Issachar was ninth born of the sons of Jacob. He was born as Jacob’s fifth son through Leah. Issachar means “for hire”. He was so named by Leah because of the event that occurred which led to his birth. What may seem absurd is that Leah had hired her husband from Rachel her sister by giving Rachel the mandrakes, that her first born son Reuben had found.
Points to ponder:
Jacob the deceiver was bought with mandrakes that was believed to be an aphrodisiac which functioned as a fertility agent to produce life (make a woman conceive). Jesus bought us from the penalty of death with his blood which gives new life to all who believe in him. Jesus came to do the will and work of God the Father, which is to pay the wages of sin (death).
Genesis 30:14-18 (KJV)
14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.
15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.