in the tent. A homebody. Yah had already told Rebkeyah about Yahqob and she favored him. Anyway, I want to focus on the sibling rivalry between Leyah and Rachyl. I read that Rachyl’s name means ewe or female lamb (belonging to) the Power. That name fits her to the “tee” because she was a shepherdess. The meaning of Leyah’s name is a little fuzzy. I have read that her name means hidden beauty (of Yah) which is interesting because we are going to read that Leyah had a heart for Yah because of what she does. I also read that Leyah’s name means tender or delicate one (of Yah). This may be a characteristic about her eye condition or her crying to Yah in a weary state because of her treatment by the family.
First let’s read about Yahqob’s life and how he acquired Leyah and Rachyl. We have read from scripture the prophesy that Yah told Rebkeyah in Genesis 25:21-28. Yah told her that the older son (Esau) would serve the younger son (Yahqob). In 2 Esdras 6:8-9 Yah tells Ezra that Esau was the end of one world and Yahqob the beginning of the next. He was referring to rulership, the covenant would belong to Yahqob and eventually Yahoshua. The word supplanter means one who takes someones place, usually by deceit. I am not clear on what Yahqob means in Hebrew exactly. It could mean that Yah replaced. Yah told Rebkeyah the prophesy but He did not tell her how this would happen. In Genesis 25:29-34 and the book of Yasher chapter 27, we find out that Esau comes home hungry from the woods after killing Nimrod (and this was prophesy that the seed of Abraham would kill Nimrod, v. 16). Esau knows Nimrod’s men will find and kill him. Esau sells his birthright (which he hated anyway) to Yahqob for a bowl of red (lentil) stew. At this point, Esau’s (hairy) name changes to Edom (red). Esau also sold the cave of the field of Machpelah that Abraham bought and Yahqob bought the birthright (or covenant) from Esau. Yahqob wrote it in a book with witnesses (probably two or three) and sealed the book. That sounds like something Yah would do, doesn’t it?
By Genesis chapter 27, Rebekeyah already knowing Yah’s prophesy from Genesis 25 comes up with a plan for Yahqob, her favorite son to be blessed by Yitshaq, who is blind upon his death bed. Esau and Yahqob were twins but they had some differences. Esau was hairy while Yahqob was smooth skinned. Rebekeyah put a hairy (camel) garment on Yahqob and tells him to go in and get the blessing while Esau is in the field getting Yitzshaq game-meat. (I wondered right here what was Esau hunting? Maybe deer or antelope or something like that). So Yahqob goes to his father and fools him and gets the blessing.
Do you remember what Yahoshua said about the way you treat other people? He said, So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Mattithyah 7:12. It seems like the way Yahqob went about tricking dad came back to him with the way Laban (a dad) tricked him into marrying Leyah first. Yahqob could not go to Yitshaq telling him that he bought the birthright, there would have been bedlam in the family. When Yahqob got the blessing, the deal was final.
Genesis 29, when Yahqob met Rachyl, it was love at first sight (v.11). He greeted Rachyl with the set-apart kiss and began to cry. Yahqob knew this was his wife. Verse 17 says that Rachyl was beautiful in form and appearance. Rachyl was “the so fine.” She had a beautiful face and a beautiful shape. Yoseph looked just like Rachyl, his mommy. Yahqob labored seven years for Rachyl. Laban tricked Yahqob by switching his daughter Rachyl for his other daughter Leyah (v. 23-25). At this point in the story, Yahqob had been around Rachyl and Leyah seven years so this makes me think that there was no difference in their height and body form or else he would have been able to tell them apart in the dark. Leyah was not fat. Leyah and Rachyl were identical in body form. The only difference between them was the eye condition of Leyah. Back to the story. Leban told Yahqob to fulfill another week (or 7 years) to obtain Rachyl because he wanted his older daughter Leyah to be married first. We read here that Zilpah was given to Leyah and Bilhah was given to Rachyl as handmaids.
Now this is the part of the story that has been on my mind since I came into the truth. Verse 30 says that Yahqob loved Rachyl more than Leyah. Favoritism. Favortism may be part of the reason why so many Israylite women fight against multiple marriages, today. Hey, I’m only the messenger. Please don’t shoot me. I named this post entry “to be loved by Yah” because in verse 31 Yah saw that Leyah was unloved. Yah loved Leyah. Yah loved them all but Yah especially loved Leyah and you are going to see why as you continue to read this post. Yah even talks in Deuteronomy 21:15-17 about the unloved wife and the firstborn. This is why the firstborn gets the bulk of the inheritance. Yah knows that you prefer to give more to your loved wife and son. Yah protects the unloved woman and the firstborn. I’m not saying that all multiple marriages had favoritism but most of them did. The way Yahqob was tricked into marriage with Leyah also may have been the reason why he would not love her. His pride.
