Mandrake In The Bible: Myths And Truths

Have you heard of the mandrake? It is said that it is a magical plant. The reason for this affirmation is the circumstance in which its appearance is revealed in two of the most explored biblical passages. But will this be true? In a moment we will tell you where and why the mandrake appears in the Bible, and whether or not it has magical powers as many say.

God warns in the scriptures about witchcraft, and superstition has a lot to do with it. Sometimes we give our wishes to supposedly magical elements and not to God, who is the true miracle worker.

One of the most notable myths is that of the mandrake, and people hide behind its appearance in the Bible to say a string of nonsense things that throughout this article we are going to analyze and deny, of course, with biblical bases. .

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Where does the mandrake appear in the bible?

In Song of Songs 7:13 we find:

“The mandrakes send their fragrance, / and at our door is every delicacy, new and old, / that I have saved for you, my beloved.”

In the ancient world, mandrake roots were considered and commonly prepared and consumed as a fertility drug. There are many references to mandrakes in folklore and superstitions in various cultures.

Song of Songs 7:13

The mention of mandrakes in the Song of Songs is part of a romantic encounter between Solomon and his new wife. These plants were all around them in the field, along with grapes, pomegranates, and “every delicacy” (Song of Songs 7:13).

Mandrakes provide a fragrance and, given their reputation as an aphrodisiac, suggest intimacy. The entire description in verses 10-13 is of a romantic setting that enhances the desire of the husband and wife and promotes a sexual encounter.

In this scene related to the appearance of the mandrake in the Bible, the Shulamite invites King Solomon to join her for an early-morning outdoor rendezvous:

“Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have sprouted, if their flowers have opened and if the pomegranates are in bloom – there I will give you my love” (Song of Songs 7:12).

The description of this romantic time is full of beautiful images, including the mention of mandrakes in the verses that follow, while the husband and wife enjoy themselves among the vineyards.

Genesis 30

The other Biblical account to speak of the mandrake in the Bible is found in Genesis 30. There, Jacob’s two wives, Rachel and Leah, compete for Jacob’s attention. Rachel wants a child and Leah wants more children. Reuben, Lea’s son, finds mandrakes in the field and gives them to his mother.

Leah then trades the mandrakes to Rachel for the chance to sleep with Jacob that night (Genesis 30:14-16). Rachel, who was childless yet, agrees to the trade, believing that the mandrakes would help her conceive later on. Leah sleeps with Jacob that night and becomes pregnant with her fifth child (verse 17).

Does the mandrake cure infertility?

The mandrake has been desired in many cultures due to the belief that it is an aphrodisiac and promotes fertility. These qualities, along with the fact that they were rarely found in Paddan-aram, where they lived (Gen. 28:5), explain why both Lea and Rachel desired the plant.

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Rachel herself had been childless, Leah had become temporarily infertile (29:31–30:13), and both sought a cure in the mandrake. Once again, the main players in the chapter don’t come off so positively. Both Rachel and Leah were showing off by putting their hope in a plant without asking God’s blessing on the potential medicine (Ps. 113:9).

It is not surprising that Leah accuses Rachel of stealing her husband, since Jacob’s deep and sinful neglect of Leah (1 Cor. 7:1-5) is evident in his willingness to trade the rare mandrakes for just one night. with the.

Rachel, in a sense, prostitutes Jacob by offering him to Leah for the desired fruit (Genesis 30:15), and is clearly more concerned with having children of her own than with her sister’s well-being. Both women are willing to negotiate for relational and sexual intimacy, things that should never be so rudely negotiated.

Moses tells us that God listened to Leah and gave her a son even though her prayer is not recorded (vv. 16-17). Ironically, the blessing of fertility does not come to the one who ate the “magical” fruit, but to the one who gave it as a gift.

With these two facts, the Lord shows his people that their superstitions have no value, because He is sovereign over procreation. Even so, Leah shows us how God often blesses us with compassion, even when we act manipulatively to get our own way.

What is the mandrake?

According to how the mandrake is described in the Bible, it is a plant that often grows like a weed in wheat fields.

This is made up of several large, wrinkled, dark green leaves that lie flat on the ground in a rosette. In the center of this rosette appears a cluster of attractive purple flowers in winter.

The root of the mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) can be several feet long and weigh several pounds. It takes strange, often human-like forms and is highly prized by the superstitious for this reason.

The fruits, as indicated in the Song of Songs, are produced in early summer and have a very attractive fragrance.

What does God think of this?

Many passages of Scripture warn God’s people about witchcraft, astrology, and other similar practices (Exodus 22:18; Revelation 22:15). Most of us probably don’t participate in such things, but superstitions are still a part of life for many Christians.

For example, some believers think that saying the same prayer every day will guarantee a certain result. Be careful to eliminate all superstitions from your life and trust in the sovereign will of the Lord that works for your good.

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final thoughts

As you have noticed, if we carefully analyze the appearances of the mandrake in the Bible, we can realize that it is not a magical plant, it is simply an exotic species with a very particular shape that attracts superstitious people.

In fact, curiously, the one who conceived at the beginning was Lea (who had exchanged the mandrakes for one night with her husband), so I ask you, was it the plant that achieved the miracle of conception? With everything we’ve talked about, you probably already have the answer. May God fill you with blessings and may you drive away all superstitious thoughts.

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