Issachar was unique because Leah gave birth to him after she thought she had stopped childbearing.

Issachar means “my reward”.She felt God had rewarded her for giving her maid to Jacob.

But the circumstances surrounding his birth were more intricate than that.In Gen 30:14-16,you would read an interesting story of how Leah got “an approval” from Rachel to be able to spend a night with Jacob.

What did she do?

When Rachel solicited for Leah’s son mandrakes.Leah used the opportunity to strike a deal with her:

“If you want my son’s mandrakes,give me Jacob”(paraphrased).

Rachel allowed her.

Surprisingly,Leah conceived again and gave birth to Issachar.

It was along that narrative that Jacob’s prophecy concerning Issachar came up:

“Issachar is a strong donkey,lying down between two burdens;and he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.”-Gen 49:14-15

What is the interpretation?

Before Leah gave birth to Issachar she had two options(‘burdens’):

  • Quit her marriage with Jacob or
  • Engage Rachel in serious fight.

Instead of doing the two above,she applied wisdom by preferring to strike a deal with Rachel.

Later on the tribe of Issachar became famous to be the tribe that understood the times.They became consultants whenever the children of Israel were in a fix.

“From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.”-1 Chronicles 12:32

Lesson: There are times to be calm,there are times to fight back to get what belongs to you and times to strike a deal.

Know and understand the times.

Coming up next is a post on Zebulun…

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