November 28, 2006

Breadcrumb: Folk magic

In yesterday's essay, I spoke about the possibility that Rachel used mandrakes in an attempt to conceive. We find another episode, in Gen. 30:37-43, of potential folk magic. In these verses, Jacob has the strong cattle mate before certain branches, so that when they give birth, the young are speckled or streaked (in a previous agreement with Laban, the men had agreed that Jacob would own all the specked and streaked cattle of Laban's flock). It seems that even with their trust in God, folk magic still persisted among the early Hebrews.

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