16 March 2011 (Revee/Shavu'ot)|
Day #365, 5934 AM
The Wild Cow of Israel
The Two Women Who Built Jacob's House
Scripture has many, many surprises, but none quite as surprising as the name given to the mother of six of the tribes of Israel (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun) plus a daughter (Dinah) whose name means "Wild Cow". I speak, of course, of Leah, the first wife of Jacob.
"Yahweh make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel" (Ruth 4:11, NKJV).
Now calling someone 'wild', let alone 'cow', might seem terribly unflattering if not downright rude to a 21st century Westerner. However, the people of Leah's day were not 21st century Westerners so we must not read in our cultural interpretations and distortions. Remember also that Leah is described as "tender-eyed" or "cow-eyed" which means she was delicate as well as sturdy.
How do we know that "wild cow" was a flatterig name? Because in ancient Mesopotamia the pagan deity Innana (Astarte) was depicted both as a wild cow and as the morning star, Venus. In other words, her name, Leah or "wild cow", quite simply means fertile lover. And she was! She produced seven children.
But there is more to Leah than meets the eye. First we must understand more about the cow which represents one content with following instructions and not causing an argument or defiance. The cow represents submissiveness and meekness. Jacob was blind to these virtues for he himself was in rebellion, following after the flesh, and could only see Rachel which means 'Ewe'. Rachel produced two sons. As Rachel produced the Messianic type Joseph, so Leah produced the lawgiver type Judah. One day they will merge as One Israel with the other tribes, all their qualities being blended. For both are acclaimed as one (Ruth 4:11).
Do you see the tavnith or pattern here? Because Jacob was out of tavnith (pattern) he could only see Rachel - he could not see Leah at all even though she had such admirable qualities. Like Evangelical Christians who are blind to Torah (Leah) so Jacob was blind to his need for Leah. He caused her much grief even though she sought to please him with sons. And because she was invisible to him, this caused jealousy and rivaly in his family. All he could see was Rachel's youthful charisma, the dancing Ewe!
Thus in Leah and Rachel we see the Messianic (Torah-obedient) and Evangelical (charisma of being in Messiah Yah'shua/Christ Jesus) halves. Jacob would later lose Rachel following the birth of Benjamin because he was essentially lawless, having cheated his father and brother. Only afterwards did he come to appreciate Leah for who she really was.
The ideal - the perfect echad or unity of being in Messiah - is having both the Leah and Rachel halves together - the "wild cow" and the "ewe". You can't separate them. That is why we are Messianic Evangelical!