Did y’all know that Rachyl and Leyah were in a war? Yah loved Leyah and blessed her womb and Yahqob showered Rachyl with love and attention. Rachyl even admitted that she was at war with her sister in Genesis 30:8. To wrestle in this verse means to fight, battle…WAR. These girls were having a baby war!! They did not throw blows like the men. Girls tend to do battle verbally or they shun (exclude) the girl(s) that they do not like. This is how girls tend to bully each other whereas boys have a physical altercation and its usually over. Women tend to have a long drawn out verbal battle. You can see this war in action with the way Leyah and Rachyl were naming their children.
Leyah named her firstborn son Reuben. Reuben means “see, a son”. Leyah knew that Yah had seen her affliction, that Yahqob did not love her. Then she thinks after having Reuben that Yahqob will love her. When I was a late teen (young adult), I heard of girls/women having babies from a guy thinking that the guy would love her because of the baby and stay. They usually did not stay. Anyway, Leyah has a second boy and she names him Shimeon which means “heard”. She named him this because Yah heard that she was unloved. You just know that Yahqob and Rachyl were tag teaming against Leyah at this point. Leyah conceives a third son and calls him Levi which means “attached”. Leyah thought Yahqob would surely become attached to her because of the three boys. Leyah conceived a fourth son and calls him Yahudah which means “Now I will praise Yah”. Did you notice something? Leyah stopped talking about Yahqob by her fourth son. Her heart is on Yah by this time. She is going to Yah for counsel at this time and not focusing all her attention of Yahqob. Leyah stops bearing children. She has four sons now. From Genesis 29:31-35.
Genesis 30, Uh-Oh! Here we go, verse 1 says that Rachyl envied her sister. The fiercest part of the war is beginning now. These sisters envied each other. One sister had the man’s heart and the other had the man’s children. Rachyl goes to Yahqob in anger, demanding him to give her children. Yahqob responds back to her in anger saying that he is not Yah and that it is not his will to withhold children from her. You would think that the next verse would say that she went to Yah in prayer. But we don’t read that. Rachyl did not go to Yah about what was on her heart but Leyah did by her fourth son. Leyah’s heart is on Yah at this time. I remember when I read about Hannah wanting a baby. She did not go up against her husband’s other wife. Hannah did not even go to her husband first because he did not know what was wrong with Hannah. Hannah a righteous woman, went to Yah for counsel first!
Genesis 30:3-8, Rachyl comes up with a serrogate-mother plan to have children through her maidservant Bilhah. She may have also been trying to make Leyah jealous. The first child of Bilhah and Yahqob was named Dan. Rachyl named him Dan meaning “judge” saying Yah has judged her case. Bilhah gives birth to a second son and Rachyl names him Naphtali which means “my wrestling” or “my war”. Rachyl went to war against her sister and was prevailing…so she thought.
Genesis 30:9-13, Leyah retailiates by having her handmaid Zilpah bear children by Yahqob. Leyah was unable to conceive at this time. Zilpah has a son that Leyah names Gad meaning “troop” or “fortune”. By this time Leyah has an army of boys. Zilpah has a second son by Yahqob which Leyah names Asher. Asher means “happy”. Leyah was happy and was blessed by so many boys.
By verse 14, this story plateaus. There were no more babies being born at this time. Reuben goes to field and finds mandrakes. I did not know what mandrakes were, so I looked it up. Mandrakes are a rare plum-tasting fruit found in the Mediterranean but they look like a root vegetable, like the potato or carrot. Mandrakes are also called love apples. It is believed to be an “aphrodisiac” that promotes fertility. The Mandrake can sometimes look like a human with genitals in form.
The Mandrakes sends out their fragrance and the finest fruits are at our door, new delights as well as old, which I have saved for you, my lover. Song of Solomon 7:13.
Leyah was about to make a love potion to fire up her marriage bed with Yahqob. When Rachyl found out what was going on…Rachyl wanted children…she bartered to get the mandrakes from her sister. Similarly, how Yahqob bartered for the birthright from Esau. Leyah also wanted more children, hence the reason Reuben was out there looking for the rare mandrakes. At this time neither Leyah nor Rachyl go to Yah for counsel. They are both consumed in this war against each other. I read someone say that both Rachyl and Leyah put their hope in a plant without asking Yah to bless the “potential medicine”. Verse 15, Leyah and Rachyl get into it! Leyah accuses Rachyl of stealing her husband. How did Rachyl steal Yahqob in Leyah’s mind? Yahqob slept with Leyah, sometimes but Rachyl had him sexually and emotionally. Shaul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 7:1-9. Verse 16, Rachyl bartered Yahqob for the night in place of the mandrakes. Verse 17, OH WOW, Leyah realizes that she did not need the mandrakes…Yah heard her praying for more children! Leyah has a fifth son who she names Issachar which means “wages” because Yah gave her wages or payment after she prayed to Him. Leyah also had to make payment to her sister for Yahqob to spend the night with her. Leyah conceives again, a sixth son and names him Zebulon meaning “dwelling”. Leyah knows that Yah has endowed or enlarged her with many children and she hopes also that Yahqob will dwell with her. Leyah has a baby girl named Dinah! Dinah means “avenged, judged or vindicated”. Leyah knows that, this little girl is a blessing from Yah. The only little girl of the family. We know Dinah means a lot to the family because later her brothers go to war over her treatment. They avenge for her.
The book of Yasher 31:19-20, F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!! Finally Rachyl prays to Yah! And Yah remembers her. See Genesis 30:22 and Yasher 31:21. Rachyl bore a son a named him Yoseph meaning “He will add to me”. Rachyl was already wanting another son. The most important thing to learn about this whole story is making Yah our first love like Yahoshua said in Revelation 2:4.
Did you know that Rachyl’s cry for children was prophetic? I read it somewhere but I do not remember where. Read Yeremiyah 31:15 and Mattithyah 2:16-18. Yahqob with his household leave the household of Laban and on the way to Ephrath (or Bethlehem) Rachyl dies shortly after birth. She named the son Ben-Oni which means “son of my sorrow or my cry”. Rachyl’s “Ben-Oni” cry has been re-echoed throughout the entire history of Ysrayl. Yahqob renames him Benyamin meaning “son of the right hand”. Rachyl died at the age of 45. See Yasher 36:11 and Genesis 35:16-19.
Something interesting happened after Rachyl died, Yahqob still would not much deal with Leyah and Reuben was furious over her treatment. Reuben slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah (Rachyl’s handmaid) for revenge. Yah punishes Reuben (the firstborn of an unloved wife that we talked about before) and Yah takes the kingship and priestly offices away from Reuben. Yah gives Yahudah the rulership line and Levi the priestly line. See Yasher 36:14-15. In the testament of Reuben, Reuben said that Yah struck his loin with a wound for seven months and Yah did not take the wound away until Yahqob forgave and prayed for Reuben. Yah don’t play!
Did y’all know that Yahqob repented about the way he treated Leyah?! That was a shock to me. After Leyah died the book of Jubilees says in chapter 36:21-24 that Yahqob was sad about her passing away. He still did not love her as much as Rachyl but he was sorry and he said he loved her. The Gentiles have a saying, “You don’t miss the water til the well runs dry”. He called Leyah righteous and perfect. Yahqob even buried her next to his mom, Rebkeyah and the rest of the family according to Genesis 49:29-31. Yahqob is taken to this same burial plot when the children of Ysrayl bring his body out of Egypt. Leyah died at the age of 51. Read Jasher 41:2-3.
In the wilderness, Yah outlaws blood sisters marrying the same man (at the same time). In Leviticus 18:18, Yah even says “rival” wife. There’s going to be problems , He is telling you. Most likely the two sisters have been sibling rivals all their lives. I know this because I have a sister. We are the only two children of my parents and yes there has been rivalry. Sisters tend to go to war for the attention (of mostly mom). *I also wondered, when Rachyl was out in the field all day with the sheep, where was Leyah? Was Leyah under mom all day because of her eye condition? The bible does not mention what were Leyah’s chores to do daily. This may be the original source or the reason for their rivalry. Also we read that Laban had great concern for Leyah’s future (in finding a husband). I know that sick children get cuddled by mom and dad more because my own sister stayed sick (about two years) as a little girl. I have two male cousins, brothers, and one said he was glad his older brother was going to college, “Now I get to have dad all to myself”. Sibling Rivalry. We fight for the love and attention of an authority figure.This is why these two sisters interested me so much. Reading about Leyah and Rachyl has helped me to understand Yah and myself better. Both Leyah and Rachyl are to be esteemed, as the elders said in Ruth 4:11. Yah loved them both. Yah showed no partiality between them, as scripture says that Yah shows no partiality. If you show Yah that you love Him by doing His laws, Yah will love you right back. To be loved by Yah. Leyah and Rachyl are a testimony to this fact. They both went to Yah for counsel.
* I am not saying that all siblings are rivals. Some siblings have a close, loving relationship. If there are any corrections needed in this post, I will return and correct them. The pictures in the post are random. I know the Hebrews are a mostly black-skinned people.